Now, I don’t know about you, but, when it’s freezing temperatures outside at 6am on a Sunday morning , there is nothing I would rather do than ditch the offer of a bacon sarnie, head to the fruit bowl for a banana and don my tightest of Lycra.
Admittedly not every Sunday, but certainly on the 28th of February for the Cancer Research Manchester 10k Run.
Being a Manchester City fan, I’m no stranger of an early start in preparation for a game at the Etihad, but the journey down usually consists of stuffing my face with Haribo, a breakfast stop on route and murdering the various hits of Oasis and Stone Roses. This morning however was filled with my phone buzzing every other minute with messages of good luck and updates from my 2 fellow Dataplan runners Nicola and Pauline, as we were heading down the M62.
All 3 of us had been training leading up to the event (with varying degrees of success) and were ready for the day, in addition to the polar bear hug and medal that awaited us at the end.
City fans were certainly making themselves heard as they left in coaches from Etihad down to Wembley, and as soon as they left, all eyes were on the runners.
The air was bitter, and warm ups were going on all around us as the 10 minute call went off for the 10k runners to take their places on the start line. The race would start with a run up supporters walk (uphill – joy!) before circling the stadium, Sport City and a lap of the athletics stadium. One lap of the car park then brought us back to the starting line for a gruelling second lap to complete the 10k.
After making the monumental error of declining a bottle of water at the water station at the 1k mark, I bumped into Nicola at the start of lap two and it is safe to say there could not have been 2 people more desperate for hydration, but needed to conquer another incline up supporters walk to get there.
We were starting to tire when we met up yet again at the 8k mark but the sound of samba drums playing was getting increasingly louder, so we knew the finish was not too far away.
The final push through the car park (which I believe to be the longest 500m known to mankind) was definitely worth it. The finish line was full of congratulating family members, medals, water and the much anticipated polar bear hug. Along with this, the harsh reminder that just in Manchester alone, 110 people each day are diagnosed with cancer, and the thousands of runners that turned out were helping to raise money to fund research, doctors and nurses in their battle to reduce fatalities, and improve treatment and care in every possible way.
To add to the money raised by runners that day, the 3 athletes of Dataplan raised £825, which combined with the £255 generous donations of Dataplan staff brought the teams total to a fantastic £1080!
All 3 of us had an incredible day – and rewarded ourselves accordingly with a trip to the pub and a Chinese.
If this blog has inspired you to get kitted out in flattering spandex and trainers, 2017 Manchester 10k Winter Run is now available to register interest! http://winterrunseries.co.uk/events/manchester