First big step on the journey to 55KM.
Today I took the first major step in completing this challenge, putting my (very limited) amount of training to the test and trying to complete some hard tarmac miles in the shape of the Manchester Half Marathon.
Conditions were perfect and I set out with 8000 other runners from Old Trafford and headed out into the streets of Manchester, needless to say that isn't me up there in the "Elite Start" I was happilly in the back of the pack, however this didn't lessen the support from the fantastic crowds that gathered to cheer, sing, provide jelly babies and generally push us on.
The first 10KM went pretty smoothly and I settled into rhythm, each of the water stops gratefully accepted as the sun was suprisingly keen for an October morning! I started to hurt at around the 15KM mark and gladly accepted some HIGH5 refuelling provided free at one of the water stops, however my legs just aren't used to this distance anymore and by about 19KM I was feeling pretty knackered.
A few short periods of walking, I still managed to keep under 8min/km pace and pushed on to the finish line. A rather unimpressive 2:27:16 later and I crossed under the finish line. By no means a special time, but under my 2:30 goal, so I rewarded myself with a quick collapse in the carpark, text my Wife to let her know I had survived and headed off to collect T-Shirt & Medal whilst already thinking about having to run over 2.5X that distance in just 187 days....
As I grabbed a tasty ERDINGER Alkoholfrei beer on my way out of the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium my legs weren't confident about running that distance ever again, but I know that as donations come into our Just Giving Page, support Winstons Wish who continue to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK, including in-depth therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings - I am sure this is just Step One on the road to 55KM (Gulp).
So you owe me beer, coffee or even lunch - Please just take a moment to donate here and your slate is wiped clean. Thank you so much for your support from myself, Priority Recruitment & Winstons Wish.
P.S. My charity challenge buddy couldn't be with me for this run, as he has been unwell. Get well soon Anthony and I'll see you (briefly before you run off ahead of me) on the next one!
P.P.S. I'm very proud of myself for not pointing out I had a bad cold for the 2 weeks running up to the event..... #noexcuses #fail