Behind Enemy Lines (Manchester)

So up early Sunday morning and not a touch of grog all weekend as the father in law kindly offered to drop me of in Manchester for The Manchester Half Marathon. Heading of into the gloom with rain starting en route in the car I had the beginning of a migraine with my vision having an aura. Dropped off in plenty of time I headed the shop for some Nurofen and water. I decided to take the risk and just necked the tablets not checking the ingredients and safely assuming I wasn’t going to win the race and fail a drugs test. A quick walk to the Theatre of dreams AKA Old Trafford for a bit of shelter and to change my race number from my top onto the front of my jacket as rain was now falling. It was more like the theatre of piss as it smelt like a subway where I decided to change my number over. Out into the Manchester rain and I was representing as I have done in my two previous races there (Both marathons you see I am an athlete) and my Istanbul 2005 Champions League winners badge was on my running hat.

So at the start in plenty of time a random man asked me to pin his race number on. He was wearing a Manchester United shirt. I explained I was a Liverpool fan and would more than be happy to put his number on but couldn’t guarantee that I would not draw blood from the safety pins. As it was I let him off and we had a laugh about it and I showed him my hat with my LFC badge on.

So a delayed start and I finally got across the start line at 9.25 as the rain began to fall down harder. I was thinking anything under two hours would be great as I was in nowhere near Personal Best form (Or weight) The plan was to see after 10k what my watch would forecast for a half and the first 10k was fine if not a little wet. Around 5 miles the leader was coming back on the other side with about 1.5 miles left. He was what I would call sprinting. A bit disheartening but I always run my own race and try and not let other people going past me etc worry me. As it was I was on for about 2 hours 3 mins after 10k and decided just to plod around at the age pace and enjoy the race.

This was leg two out of twelve in the half marathon a month challenge since I turned 45 in September challenge and I just wanted to get to the 10 mile marker and then it was mentally the home straight. Whilst out running I spotted what I thought was a mile marker with “Sale” on. Cheeky bastards I thought fancy a shop using the same font etc as the race to advertise a sale. As it happens it was a sign to say I was now entering Sale !!

So wet through and my nipple plasters having bit the dust the main problem for the last few miles were nipple related. Entering the long home straight which was the same as The Marathon one brought back memories of my greatest race and a 4 hour 27 full marathon in April. I had a decent sprint finish in me so went for it and indeed my fastest mile of the race was my 13th and final mile at 9mins 10. Over the line and another medal for the collection this was my 14th half marathon.  Official time of 02:03:43 and officially the wettest race I have ever done. Well done Manchester. As ever time to pick up a t-shirt that doesn’t fit me and a quick dash to meet Mrs Fay and I was soon back in Liverpool and after a nice relaxing bath it was time to walk the dogs.

Being an athlete its importing to refuel and rehydrate so it was sausage rolls for a late brunch and I have just cracked a Desperados open to get my creative juices flowing and write this blog.  In other exercise related news me and Mrs Fay went the gym together on Friday quickly followed by a chippy tea !! I do work very hard to keep in this shape.

So another successful raid behind enemy lines and into Manchester escaping unscathed and with a medal to show for my efforts. Time for another two Nurofen washed down with Desperados.

In future blog news the winning host city for what will be my 12th February trip away is Bratislava so expect the usual “A Cultural Review Of………….” blog to be posted in February 2019 once I have recovered. Think I might need to get Februarys half marathon out of the way before that trip !


Fay x x x x x x x x x x


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