Birchwood 10k – 19/08/12

I woke up at eight o clock after a not-too bad nights sleep. Quite tired though, so had a coffee and then got dressed. (I don’t mean I drank my coffee naked, that’d be dangerous, I mean I drank my coffee wearing my bed stuff then got dressed into my running stuff.)

I wasn’t hungry but Sarah made me eat some porridge. Probably a good thing because I’d need the energy. She also gave me a cereal bar but I think that’s still in my rucksack.

There were three of us doing the run, myself, Sarah’s Uncle (Nigel) and Sarah’s Dad (Ironman Tony.) Nigel turned up around 8.45am so we put our stuff in the car and set off (after I finished my porridge.)

The race was being held in Birchwood, near Warrington, about an hours drive away. We had a map that the organisers had sent, and also used a sat-nav. About 45minutes into the journey the map and sat-nav were at odds as to which junction to take, so we got a little lost, stopped, decided we’d gone too far, turned around, then found our way.

Arriving at the Birchwood shopping centre, we were met with a C full of runners. (the C stands for car park.) There were runners from lots of different running clubs jogging around and warming up on the grass, loads of different running vests and colours everywhere. They seemed a lot more serious about the race than at Gateshead four weeks back. I noticed a few people wearing running shirts from the Fetch Everyone website I use.

‘Haribo?’ Said Nigel.
‘What?’ I said.
‘Haribo sweets, for energy half way round.’
I laughed and took a few for the race. Tony didn’t take any. Not sure if he ate them when he did the Ironman either. Maybe not all kids and grown ups love them so. Before long they were announcing that the race was about to start, so we waited about two thirds of the way towards the back of the pack. The gun went off, and so did we.

It took a few minutes for everyone to get into a stride, and then we were in quite a cluster of runners. Tony sped off straight away and I didn’t see him again til the end of the run. I ran alongside Nigel for a bit but chatted to a bloke on my right and when I looked back to my left Nigel wasn’t next to me anymore.

When I looked back to my right, the bloke wasn’t there either. Don’t think I was sweating by then, so maybe i just smelled a bit funny.

I managed to run without stopping to the 3k marker, and then had a drink of water. The day was heating up and so didn’t want to over do it. When I do a run near home I stop every mile or so to cross a road so figured a ten second walk for refreshments would be fine.

I read that this course is flat pretty much all the way around, which it is, but I think that they should also mention the number of roundabouts that you pass along the way. If you’re into roundabouts, I don’t think you could find a better run.

Also, the route is on the main road most of the way around, and so if you like to hold up traffic at every turn, this ones for you. None of the drivers seemed to mind waiting (not the ones at the front of the queue anyway) and most of the pedestrians clapped as you passed. There were plenty of mashalls offering encouragement and directions, and quite a few police too.

I got into quite a good pace, keeping an eye on my watch, and knew that I’d be somewhere near the hour for the 10k. After the water station, however, the sun put his warmest hat on and most people around me slowed down. I was slowing down too and taking walking breaks more frequently, when I wiped the sweat from my forehead and wiped my hand on my shorts, that I felt something in my pocket. Slightly worried that I’d forgotten to take my keys out, I put my hand in my pocket and found a sticky mess of Haribo. I still ate them.

Towards the end of the run you pass over some motorway bridges and so it adds in a few unexpected inclines. The bonus is the declines on the other side, and who doesn’t like running down hill?

I was keeping an eye on my time and when I got to the 9k marker I knew that I wouldn’t be beating an hour. I still ran as fast as I could towards the end and received a nice towel as a finishers prize. Tony was waiting there, and Nigel turned up before too long. It started raining then, which was very refreshing and welcomed.

Later on that night, Tony said that his result and Nigel’s result were both on the website, but mine wasn’t. I emailed the organisers and told them that it was missing. Obviously they would be busy with other peoples results so didn’t want to rush them.

The next day my results still weren’t on, so emailed again and got this reply:

Hi Mark, (spelt my name wrong)

It appears you wore your Great North Run timing chip instead of the one we sent you. We’ve managed to get your time, and you finished in 01:02:04.”

Wow. I felt like a right prat. Pleased with my time though, six minutes quicker than the Gateshead 10k which is about a 10% improvement! Hopefully I can put in a good showing at the Great Yorkshire Run in two weeks and get under an hour.

Maybe, if I wear the right timing chip.


Where’s The Time Going?!

When I started this blog, the little countdown counter-downer thing said ‘3 Months Until Great North Run.’

It now says ’29 Days Until Great North Run.’

Where have the last 2 months gone? That means it’s about 3 months ago that we were in Lanzarote watching the Ironman contest when the idea of doing the Great North Run first hit me! I think I need to up my running a bit, suddenly it seems a bit more real (and close!) 

My race pack arrived the other day with my race number and timing chip inside, and the number is pink (again!) It means that I start quite near the back. Which means that I have loads of people to overtake! (HAHAHAHAHA!)



Also, tomorrow is the Birchwood 10k run in Warrington. According to the website, it’s quite a flat course and is in it’s 29th year. No medal for this one, but you do get a towel, which will come in handy for mopping up all the sweat.



Hoping for somewhere close to (hopefully under) an hour for the run. My last three 5k’s were 0:30:23, 0:29:36 and 0:30:07, so I should be near if I can keep the same sort of pace. If not, I’ve got the Great Yorkshire Run 10k in two weeks where I can smash the hour! 


If I spent as much time running as I do looking into upcoming races, I’d be a much better runner. Also, if everytime I missed a run for what ever reason, I’d actually gone and done a run, I’d be a much better runner. As it is, I’m happy with my progress but sometimes just need a little push (shove) to get motivated.

Still having trouble with Sports Tracker, this time it stopped tracking altogether when I was half way round my circuit which put me off completely. Deleted it and re-installed so hopefully that’ll sort it out. All my info has come back on, so looking good! Shame it’s a rest day.

Entered my second ever 10k run next weekend in Warrington (Birchwood) so aiming to get out on the road every other day this week, and have a couple of days off before the run. Seemed to work quite well for the Great North 10k the other week! Thinking of 4 miles tomorrow, 4 or 5 Tuesday, 3 Thursday then the 10k on Sunday. Plus now I have snazzy new running gear so I’ll look the part. (Or a prat.)

Apart from that quite a steady week this week. Been out three times since (and including) Sunday and feeling good. When I started this running nonsense my legs would kill the next day (sometimes next two days!) and that was after running a mile or so. Now I’m out for 3 miles and no pain the next day. Yesterday was quite a tough 3 miles though, because of the weather. Not used to seeing the sun up there, and it was VERY hot when I was going round. Plus I didn’t take anything to drink. (Idiot.) Must’ve looked a proper sweaty mess!

About halfway with my sponsorship now, and still to beg most of family and friends which means that I’ll get to my target and maybe a bit more. Feel free to join in!

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