I know, only one week after the marathon but I couldn’t resist, I’ve wanted to do this 5 miler for the last few years but same old story, injuries have got in the way. My wife and some friends did it in 2009 and I was there as support and it looked like a great local event.
I only made the decision to run on Friday as I was monitoring the recovery from the marathon. I’ve read different opinions about how long to rest after a marathon from 1 week off to leaving 1 day for every mile run. One thing I’m learning quickly is that everyone is different and it’s about knowing your own body. I was feeling great on the Friday after a family day out walking the gardens at Arley hall so I made the call to my Tri buddy Liam Bennett who also roped in Matty Weedon, all up for an early Easter Sunday run so we wouldn’t feel guilty eating all those chocolate eggs later in the day.
With this run having the option of a late on the day entry we managed to get there just before the 8:30am cut off after taking a few wrong turns with my dodgy directions. We wouldn’t of had a problem anyway as it looked like plenty of other runners had the same last minute idea and there was a bit of a queue still forming behind us.
After a few stretches and a bit of banter we headed to the start line which it about 400 yards away from the Runcorn Bridge. Bang on 9:30 the hooter went off and we found ourselves near the back as Bennett thought it was a good idea to “weave” our way through the slower runners as an extra challenge!
It was a slow start but it soon opened up as we approached Runcorn Bridge and I had flash backs to the London Marathon and Tower Bridge, a little less glamorous but still spectacular as the bridge is closed off and taken over by runners. It goes to show the excellent organisation involved and it’s the same from start to finish.
Bennett was off, we were both aiming for 35 minutes (avg 7 min/mile pace) but only half a mile in he’d kicked on, I checked my Garmin and my speed read 6:42 min/mile pace so I didn’t want to push on this early so I stuck to my race plan. I kept him in sight and thought I’d catch him when he’d realised he’d gone off too fast but he didn’t slow down, instead I did after 3 miles. My legs started to remind me that I just ran a Marathon a week ago and my pace dropped off and I struggled for the next mile. It’s a great course from Runcorn Bridge to Hale village but it wasn’t as flat as I’d expected so I was grateful at the start of the last mile, a nice downhill into the village helped pick up the pace a bit and get me to the finish line in 37:11.
Finishing in Hale Village Park with fantastic crowds and support as you cross the line you are funnelled down a line where you smoothly collect you finisher’s goody bag and T-shirt and waiting for me at the end was a very smug yet knackered Bennett. He’d made it in 35:25 minutes but was in pain. Behind me I had no idea what Weedon was up to, his last run was with myself 10 weeks ago but to my surprise and his, he was not far behind me and home in 38:10… imagine if he trained!! Needless to say he was buzzing and I think I’ll be seeing a lot more of him joining me on my training runs from now on.
This is a great local event that attracts runners of all abilities with the winner Matthew BARNES of Altrincham & District AC coming in at 24:48 and the last place in 1:24:52. It also seems to grow and grow each year as word spreads as to just how good it is. This year a record 814 finishers compared to 380 in 2008 and the 696 last year. The early start plus a coach ride back to the start line means your back home in time for the Easter egg hunt with the kids.
5.07miles in 37:07 Avg pace 7:19 Avg HR 173bpm