Scorton 10K

Article by Peter Gough

Daddies Escape entered 7 runners into this event. Meeting at 7:30 am at McDonalds in Denton, we all had porridge and jam, washed down with a coffee before dropping onto the motorway for the hours drive to a little village outside Preston sharing two cars. Frankie, Liam and I went in Frankie’s beamer, following Steve’s bright yellow Citroen DS with Rick, Shaun and Akkeal as passengers.

Arrival

We arrived early in the beautiful and picturesque village of Scorton and watched it waken around us in an unhurried calm where everyone seemed to know just what to do without any fuss. Bedecked in bunting that spanned the streets, the village 10K race coincided with a festival where a classic car show, medieval re-enactment society and a blend of local foods and beers were being readied in the nearby parks for the day. We found some free parking near the church on top of the hill and ambled down to the primary school to collect our race numbers. Rick, by chance was allocated number 118 and spurned a swathe of jokes for the rest of the day. Smaller races like this hold their own charm where you have local people engaging with community events for the general good of the village. The proceeds from the entry fees would feed back into the community.
Everyone was welcoming and kind and we did a little exploration before heading to the end of the kids race. It’s great to see such young kids getting a taste of running and feeling the buzz of approaching the finish line applauded and encouraged by complete strangers. Liam found some Bakewell Tart Flapjacks in the local shop that went down a treat.
 As usual at races, it seemed the right thing to do to make use of the local ‘facilities’. Steve entered trap two and shut the door; emerging a few minutes later with a dead canary in a cage and a general look of ‘we won’t be doing any further mining today’. Two nearby lady runners pulled up their bandana’s over their mouths to reduce the effect. We knew Steve was a good runner but also being a potions wizard was a surprise; as was the ‘Whispering Death’ he left for others to sample.
 
This was a 10K but with a field limit of 300. Later we would find that a total of 144 runners took part. We returned to the cars to ‘gear-up’, donning our Daddies Escape shirts and applying ‘Deep Heat’ to legs.

Time to get warmed-up

Liam led the warm-up with his usual ball-of-string route which has a start and an end but goes everywhere to get there. Down into the village and back up to the church then down again, settling in the local play-park where Rick decided to crawl through a concrete pipe to check there was nobody he had missed to swap numbers with.
We met some other runners and chatted with Susan Plant from Warrington who is a keen runner and cyclist; accompanied by Alan Talbot. We stretched and loosened up before heading up to the start which could be loosely described as the centre of the village where four lanes met. The race director called us to the start, announcing that the race would get underway on the toot of a car horn on the lead car.

We’re off!

The lead car duly tooted and we were off. Akkeal, Steve and Shaun headed to the front and I stayed with Liam and Frankie, Rick somewhere inbetween. The race route took us back out of Scorton on Factory Road before a sharp left just after the first mile marker taking us over the River Wyre and just north of Cleveleymere. Entering a nice wooded area, we negotiated an undulating (<there’s that word again) track that presented a leg-sapping incline just before the 3 mile mark, levelling out near Forton Services, instantly recognisable by its hexagonal concrete tower and remembered as the second motorway services after Charnock Richard to open on the M6 in 1965. We turned left again and headed south down Hollins Lane before taking another left just after four miles to close the loop and start to bring us back home to the start.
It was here that my doubts set-in. It was only my second race wearing a base-layer. My first time was Wigan Half Marathon some weeks before where I’d had to stop and take it off after burning up. Same here. Just after 4 miles, with sweat streaming down my head, I pulled up and ripped the damn thing off, instantly feeling the benefit. However, the damage was done and I struggled to find any consistency on the couple of miles back. As my top was off and I needed to ‘download excess fluid’, I just chose the nearest tree and decided to water it. From behind my I heard ‘Ay up Pete’ and turned (although not too far!) to see Susan Plant run by. I guess this is one advantage of having our names across the backs of our shirts. The next stages took us through a local farm and then back down the nasty hill we’d encountered on the way up. I eventually mustered some energy to kick-on for the finish but glancing at my Garmin showed 48 something and I was a little annoyed with myself. All the ‘daddies’ were there though to cheer me on through the finish. On arrival, I found that Akkeal had got second place in only his second competitive 10K and the first honours for the group, pipping the third place runner by just three seconds.
We met up at the end again with Susan and Alan who had both won their categories and would be collecting their prizes later. Then we found out that Shaun had also topped his category and added further glory. Everyone else had managed PB’s but I’d have to wait for another event to try for mine.
The results were up more or less instantly thanks to the Webscorer service that had been used to record the times. Full results here

Relaxing

The race entry fee included a bacon butty and a hot drink so we set-off to find them, wandering back to the centre of the village before realising we’d walked past it when we’d left the finish area. We sat with Alan and Susan again and chatted generally about running, races and Strava. 118-Rick set about adding everyone he’d missed before the race. Now Scorton is a little village and we were approached by a charming young lady selling raffle tickets, explaining that ‘Glamping’ experiences could be won in the local area. Frankie asked if she took Apple Pay. She allowed for a pause to consider if this was a real question before replying with ‘Do I look like I take Apple Pay?’.
The race director called everyone to the local primary school where prizes were given out. Shaun and Akkeal stepped up to receive their prize ‘boots’ then Frankie bought a load of pink Scorton 10K shirts, with Rick remarking to Susan that it would ‘make a good nightie’. Never one to miss an opportunity our Rick 😉 We returned to the cars and headed back to Manchester with another race behind us and the hope that the little village of Scorton had enjoyed having us.

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Winner video

Race times

Akkeal: 38:12.9 – 2nd overall
Shaun: 41:53.4  – V50 category winner
Steve: 44:16.9
Frankie: 44:40
Rick: 44:59.3
Liam: 45:40.8
Pete: 48:28.4

The Three Legged Races: Isle of Man Easter Festival of Running

Article by Shaun Chambers

Daddies Escape are a relatively small group of runners from the Tameside area of Manchester and we train together weekly and race most, or every-other weekend. We all have kids and collectively recognise that we won’t always be able to get out together so we maintain regular contact via a WhatsApp group.

I’m a native of the Isle of Man and chose the festival as an opportunity to combine my love of running with a timely trip back home with wife Sami for a weekend break, staying at the luxurious Shore Hotel in Gansey. Two weeks before, fellow group runner Rick Lee decided to throw his hat into the ring and join me on all three races, to share the car and see some of the world, staying at the Falcon’s Nest Hotel in Port Erin.

And we’re off ..

Our trip began late on the Thursday night before Easter, setting off around 10:15 pm to get the 2:15 am sailing from Heysham to Douglas aboard the legendary named Ben-my-Chree ferry. The crossing was silky smooth and somewhat devoid of other runners with most probably already there, staying the extra night.

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Good Friday

We docked in Douglas at 5:30 am and with hotel check-in still a good few hours away, decided to kill some time and load up on food at a local cafe. It was here, we’d discover that Manx toast is a thing to behold. Thickly cut and a meal in itself. As we had travelled through the night, sleep had been a bit of an afterthought so I decided to get my head down to recharge the batteries but could only manage 90 minutes before I was up again in race mode, looking forward to the start at 6:45 pm.

We left in plenty of time to drive over to Port Erin to meet Rick, who had also had a short nap. On arrival, it was a gorgeous mild April evening with clear skies and  perfect for running the first of the three races organised by Manx Harriers; the mixed 10K Road Race. It’s only when you arrive that you realise this isn’t your average 10K. There is a strange sort of ‘Monty Python’ feel to it where, on one hand you have a real elite field of serious runners, punctuated with the occasional person painted blue with a 12″ rubber knob on his head (let’s call him ‘D*ckhead for now!).

It’s only when you arrive that you realise this isn’t your average 10K!

In most 10K’s, these would be slow charity runners raising money but no, they are also very capable runners who aren’t there just to make up the numbers. It’s also when you realise that this festival is steeped in history. Just checking the website results takes you back to 1972 where just 144 people competed the festival and on closer reading, you notice the large number of universities that are represented. This hasn’t changed to this day as there is a general feeling of ‘Freshers Week’ where everyone is determined to do something crazy but all good natured and very competitive. Amongst these younger students are some ‘older’ runners who may have been previous students and just can’t stay away! On arrival, some students were already loading up on energy drinks, or ‘beer’ as they call it.

Arriving at the 10K, some students were already loading up on energy drinks, or ‘beer’ as they call it.

This was a theme that was continue through the festival and soon, the rumours of the 29-pint man would start to emerge. To have all these fun, competitive people in one place was fabulous and for a race series that does not even advertise or offer a medal. I bumped into Festival Director Chris Quine who is a very approachable and friendly guy and asked him about this. He said that he believed the “memories you take away with you of the festival are far more important than a memento”. Like vintage Champagne, the festival is built on reputation rather than advertising.

“Memories you take away with you of the festival are far more important than a memento” : Chris Quine (Festival Director)

The 10K race got under way on time, catching the last of the daylight on a route that can be described as undulating, which as we all know is a race organisers word for hills. There seemed to be a sort of ‘animal theme’ going on where the fancy dress costumes all seemed to be wildlife-related. Even for me, a native of the island where I have lived and worked and still have family, the scenery was just stunning and thoughts of ‘should I come back’ returned again and again. I did 41:30 and Rick did 46:39 with the winner Michael Christoforou from Edinburgh University romping home in 30:39, some 30-odd seconds ahead of second place. Amazing stuff and again a demonstration of the running talent in attendance here at the festival.

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After the race, we stayed and mingled with all the other runners before finding a chippy in Port Erin for a snack then onto Rick’s hotel, the Falcons Nest. Rick wasted no time getting a Magners but I settled on water. We finished the meal late on and I turned-in sometime in the early hours. Rick went onto another pub in Port Erin, ‘The Haven’, getting in around 1am.

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Easter Saturday

I opened the curtains on Saturday morning to reveal another glorious day and perfect conditions for the legendary ‘Peel Hill Race’ . A full-english was downed in preparation for the exertions to follow later in the day. Peel is about 11 miles from Douglas and the race is split into male and female events; the blokes doing 4 miles and the ladies doing three and starting at different times. See Dave Griffiths’ slideshow of the course here (LINK). It starts by the Manannan Museum on the quayside before a steep climb out of the quayside onto the hills above Peel. Again the place was absolutely buzzing and the students were again in fancy dress. If aliens would have landed there and then, they’d have been convinced the human race were a very strange bunch. Mankini Man (that must have chaffed mate!). Knob-head was there again and already students were loading up on drinks, this time shots; obviously afraid they may have some blood in their alcohol streams.

Despite the light-hearted nature, the race was seriously contested, proving that you can be quick and still be an absolute nutter. It seems that everyone is of the same frame of mind and completely committed to the occasion in the same way there is always a nice vibe to a pub on Christmas Eve. One of my brothers, Johnny came to watch. 

The Easter Festival of Running
The course was tough and challenging and I came home in 30.03 with Rick on 34:59. 10K winner Micheal Christoforou managed second, coming in 17 seconds after the winner Linton Taylor in a staggering 20:22. On the route, students were taking drinks again (shots this time!). We stayed for the ladies race to cheer them on as, apart from wanting to, it seemed the ‘done-thing’. In the run up to the festival, I’d had a calf-strain and felt it now so decided to take a dip in the medical seas of the island which actually did the trick and believe me, was as cold as any ice-bath!

Beats an ice-bath!
Some (students) decided to stick with tradition and do the 11 mile Peel-to-Douglas pub crawl, taking about 5 hours to cram in the alcohol. It’s here the rumours of the 29-pint man surfaced and legend tells that he’d had 10 pints before he started the race. No doubt a contender for ‘Student of the Year’ and a legend to all that study with him!

We favoured a more civilised route and as a thanks to Sami for holding all the gear over the past two days I took her for a meal to my brother Peters’ pub, The Grosvenor in Andreas which is on the TT course. We arrived at 7 and took a couple of hours over dinner before staying a few hours longer to catch-up with family news and to relax.

It was still an hours drive back to Gansey, call it an hour and a half after dropping off Rick in Port Erin. Sami and I eventually got our heads down around 2am.

Easter Sunday

Back home in Manchester, whilst some kids were probably onto their third chocolate egg, we tucked into porridge, coffee and orange juice to prepare for the final race, the 5K out and back road run from Douglas promenade. The separate mens and ladies races were an experimental idea this year but having raced this event last year, I much preferred it and gauging the responses on the running forums since returning home, is the preferred alternative of many others. I looked around and just took it all in again; the race was so well organised, well-signposted with excellent and quick timekeeping / results. I noticed Chris Quine again chatting to anyone and everyone, a real figurehead for the event and very welcoming and friendly.

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The route was flat, which was welcome after the hill race the day before and once again, there were some sights to behold including one wearing high-heels. I later heard from him (Duncan Ng) and he gave a great quote as to why he does it:

“I love overtaking people in heels. The reaction you get when they realise that is priceless!” : Duncan Ng

210 men contested this one. It must be mentioned again here the quality of the field. If this shows what university sports societies are producing then British Athletics is in really good condition. Rick finished in 21:44 with me a few minutes earlier on 19:41. Winner Micheal Christoforou stormed home in under 15 minutes, some 5 minutes ahead of second place Linton Taylor who had pipped him the day before on Peel Hill. In the ladies race, Manx Harrier Rachael Franklin took gold with 17:27, followed just 17 second later by Katy Hedgethorne of Cambridge.

After the race, a free chip-butty was on offer at the Outback Pub but we instead went to The Cafe in Douglas for some more thick toast and coffee. I joined Rick and Sami that evening back at the Outback for the start of the celebrations, and what a celebration. With all the running behind them, the competitors really let their hair down and partied like some something out of ‘National Lampoons’. Everyone was friendly and some were crazy but the whole night was awesome. Sami and I left around 11, leaving Rick who was nowhere near done. He finally dropped into bed just after 4am after a ÂŁ35 taxi ride back to Port Erin.

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One for me, and me alone (Easter Monday)

I still had one run to do and this one was all mine. Having lived on the island for many of my years, I chose a recovery run that took me past my mums house to pay homage to her and for all the memories she had given me. The route took me around Port St. Mary and up my childhood street Seafield Road. That done, I set back and got my stuff ready for the trip back to Tameside, catching the 7:45 ferry from Douglas to Heysham.

What a wonderful weekend. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew I would be back next year. Thanks to all the organisers, stewards and marshals; you’re all awesome and you’ve something special.

Daddies On Tour – A tale of two cities

April the 2nd will be a day long remembered in Daddies Escape. For Liam and Frankie, the shackles of a sub four-hour marathon were not just been broken, but shattered. At the other end of the M62, Shaun and Pete also smashed through their Half Marathon personal bests, Shaun emphatically so, carving up the roads of Merseyside in just 88 minutes.

The day was a long one for sure. At 6:45am,Shaun and I (Pete) had just left for Liverpool when we heard that Liam and Frankie were already pacing the streets of Manchester near Old Trafford, parked and ready to go with over 2 hours before the start. Now that’s dedication (oh, and making sure they had a decent and free parking space!).

IMG_5463The only bad part of the journey to Liverpool was that Shaun had to go and remind me that Everton had been beaten (again) by Liverpool the day before by three goals to one, just a couple of miles from where we ended up parking, in the shadow of the famous Liver Building.

Having not been for a while, I was really impressed with developments on the Pier Head; the former run-down riverfront has given way to modern yet respectful area that pays tribute to the most famous of bands ‘The Beatles’ with a great statue of the Fab Four walking towards the water, the Liver Building behind them. Eleanor Rigby would most definitely approve.

IMG_5475

In both Manchester and Liverpool, the start times were both at 9:00 am which I like as you still have the freshness of the morning although (save for a running disaster), we would be finished doing the Half before the heat of mid-day had managed to make itself known.

At 9am, the hooter went off and we were away in Liverpool, started by Ian Rush and Gary McAllister in Liverpool and in Manchester, the legendary Dr Ron Hill and Mara Yamauchi got everyone under way.

The Liverpool route meandered through the waterfront before bearing left to take us away from the river and on to local roads, Sefton and Otterspool Parks. Somewhere ahead, Shaun was having the race of his life. I tried to run my own race this time after learning from Wigan Half two weeks earlier where I’d been caught up in the occasion and gone off too quick. I found myself counting down from 100, one number every four steps and somehow this just worked for me. Running is not just physical, it’s seriously psychological and concentration does play a part for elites, good-for-age and fun runners alike. The training and dedication to get to the start line is where all the work is done; the event is just the end of it.

The weather played nice too. Scattered clouds allowed sunshine to break through regularly and a light wind rolled off the coast. The finish was flat and relatively straight back to the Liver Building. On approach, the ‘Beatles Story’ building which marked the end of the race loomed in the distance but never seemed to get any closer! Here came the cobblestones which are never met with pleasure from ANY runner made for a difficult couple of minutes, negotiating through the slower finishers on quite a narrow section. For all runners, you will know the absolute delight of seeing the finishing gantry and this was true here too. Never are the six letters of ‘Finish’ so welcome. I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin and dared look. I know it was better then Wigan but when I saw a 42 in the row of numbers, elation set in. Medal around my neck, I picked my way through the finishing pen to find Shaun who was clearly chuffed, having broken 1:30 by over a minute; a magnificent effort.

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On to Manchester …

We had agreed that we would try and get back to Manchester in time to cheer on Liam and Frankie who had all we’d just done to do again. The night before, they had both been worrying about finishing in 4h 30 but that was not to be, and how, as it would prove.

Armed with a McD’s coffee via a nearby drive-through, we jumped onto the M62 and tried to get as close to the finish line as we could via an impromptu petrol station fill-up as the Fiesta was close to empty. Having filled up, a short drive through Weaste and Trafford Park put us within touch of the race finish and we ditched the car opposite Old Trafford football stadium. A ten minute walk brought us to the finish line but getting a view would prove difficult as the streets were lined both sides, three-deep. We walked a couple of hundred metres down and found a space and peeled our eyes for the Daddies Escape tops of 8478 and 8479. Shaun and I were not sure how Liam and Frankie races were going so we consulted t’interweb which allowed live tracking and splits. We entered both numbers and found that they were both flying and were well-ahead of schedule which meant they would not be far away.

Liam was first to appear, obviously hurting yet tearfully emotional and proud to have ran such a great race. He saw us at the roadside and waved as the finish line grew closer. Shaun and I were stunned, with a predicted time of 4h 30, to smash it by 40 minutes is a minor miracle. Not to be outdone, just five minutes later and well within a four hour finish was Frankie. Also obviously hurting, he looked better than some we had seen at the finish. Some people were in a really bad way with one limping home and one who had buckled knees, flanked by two other runners just in case he was going to fall. This was all the inspiration Shaun needed to commit himself to a full marathon this year. This kind of relentless dedication that runners have to get over the line is amazing, truly amazing. They actually PAY for this but as they say, pain is temporary but glory is forever.

All-in-all, a VERY successful day for all Daddies Escape runners:


Final times

Liverpool Half Marathon

  • Shaun – 1:28:39 (PB)
  • Pete – 1:42:31 (PB)

Manchester Marathon

  • Liam – 3:51:58 (PB)
  • Frankie – 3:56:59 (PB)

Wigan Half Marathon

5 ‘Daddies’ ran this one; Liam, Shaun, Frankie, Rick and me (Pete). We all met at McDonalds in Denton at 7am to load up with coffee, porridge and jam (not together) before tapping Wigan into Speedy’s Sat Nav and heading off.

We arrived with about an hour to spare so we had a preamble to get a flavour of the place and to find out where the loos were! This would prove important. First impressions was that this was a very well organised (and therefore expensive to put on) event with lots of food stalls, a big stage with live bands on, police and a huge swathe of volunteers. We found the loo’s and I found that this would be the only race I would win today. I emerged from the blue cabin first, followed by Frankie, then Liam, then Shaun, then ……, then ……, Hmm? Where the hell is Rick? Rick eventually emerged to our applause, in what would have been a record-breaking time (for a marathon).

We’d parked about 400 metres away on Library Street, free on a Sunday which always makes things easier. We were in our ‘civvies’ and needed somewhere to get inside to get changed. How the heck Superman uses a phone box to get changed is beyond me as we spread out inside the Royal Arcade and emerged in full ‘DE” kit, ready to tackle the streets and park-paths of Wigan.

Time was getting on so we had a bit more of a ramble before heading back to the portaloo’s. Not to be outdone, Liam set about extending Rick’s previous time. To be honest, I think it would be a photo finish, albeit not a pretty one. Time to get rid of the bags (no, we hadn’t managed to pick up any loose women); we were directed to Wigan Life Centre which was, by sheer coincidence, next to where we’d parked so we stowed our stuff away in Frankie’s car. We jogged up Library Street again and took a left to warm up on Wallgate. We cut down the side of Wallgate Station before turning sharp right as Frankie needed the loo again. Maybe, as he was in a strange town, he just wanted to leave his scent? Anyway, on to the start …

On your marks …

They opened the pens at about 9:10 am and everyone ambled down, setting their Garmin’s and the like in anticipation for the start. Following a mass ‘JoiningJack’ salute, we were counted down from 10 and then we were off. Shaun was out the blocks like Usain Bolt and, but for a yellow blur at about 10 miles, was all I saw of him. I ran with Frankie and Liam for the first bit while I tried to find my stride. The race was on closed roads that were well marshalled and punctuated with eager support from the Wigan locals who had turned out in numbers to cheer everyone on. The opening 6 or so miles were quite flat, taking in the sponsor ‘HW Moon Toyota‘ and Dave Whelan’s empire: the huge distribution warehouse and of course the DW Stadium that is home to Wigan Athletic football team and Wigan Rugby team. Free admission was available to all runners for that afternoon’s rugby game between Wigan and Huddersfield. A nice touch that but kicking off at three would have meant a long wait for us.

The route tracked back to near the start and took us down Library Street AGAIN where we passed our parked cars. It was at this point that a slight drizzle began which partly cooled me down but I was still feeling rather hot. I knew Liam, Frankie and Rick were not far behind me as we negotiated the roads near Ince before turning left to join the canal. This was a straight section but dotted with little rises every 200 M or so where locks were to lift boats. It was at this point that I was really hot and I looked for a suitable place to get out of everyones way so I could remove my sub-layer. This took me 30 seconds or so as Frankie and Liam arrived. I managed to keep with them for about another mile as we entered Haigh Hall Country Park and the start of some hills into the woods.

This section was a bit ‘trailly’ if this even a word with a meandering path through a woods, emerging some time later at the top with wonderful views across the surrounding areas as we ran down the side of Haigh Hall before beginning the final descent (or so I thought!) towards the finish some two miles away. This downhill section was enjoyable as finally, all my ducks were lined up, I wasn’t burning up any more, the energy gel and water I’d took had kicked in and I was on final approach to the finish. All was well, until. Well, basically, someone had decided to throw in another hill at 12 miles! A right turn through a cutting took us up the steepest incline of the route. If this was not enough, the 1:45 pace runner passed me at this point. I’d have been happy with sub 1:45 but it was not to be.

We emerged from Haigh park opposite Wigan Infirmary. A considerate thought by the race organisers should anyone have needed A&E after the final hill! A left turn after the infirmary took us down the final descent and ‘flat bit’ to the finish. I really like town / city centre finishes as all the supporters really give you a boost when you most need it. I crossed the line, clapped on by the other ‘Daddies’ who had finished before me. Not my best but acceptable.

Hat’s off to Wigan. They put on a great show and the locals offered great support. We’ll be back next year. Just get the contractors in and flatten that hill at 12! 🙂

Times and data:

  • Shaun finished in 1:31:54 and was 6th of 103 in the V50 category.
  • Frankie finished in 1:42:45 and was 157th of 609 in the SNR category.
  • Liam finished in 1:42:57 and was 160th of 609 in the SNR category.
  • Rick finished in 1:43:57 and was 49th of 214 in the V40 category.
  • Pete finished in 1:46:38 and was 49th of 180 in the V45 category.

Gallery

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Thursday night run

Liam led this one, still damaged from his 39 mile weekend of running. His toenail had been literally glued back on and wrapped in a corn plaster. Four ‘daddies’ did this one: Liam, Shaun, Rick and me (Pete). An earlier text suggested head torches would be useful; they were actually essential!

Starting from Maccy D’s at Hattersley, we headed towards Gee Cross then turned a sharp left onto a country lane with what was initially a steady climb. The head torches only lit ten yards in front and there were no street lights. You could tell it was a country lane as it smelled of cow shit. I thought “Well this is nice” until we rounded a corner and found the lesser known Hattersley Kilimanjaro facing us. As usual Mr Speedy took the lead and tip-toes it to the top. I didn’t!

The view at the top was of an illuminated Manchester as far as the eye could see which signalled we were as high as half of the idiot kids passing us in cars later on. 

We took a right down Joel Lane and then Liam took us on another Magical Mystery Tour around Gee Cross and Hyde before arriving in Haughton Green and then Denton. It was here that it dawned on me that we would have the 2 mile hill to finish back at McD’s. Well ho-hum, better get on with it then. We all finished with quite a respectable time for a Thursday night and we’d covered a little over 10 ½ miles in old money (17K). 

We ended with a hot coffee before heading home. A very enjoyable run this one but don’t ask me to remember the route!

Distance: 17K

Stockport Trail Half Marathon

Split up from the other ‘Daddies’ for today, I tackled the Stockport Trail Half Marathon whilst they did the Stanley Park 10K in Blackpool. Liam and Frankie had ran the Winter Track Marathon in Warrington the day before (I know they’re mad!) and their legs must have been like stone!

img_4920I got there at about 8:20 am and allowed about an hour before the start at 9:30. There had been a problem with the race organisers which meant that the Race HQ had to be moved to the Railway Pub at short notice. Fair play to the Railway Pub for offering to help out. Despite this late change, I collected my race chip and number (156) from the upstairs bar and took it back to the car; stopping en-route to pick up an Americano from the mobile coffee shop parked nearby. The race chip was a bit different from ones I’d used before and sort of stuck out from the side but to be honest, was fine and did not present any problems.

I pinned on my number and managed this time to avoid skewering myself with the pins. This has happened on more than one occasion!

I did something on this run I’d never done before; chose to run with some music on. I knew the course was an out and back and that there were no other ‘daddies’ to chat with. Cue some Smiths / New Order and some weird stuff I don’t remember adding to the playlist. I left for the start about 25 minutes before the scheduled off and did about a mile of warm-up.

The start was at Marple Rugby Club and we were wall quite packed-in. The race went off on-time and we immediately turned onto the Middlewood Way (MWW). In the early first mile or two it was very cramped due to lots of people trying to occupy the same 2 metre wide path. Overtaking on either side was not an option as it was very muddy and flanked by two natural water drains. The field soon thinned out and the first 10K to the turn was uneventful but set in some beautiful countryside with some nice views.

img_4921I took water at the turn before starting the return up the canal path. Here things got a whole lot worse. Daddies Escape had been running training a week or so earlier and part of the route had taken us through a potholed track which needed all the concentration just to stay upright. The setting was nice though with the smell of coal-fired stoves on the moored barges cooking breakfast for some lucky people on board. The conditions remained tricky for some 7K until the path left the canal and connected us back with the Middlewood Way which left about 2 ½ miles to the finish.

The finish was a welcome sight and it grew larger in my field of vision and I saw the white timing strips on the ground. I crossed the line and collected my medal. The organisers provided ‘Juicy Fuel Cola’ which was really nice, together with a satsuma, banana and some flapjack (Oh, and some Jelly Babies!).

I walked back to the car with Tony Hillier who had ran it to (he runs the SRC from the Hyde Sweatshop on a Monday and Wednesday evening). Luckily, I had an old jacket in the back of the car to cover the drivers seat as I was caked in mud.

I arrived home to find out we needed to go food shopping! D’oh.

I enjoyed the race but it would have been much better to have been racing with the other guys from Daddies Escape. I’ve got the Ron Hill Accrington 10K in two weeks and two weeks later,  the Wigan Half Marathon which, thankfully, all the other Daddies will be running too 🙂

Not got the official time yet but my Garmin says 1:49:26 which won’t be too far off. I’ll accept the time given the conditions but I would have been much happier with something around 1:45. We’ve got a recovery run pencilled-in for Tuesday evening which I just realised is Pancake Day!

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Pete

I am 49 years young and the second oldest. I work as a university lecturer by day and an App Developer by night unless I am out running. I’m a ‘Daddie’ to my 12 year old who is not a runner (yet!) but a keen sailor. My good lady is just getting into running and looks after my kit (not my trail shoes though as they need some sort of exorcism before approaching).

Preferred shoes? – Asics GT-2000’s

Preferred surface? – Beautiful, smooth tarmac

Hills? – Did you have to mention those things

Drink? – Guinness (after, not before – Only tried doing that once; never again

Lyme Park Night Run

A whole list of firsts on this run. Our first real outing with the new kit on, the first we’ve ran (other than training runs) at night. The first with a head torch. The first with free glow-bands. The first with soup and a roll at the end (which Liam didn’t like).

We all looked the part, despite me (Pete) looking like the kid off the estate (Time to own up: my trail shoes were the ones I wore for Reddish ‘Hit The Trail 5’ and absolutely reeked).

After a briefing from the marshal who had to revert to cupped hands as his megaphone was broken, we set off into the night with quite a sizeable field. About 3 minutes in and all light had gone, save for the city haze ten miles beyond. As the masses broke up, it was quite a sight to see a steady line of bobbing head torches when you looked back along the course.

Cue the hills. Even Sherpa Tensing would have taken an extra breath here as they stacked up one after the other, sapping the strength in the upper thighs. The course was well marshalled with glow lights punctuating every hazard and change of route; there were even a couple of ladders and a stile to negotiate. As we neared the ‘cage’ at the highest point, we just had about a mile to go but they had saved the worst until the last. Just when you thought you had made it, they threw in some boggy wetland which threatened to pull my already dirty trail shoes off my feet. Here I saw Liam, who was fighting to stay upright on his road shoes and I just about managed to stay upright before reaching the bliss that was a paved road. Having been up there in the summer, I knew this was the road back so I kicked on and tried to recover some time.

Shaun was first back (as usual Mr Speedy), followed by the rest of us some minutes later. A good experience but I think we’re all glad we managed to avoid injury as it could have ended much differently.