Not one to shy away from an adventure, I have found myself recently browsing various running websites in search of different events – that may have not crossed my radar before.
Having got into this running lark back in 2012 at the English Half Marathon, things have felt a bit like groundhog day in recent months, so much so, that my participation in the Warrington 10k, a week before this, was from what I can remember, my first race entry of 2016.
So, with this in mind off to Rochdale I headed on a warm summer’s night. I shouldn’t say Rochdale, really more the suburb of Castleton with its lovely array of bedroom furniture on the gardens of various front gardens and the obligatory bargain booze outlet on the corner. Perhaps fitting then, that this place made the Doomsday Book of 1086.
Joking aside, the 1-mile walk from the station ended up with me arriving at the rather picturesque Springfield Park, which was to be home of my endeavours for the evening.
Number collected in quick time before stumbling into an old mate from my Australian travel adventure back in 2012, whose 10-stone frame and sub 40-minute 10K expectation, rather eclipsed that of my own.
Seeing a friendly face, who I had shared the trip of a lifetime with, mainly in many of Sydney’s youth hostels (the less said about that, the better), was awesome as was the option to ‘bag drop’ his boot, rather than deposit my clothing in a recycling bin, in the hope it would still be there on my return.
Race time arrived and we were soon off on a steep climb before then dipping back down, a process that continued for the entire race – the elevation was certainly an interesting part of the process. The course took us through Bamford, past Queens Park, through Heywood and back to the original start.
Crossing the line in 46:43 was acceptable to me, after a year of very little competition and much social shenanigans, and I was thrilled with what I was to be rewarded with. Medal? nutrition bar? t-shirt? erm… no a nice pair of white sports socks, a gift that reminded me of many Christmas days of the past.
A quick lift back to the station, to join the bouncy bus (train) back to Victoria before my own version of ‘race the train’ as I sprinted across Manchester to make my connection home from Piccadilly – just making it through the doors before being guillotined.
A 20-minute snooze would have been welcome at this stage, but it wasn’t to be, we had in our midst one of those late night train types. High on life and high on gin, with a unique and loud way of tackling the rather challenging task of nailing a box of pringles. Good on her, I say.
Soon home and there was only one thing for it, a pint of tea, and a try on of my new socks, very fetching, I’ll keep them, I thought. Only one downside from the whole affair apparently my results have me down as representing “Garstang Running Club”, just when I thought I had been the only WRC in the village. Perhaps I should find a race there then, so I can make it all official.
Until, next time.