Not like that you dirty things! I mean racing two big events within seven days as part of my training towards the fellsman!
Now your mind is out of the gutter,settle down and have a read of my bumper double race report!
Round one Manchester Marathon
I missed this last year due to focusing purely on the Chester 50,but I went up to support my teammates and got a major case of FOMO.
Manchester Marathon is not the most picturesque of courses (read not picturesque at all).
I am a northern lad and Manchester was the place I had run my first sub 3 Marathon.
Race day was pretty much perfect weather wise for running,cool with no major wind issues.
I had a great time on the metrolink with clubmates on the way in,we had 16 running and a fair few spectating and the laughs were aplenty !
On the start I met up with Neal who was chasing a big PB and my mate Byron who runs for Bury AC. We exchanged the nervous chit chat that runners always do “how’s the training been?” “oh yeah im not 100% either” Then suddenly we were tear gassed from the fireworks setting off with the start of the wheelchair race! Everyone in pen A was engulfed in Blue smog that had a real smell of last week’s boiled eggs!,perfect pre race start!
Before I knew it we were out of the smog and off! I felt great but almost immediately I needed to pee,I never need to pee in a race,maybe it was the poison smoke that had scuppered me! I lasted as long as possible could but at mile 8 I jumped in a portaloo,it wasnt a pleasant experience!
Hitting half way is a big lollipop out and back around Altrincham ,and spotted Neal coming back the other way .Altrincham is always mental,everyone is out on the streets and it gives you a massive mental boost,If you have ever cheered someone at a big event,thankyou it really does make a massive difference!
Halfway hit in 1:24:40 could a new PB be on the cards?
After a second toilet stop,I really struggled getting moving again and felt a slight niggle in my right knee and with the fellsman only a few weeks away and another big weekend the Sat after I decided to ease off the gas and just do enough to hit another sub 3.
I crossed the line in 2:58:57 for my third sub 3 Marathon but unfortunately my PB has to stay over in the dark lands of Yorkshire and as a PROUD Lancastrian that really hurts 😉
Neal? He ran a fantastic 2:34:28 for a 4 min PB and our club marathon record!
The Manchester after party was as usual messy! I began drinking when I finished, cheering friends and teammates over the finish line.The tram journey five hours later home was ‘interesting’ We at Radcliffe know how to party !
Round Two Calderdale Hike
Now if you could pick two races that were polar opposites, A city centre marathon and a trail ultra are right up there.
Just six days after Manchester I arrived In the Calder valley on a lovely sunny morning for the start of the Calderdale hike,don’t let the name fool you,plenty of runners attend this 36 mile 6000 ft of climb beast!
I was back running with my Club mate , Hebden buddy and soon to be fellsman partner Fiona. Our other team-mate and Lakeland legend Sarah was running the shorter 23 mile course with ‘Running the world’ Facebook supremo Chris.
After a very thorough kit check and photo-op,we got going for what was going to be a long day out in the hills!
A beautiful day for an adventure !
As we set off uphill for what would be the first of many,Fiona ushered the words I dread every time she says them “You go ahead if you want Ian ,I’m not feeling it today” Now that may seem like a normal statement BUT I know from past experience that this really means……
“As soon as my legs have woke up ,you are putting a shift in to keep up Ian”!
Sure enough the first 10 miles or so ticked off easily enough but then,last weekend’s exploits began to take hold of my legs and Fiona started to wake up! Now don’t be mislead it’s not like I hammered the marathon and Fiona had been at home drinking tea,she had spent the last week in the lake district getting hill training in for the Dragons back race! She is just one of those athletes that doesn’t stop!
As we hit just over Marathon distance we had a little out and back to Windy hill over a motorway bridge.This is where either the best moment of the day or the worst happened depending on your side of the camera.
To get to Windy hill you must cross a motorway bridge,a motorway bridge fairly high up on a very windy moors,you can guess where this is going…….
Crossing the bridge I felt the wind grabbing the peak of my cap,so to save it I quickly ripped it off my head to put in my bag. So quickly in fact that I forgot my fave pair of sunglasses were perched on top of my hat and went sailing down to the motorway below! and in true cartoon fashion as soon they hit the floor a bloody big truck drove over them ,smashing them to a bazillion pieces,much to the amusement of the other runners on the bridge!
Now I loved those glasses,they have been on loads of adventures with me,and now they have met an untimely end on the M62! At least it gave us something to giggle about and take the thoughts away from our now achey limbs for the last ten or so miles.
Now I deliberately haven’t mentioned much about the route as half the fun of the event is that it is full navigation and local knowledge plus recces will play a massive part in conquering the thing!
That and the fact we added an addition three miles of running due to ‘Geographical misplacements’ I’m not really the best person to ask!
We arrived at the finish in 8 hours 24 to be greeted by a Certificate, a sweet cup of tea and jacket potato with chilli……..perfect.