Greater Manchester Marathon – A Review by Tim Guest
As you may be aware I am running an Ultramarathon later this year and decided to enter the Manchester Marathon 2012 as a long training run. I’ve run Marathon’s before but haven’t run this distance for over 10 years so I was unsure how I would fare!
Race day arrived and it was freezing cold, raining hard and VERY windy. Part of me was tempted to pull out but I was committed. I arrived at the race start with just enough time to find the baggage area, dump my stuff, strip off and head to the start line wearing my bin liner! The route to the start line was narrow and crowded with spectators making it impossible to find the correct start position. I didn’t stress, we all had Chips on our numbers to record our actual start and finish times.
The route took us passed Man United and round Trafford park, we then headed out down Chester Road towards Sale with the wind behind us. We enjoyed that while it lasted! The route snaked along through places like Timperley, Altrincham & Partington and I want to give a special thanks to all the spectators who came out in the terrible weather to cheer us on. It was appreciated!
We went through Dunham Massey and that was where the route got bad, a mile long stretch of mud and water it was impossible to avoid. The rain was coming at us from the side and it was absolutely horrendous. I don’t remember much about miles 16 – 23 only that I was wet, cold and just kept running!
The last 2 miles were hard but once again, the crowds were amazing and I needed all the Jelly Babies I was given! We neared the Stretford Arndale and then turned for home. The finishing straight was packed with supporters and really helped spur us on to the end. It felt so good to cross the line, put on a foil blanket and get my medal.
Now, where did I leave my bag? I won’t dwell on the subject as it has already been addressed but needless to say the baggage area lacked any sort of organisation. It didn’t spoil the day and I’m sure it will be better next year.
I finished in 4 hours 33 minutes. I want to thank the organisers and supporters and KJ for collecting me and bringing a flask of tea, cold sausages and a recovery shake!
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