As anyone living in Manchester will probably know, the city is close to being pulled to a standstill tomorrow morning. There aren’t any protests planned, or heavy traffic for any City / United games, but instead the city will be opening its roads to about 38,000 runners, who will be sprinting, running, jogging or walking their way around the infamous 10km route of the Bupa Great Manchester Run.
Oh yeah, and on top of that, it’s Challenge No. 5 for [21:21].
Over the last couple of months, while I’ve had great support on the sides lines of the races / events, this will be the first time that I’ll know people on the run. While I won’t necessarily be running with each of these people, I feel that they all deserve a quick shout out:
The first and principal shout out has to go to Lara Hills (training partner & cousin) who has been there with me on the cold & rainy streets of Manchester over the last few months accompanying me on training runs for the various races I’ve had around the country – I’ll be running with this badger on tomorrow’s race, COME ON Hills! Chris Lomas, who will incidentally be joining me on the 3 peaks challenge, is also be hitting the streets. IT guru Matt Beard (thanks for your IT assistance thus far with the website) will be completing his first 10km, and where better to have his first. And Vicky Howell, a housemate who has been forced to hear about every little bit of challenge news and also deal with my battered feet from time to time, will be completing her 3rd 10km in Manchester. There are also 37,995 other people taking part, but I seriously don’t have the time to write about all of them!
I decided while having my breakfast this morning that I should probably have a quick read through the running pack that Great Run kindly sent me. Firstly I was very excited to see what my race number was (although imagine if I’d been entered just 100 places later….?)
Arrival time…..hold on a minute.
I’m reading the information given, and looking at the different groups / waves of runners, to see when we need to be there. Starts off with the Professional Women’s, then the Men’s, followed by Orange, White, Blue, Green and Pink. I look at it again just to make sure I’ve understood this. First the professional athletes, then orange then white etc. I read it for a third time as I’m starting to feel sick. With orange being at the front, orange is also the group in which the elite & club runners will be. And just in case your memory isn’t that great (please scroll up), yes that’s right. I’m in the bloody orange group.
I’d quite like to say “how the hell did that happen”, but unfortunately I do know how that happened. I committed to complete the race in less than 50 minutes – considering the endurance & strength needed for past & future challenges, I had to make sure that I added a little twist to the 10km. This is one twist I did not expect.
All joking aside though, I’m really excited to be in the elite group (I don’t know if Bupa will refer to it as the elite group, but that’s what we’ve decided upon going forwards – so much so I think our team name should be the Orange Street Elite). Knowing what the race was like last time, I’m really looking forward to the great atmosphere of the Manchester 10km and seeing such a great turn out of crowds coming to support the runners.
For anyone racing tomorrow I wish you all the best & I’ll see you on Deansgate at the end. For anyone not running tomorrow, wish me & Lara luck, and I’ll let you know if we made it under 50 minutes…..?
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge