What a weekend to be a Middleton Harrier, we had representatives all over the country most notably an heroic run in Wolverhampton, what looked like a great day in Wigan and a few tackling the
Great North Run up in God's country of Newcastle Upon Tyne 😉. Anyway, then there was me, closer to home in Salford.
Firstly I will offer up my reason/excuse for doing the City of Salford 10k instead of Wigan, every year myself and a couple of friends from work run the Manchester 10k in May, we had all signed up but then the week before i fell flat on my face and had to miss out. That led to us needing to make amends so myself and my boss signed up for this Salford 10k race instead.
After getting up and out the house on what was quite a chilly morning i was looking forward to the race, except the fact that as always on a Sunday metrolink was down on the line and i needed to get there so there was a replacement bus on, we factored this in but it meant we got to the start at the Lowry an hour before the race! So, we milled about inside the theatre foyer for a bit and ventured out to warm up, still quite cool which felt nice.
Then to the start, i was looking at this as my last race of the year to get my goal 10k time of 37minutes but i had a gut feeling this wasn't likely due to my training and fitness level. I set out at that pace and would see how long i could hang on. I was bang on at 1k (hurrah!) at 3:42 so settled in with a group who i felt were going at the same pace. I missed the sign for 2k (which i guess was somewhere in media city) so stayed as i was until i could see the 3k sign, when i passed this is realised the group i was in was more 40min pace, i was feeling good so picked it up a bit.
By this point we were in the very open and unshaded roads of Trafford park, this is where the heat hit me! By 4k i realised i was probably pushing it but thought if i could get to 5k in 19 mins id be ok to at least get near my 38:04 PB. I did that fine but needed to ease off so i took it more easy for a couple of kms. By the time I got to 8k there are 3 things in my head, 1) not far left, 2) im knackered 3) i can hear the crowd at the finish.
After having an easier time after 5k i was feeling better so with these 3 things in my head I pushed on from here, at 9k we crossed the canal back over to the Lowry, this was a bit funny because
you can see the finish line but know there must be a loop round somewhere, then i spotted the runners ahead running away from the Lowry before coming back toward the finish. I managed to take a
few people here before pushing for the line once we turned onto the Lowry plaza. There were big crowds for the last 100m or so which helped get everyones tired legs moving!
I crossed the line in 39:20 which clearly was slower than my target but overall i was happy with my performance given the heat and my fitness levels. My boss came over the line in a great 44:28, and im sure my shouting at him 50m from the line pushed him to his mega sprint finish!
We then cooled back down with a walk to Trafford bar tram and home. I would definitely recommend this race to everyone, its flat and fast and also the most enthusiastic crowd ive experienced outside of a "great run" or own own support team when we go to relays!
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