The Great Run Manchester 10k is an annual event that attracts thousands of runners to the city and provides a fun day for everyone. I have completed the run 5 times, under various guises including runner ‘Q’, and volunteered as a marshal. The thing that amuses me most about the run, is how everyone you know seems to have ran it, it is usually the only race that Margaret from next door but one, has took part in. As a result you can guarantee that everyone who knows you run, will ask ‘what time did you do at the Manchester 10k?’ This is despite the fact I will have probably ran another 10k that year minutes quicker, but know one wants to know about that, it’s all about your time at the Great Run.
This year’s run was understandably a more sombre affair than normal, due to the extremely sad attack at the Manchester Arena last week. There was talk of cancelling this year’s event. I understand the reasons behind contemplating cancelling the event and recognise that it must have been a very difficult decision for the organisers, but personally I’m happy that the event went ahead. I feel that the 10k brings everyone together and celebrates the city. Furthermore, the start and finish of the race are really close to the vigil that’s been set up for the victims of the attack and allowed everyone the opportunity to show their respect.
The day started with Jason running the half marathon and me ‘sprinting’ up Mancunian Way to try and cheer him on (I managed it… just). This is the first time the half has been run and it received a mixed review from Mr Brogan, who managed to hold off Kevin the nun to finish in a very respectable 23rd place in his category. I enjoyed watching nearly 6,000 people run over Mancunian Way, although worryingly it did start bouncing at one stage.
After Jason’s race we had a few hours to kill before the main event (haha – only joking Jase). We decided to watch the start of the women’s race. It was all very bizarre as Andy Vernon jogged past us and at one stage Tirunesh Dibaba was standing just behind Jason. Perhaps the most bizarre moment was seeing someone I had recently ran against in a 3K Northern League division 3 match lining up with the elites. No wonder the woman lapped me!
My turn came. I was in the white wave this year, as I’d entered through the uni, so placed myself quite near the front. I had made the decision to run in a yellow vest as opposed to my club vest, in solidarity to Manchester. However, having properly thought about it my club vest has the word ‘Manchester’ plastered across the front of it! I tried to run relaxed (overtaking a famous boxer, who I did not know was a famous boxer until I saw it on tele later). I had originally billed this run as my come back run, mostly to encourage me to get out and run. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, so I set a target to beat my last 10k time. Which I did, but most impressively I had managed to pace myself quite evenly, something I’m not very good at and usually leads to my demise over the last 3k.
Then it was time for a couple of glasses of wine and a catch up with my friend, Pippa. Pippa had also ran the 10k, but had managed to miss her wave despite living over the road from the start! I was proud to be part of the Manchester 10k and the day allowed me to cheer on my love, Jason, cheer on strangers, run a 10k and meet up with an old friend. As the hash tag for the day stated, we did #runformanchester