Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Tatton Park 10k

First race of 2019 down – and not just for me! One of my sisters has decided we are in an annual mileage challenge and therefore she must defeat me (I am remaining mute on this point) – so to help her out the door I booked us both in for the Tatton Park 10k in Manchester; her neck of the woods so she didn’t even have to go very far for it! The other good thing about doing a Manchester race was that S & L could join us for it too 🙂

The Tatton Park 10k is a monthly race, so I was surprised to see as many people there as there were for some reason – given the size of some parkruns I don’t know why I was surprised that a regular event was well attended but there you go. Going by the number of local vests I suspect many of the local running clubs use it as a 10k time-trial.

This is quite an exposed park in winter…as was clear from the number lists, tents, people, etc. being blown around at the start line – the bag tent was a groundsheet with a tent-material cover and some weights by the end! We had headwinds, cross-winds, possibly a tailwind somewhere and probably with the 674 runners probably some bad wind too! I imagine it’s probably also a tough one in the summer as there wouldn’t be any real shade on the route so it could be a scorcher around August and September if there’s no breeze across the ponds.

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Compared with many races I’ve done, this was relatively flat – it did undulate and you could guarantee the headwind would hit just as you were trying to get up an incline – regardless of which way you were going, which made it quite tough going in places. The park’s a really good size with several ponds and the run was quite spaced out – where we were in the pack anyway! It can be a bit claustrophobic sometimes doing city races sometimes but this wasn’t like that, and even the queue for the loos wasn’t too bad!

This was only L’s second 10k – having done her first on a tougher trail race at Heaton Park on the other side of Manchester in November, and she knocked a massive 12 mins off her time but I think may be sticking to trails in the future – it’s hard going on tarmac when you’re used to the woods! P’s mumbled the possibility of doing it again sometime to beat her time but I think the main motivation was Tatton Park 10k actually has two different medal designs – and we got one of each so now she has to get the other one!

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I got the more cartoony one with the blue ribbon, while P’s is yellow with a more pro design 😉 Apparently if they’ve run out of blue ones next time we’re meeting at Tebay to swap one of her yellow’s for my blue…

The nice people at Tatton even feed you afterwards – homemade flapjack and bananas for all runners, and the flapjack was delicious 🙂 Made a very blustery morning all worthwhile!

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You can download the GPX file for this route from my Dropbox account here.

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Great Manchester Run

great-run-largeI booked the Great Manchester Run at the start of the year when I was trying to fill my calendar with at least one event a month to try and give myself something to aim for through the year and keep me getting my trainers on. P & I were originally going to book a weekend in Manchester and do it together, but it was booked before he went onto shift – and typically his first day shift was the same as the run, so rather than knocking myself out trying to drive down (and parking in Manchester centre when half the roads are shut?! No thank you!), I booked the train down and back and headed off after dropping P off at work.

Getting to Manchester was no problem at all, unsurprisingly the trains are rather empty at 9am on a Sunday morning, and knowing where I was going to get to the race start and the baggage drop off – and how to get round the busy race start zone to get to the bag drop at the other end really helped too! The first wave was heading off just as I got to the race area, and I had to actually cross the race route after they’d passed to get to where I was going. I’ve not used the baggage drop services at a race before really – I left my waterproof behind at the baggage place at the Thirsk 10, but that was it. I was a bit iffy about leaving my bag in the room – there wasn’t any real control or labelling, only people with race numbers were allowed in but that was it. Being a paranoid android, I had my phone, wallet and keys in a waist pouch with me and just left a change of clothes and book behind in my backpack.

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