Sunday, 22 May 2016

RACE 6 - Great Run Manchester

It's exactly one year since I started racing. Last year's Great Run saw me finish in 54m 26s, which was a great first race time. I was obviously hoping to beat that today, with a year's running under my belt, more experience at running and racing and now knowing that particular course a bit better.

As you know, I've been training myself over the last few months, to bring benefits in all my racing, but with a specific focus on speed in order to improve my time today.

The weather predicted 'cloudy with sunny intervals' and 15 degrees feeling like 13 degrees. It turned out to be fully sunny and around 20 degrees! I would have preferred a cooler race, but that's one of the challenges of running and makes each race a very individual experience.

With over 35,000 runners it was really busy. There's a lot of good runners out there and the track was bustling all the way round - I did an extra 200m just weaving around people! I managed to settle into a good pace fairly quickly and hold that without too much bother for the first 5km, but by the 7km mark I was really finding it tough, my breathing now quite heavy.

I didn't know whether to take some water at the next station or not - I probably would have benefitted a little from it, but didn't want the distraction of holding something, drinking while running, trying to get rid of the bottle and having water burbling around my body. Everyone must have been tired by that point, because the number bottles just dropped in the middle of the road (rather than thrown to the verge) was ridiculous, a proper hazard to run around!

Last year I managed to increase my speed in the last kilometre and finish strong. This year it was all I could do to get to the finish. No sprinting for me today! My final time was a course PB and a 10k PB, so really pleased with that. I didn't get my sub-50, which is a shame, but I had to try. I can safely say I put everything I had into that race and couldn't have run it any quicker, so I'm happy with that.

Final time was 51m 7s, well over 3 minutes quicker than last year and a 6% improvement, which I think is quite respectable. Big thanks to all my sponsors - it's a great encouragement to know that I've now passed the halfway mark in terms of number of races run, and almost in terms of months elapsed, but am already over 2/3 of the way to my fundraising target!

Bring on the Diamond on Wednesday - weather forecast is 9 degrees and heavy rain = lots and lots of mud!

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Matt! Phew, we could feel the heat in Latvia! So much for weather forecasting in Manchester - great day for everything else except for running. You achieved a course PB, fantastic. HORIZONS TEAM