Manchester (UK) has a special kind of winter. It arrives early in June for a day or so, realises it’s early, then comes back around November and stays until March. It starts to think about leaving April-May and sometimes actually leaves between June-September to make room for Spring / Summer, only to take turns arriving/leaving/arriving for a week or so before it comes back. As a cooler weather person, Manchester is my kind of city. Usually. Then it rains. It’s the bloody sideways rain (e.g. Umbrella? Fool!) with wind that blows against you no matter which way you turn. It was that kind of day that I found myself running my first winter race. This year I signed up to Cancer Research UK Manchester Winter Run 2017 and entered the 10k event. I figured I needed a running goal to keep me moving during the winter. When it gets cold I like to hibernate, stay in, eat – drink- and be merry kind of deal. Having a goal like this in the middle of winters gets me out and about.
It’s been mild the last few weeks but last weekend the temperature dropped to below freezing. So here I was on the morning of the run thinking I could just not do the race (and stay warm and cosy). Then I remember I paid for this privilege and have been training the last few weeks for this run so, damn it, get out here.
Y’know I’m glad I did. I much prefer running in cooler weather than in the heat. The actual race was surprisingly fun. The enthusiasm of the crowd and the organisers really made the day. Cancer Research UK really know how to organise a good running event: loads of signage, tons of marshals and entertaining cheerleaders all throughout the course, like the Samba Drum Choir and the folks dressed up fancy dress winter animals (polar bears, huskies, and penguins) looking for high-fives from passing runners. OK, the latter is a little cheesy but when you’re running against 15 mph winds, uphill, every cheer counts! I loved it!
Also, I got a new PB at 58:12 (!!!), finishing 996th place our of 1634 finishers. I usually finish around 1:02-1:06 so this was a surprise. Not bad for running in heavy wind and sideways rain! You can count on Manchester skies to deliver a proper winter setting.
Image my own selfie, about 5 minutes after I crosse the finish line. Could still feel my finger at that point!