I did it!
The other Sunday I along with tens of thousands of others ran the Great Manchester Run and I can’t deny that I loved every minute of it. From the tram journey into town where I was handing out safety pins to fellow runners like someone in the queue for a Damned concert in 1977 to the soothing post run pint it was a magnificent day.
In truth I was shitting myself beforehand (Insert your own Paula Radcliffe joke here) as I said in the previous blog I injured my knee about six weeks back and have done no training since then. I was scared to do any in case it broke down and I couldn’t to the run. If it was going to go then I’d rather it was on the day itself.
On arrival in town I had been warned by a seasoned campaigner that using the baggage areas was a ballache so I had to improvise. So I nipped into the City Arms, probably my favourite city centre pub and for the promise of a pint my valuables were in the safest of safe hands. When I went round to the assembly area I bumped into a few people I kind of know and pleasantries were exchanged, the great news was that one had hip and ankle problems and the other was just back from the physio who had patched him up n the hope he could make it round. I had found the perfect running companions, fellow lame ducks who had the potential to collapse in an ungainly heap at any minute, perfect.
The injury meant I had to set myself an achievable target and it is a source of immense pride that I achieved it after only 2 kilometres, I overtook some bastard in a Tweety Pie costume. I decided that if anyone in proper fancy dress overtook me I was going to set about them. Thankfully it was after the race when I found out that were was someone ahead of me who did the whole thing with a fucking fridge on his back. I’d have deffo tripped him up.
The good news is the knee held up, four of us went round together, happy to walk when it got too sore and at a pace where we were able to take in the sights and sounds of the day.
Once I finished I made my way back to the City Arms with my goody bag which I discovered had my bacofoil shawl and medal in it. As I sat there making light work of a pint a very enthusiastic runner type bounded over to my table, his medal proudly round his neck and despite the presence of the goody bag, the fact I was wearing shorts and looked utterly fucked he still asked if I had done the run.
I’m not *quite* as grumpy as I make out on twitter in real life so I smiled politely and said “yes”. He then asked about my time, how I found it , had I done it before and , not wishing to be impolite I mumbled accurate if not entirely enthusiastic answers. Still failing to get the hint he kept going, “Why are you not wearing your medal?” . I won’t lie, my patience ran out at that point “Mate, we ran 10K, we didn’t storm a German pill box on a Normandy beach”. That did the trick.
In truth I am very proud of my achievement and it was incredible to be part of the day. Amazingly thanks to the incredible generosity of many people I managed to raise over £500 for CALM. I simply can’t thank all of those who donated enough.
So that’s it for this year but there is one thing for sure I will be signing up for the 2017 run and if anyone out there considering doing it I can only say do it. If an out of condition 52 year old with a dodgy knee can make it round then so can you
(If you feel like donating you still can here is the link , and again a huge thanks to all you who contributed especially the hero of this year’s University Challenge, Newcastle’s very own genial Harry Grout, Tony Richardson who very kindly made a donation based on fact I ripped the pish out him when he was on the telly)