From Wilmslow with love


The year was 2015, the time was 90 minutes 18 seconds, and the athlete was me. Wilmslow Half Marathon provided the setting for one of my best runs to date. The performance shocked me, especially as I didn’t look at my watch until I had one mile left to go. The race was in preparation for the London Marathon, which was a few weeks later, and as a consequence I hadn’t really targeted Wilmslow, which was perhaps a good thing given my tendency to mentally stress about racing.

I’ve ran Wilmslow 3 times in total, and it is always a popular race. It’s a big club race and as a result is part of my running club’s road racing championship. Furthermore, the race doesn’t fail to bring some interesting talking points. Firstly, what will be the colour/design of the t-shirt be this year? The most notorious t-shirt decision to date, came in the form of a ‘salmon’ coloured number, which lead to many a disgruntled face. Personally, salmon isn’t my colour, but it was t-shirt and how often do you see salmon coloured clothing? The second talking point is the weather. British March time throws up all sorts of craziness, and as a result the race has witnessed very warm conditions and also snow. The final notable characteristic of the race, is everyone who has run it will tell you that it is flat… ‘apart from the hill at 10 miles.’

Tomorrow is the 2017 version of the Wilmslow Half. I entered a  few months ago, with a primary aim and some ‘back up’ aims, so I wouldn’t be too disappointed if number one aim (sub 90 and a championship place at London Marathon, next year) was not achieved. Admittedly, this was always going to be a big ask, but a few months ago I was optimistic and liked the idea of having an ambitious goal.

Fast forward a few months and optimism has been replaced by disappointment or less dramatically realism. In other words my dissertation has taken over my life. In honesty, I don’t really know why I ever thought it was a good idea to run a half marathon 10 days before the dissertation was due in. The only reason I can think of is that my running was going so badly that I needed to give my self some sort of goal just to get myself out and running. I could speculate for hours, but again that would be time spent not doing my dissertation.

So as has been established above, I will not be running Wilmslow Half Marathon tomorrow. However, Jason and a couple of my club mates will be, so I wish them luck. There will be an interesting Manchester Harrier battle going on between, Jason and James, who are both aiming for roughly the same time – who will return victorious?

I am acutely aware that I am turning into that person who writes nostalgic blog posts, I promise this will be rectified soon! In the meantime I will cling on desperately to my past achievements until they are replaced by new ones.


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