Report submitted by Stuart Smith
|The Event||Greater Manchester Marathon|
|Overall Score (out of a possible 35)||30|
|PB Potential||5+ – Proper PB course.|
|Atmosphere||3.75 – Well supported by the locals.|
|Scenery||3.0 – Suburbs of Manchester.|
|Value for Money||4.0 – A lot cheaper than the GNR.|
|Beginner Friendliness||5.0 – That’s if a Marathon is ever friendly.|
|Club Support & Social||4.0 – Not many supporting but Ab Fab were mint as were the rest of the supporting Bounders, and must mention our friends from Elvet, they are always good for cross club support.|
|In Short||Really well organised and a cracker for anyone wanting to try Marathon running for the first time.|
Bit of Background
I entered this race with the ambition of running somewhere around 3:45 and getting a PB, as I had been told it was extremely flat and well worth a try. However, following bloody tonsillitis and being flattened at five weeks to go, ambitions were reassessed and I nearly didn’t run – but as our kid said, turn up with a smile, run and enjoy – and that’s what I did. Only other thing to add was after the Racecourse marathon, training changed – all “junk miles” were ditched and it was Stewy’s sessions on a Thursday, and if I couldn’t make that, it was Colin’s/Ian’s on a Wednesday.
The route claims to be the flattest marathon in the UK, and I have to say, apart from the Town Moor, it’s the flattest one I’ve done – even flatter than Edinburgh. The route goes through the suburbs of Greater Manchester, including Trafford, Sale, Carrington, Urmston, Stretford and Altringham. It’s lined with lots of support along most of the run, with intermittent bands and music being played which always helps. I did join in to an impromptu rendition of ‘Living on a Prayer’ but I still can’t sing for toffee and haven’t got the hair of a rock star anymore.
There were a few of us running – Amanda, Bianca, Aidan, and Caroline. As I headed to the start line I bumped into Caroline and Mike, she was in the same zone as me with the rest just behind. Caroline hasn’t been able to train much, so a massive “well done” to her for ‘Rocking’ up and running in a very, very, respectable finishing time.
We were off. I don’t really remember much of the route as all training things considered I was in the zone and just wanted to get round, but there are some things that stick in my mind.
Trying to stay with the 3:45 pacer for as long as I could, he disappeared into the distance just after half way!!! Grrrrr!!!
Mike Swainson and the “Camera Lady” (you know who you are) popping up everywhere.
Great support from Ab Fab and Jillian, and also just about remember the Dempseys at half way with the Bounders flags.
Reaching around 16 miles and hearing behind me a shout of go on “Blackhill”, this turned out to be Aidan who was just behind me at this point and I had no idea who it was.
Reaching 18 miles and wondering why I was still skipping along.
Getting to 19 miles and thinking reckon I could do over thirty today and become an ultra runner.
Getting to 20 miles looking at my Garmin and thinking **** me I’m heading for under four hours, which I never expected.
Getting to around 24/25 miles and seeing Jules and Ellie – what a lift! Old Trafford never seemed to be getting any nearer!
Seeing Amanda and Bianca at the end, smiling, with two cracking times and a non alcoholic lager. The non alcoholic thing? Couldn’t bring myself to try it.
Excellent event, and well done to the other runners – fantastic effort. I ended up just under 3 minutes of my PB, there will always be another marathon to crack that. I’ve now done 5 marathons in 18 months since joining the Bounders, and would like to say thanks to everyone who I have run with and to those who have helped with training.
Just a couple of special mentions to wor kid, Amanda, Dave Anderson, Aidan Hughes and of course General Ian Young (yes, Sweet Cheeks, you’ve been promoted – Legend) for all the help in the early days, and for all the continued advice, and of course to Stewy’s sessions they are the business!
Next Target – Kielder.
Stuart Smith – 3:54:47
Bianca McElrue – 3:56:22
Amanda Phillips – 3:56:29
Aidan Huges – 4:05:22
Caroline Burdon – 4:16:55