Stockport 10 Ep 6 – Return of the PB?
For those of you who don’t know,Stockport 10 mile is my fave race in the entire world.It is the first race I ever ran when my good mate Rob paced me round to 1h21 back in 2014!
Stockport 10 is very much like me:
Northern,Not pretty and often cold!
Hence we are kindred spirits!
It is put on every year by Stockport Harriers ,flawlessly I may add! I help organise the races for my club Radcliffe AC so I know how difficult things are,and for them to do it on open roads is simply outstanding!!
Stockport 10 has always been a cruel mistress to me ,for the last few years I have tried to break the hour and every year she has chewed me up and spit me out.
Could I go to an easier 10 miler and break the hour? Probably,my 10k time suggests so but Stockport is MY 10 miler and i’m going to do it here if anywhere …….
The weather was perfect,cold but dry and with a little breeze.I felt good and if ever a day was set up for me ,it was today!
It was great to see so many friends at the event,I wax lyrical about the Stockport 10 and should probably work on the marketing team! It is a proper race for runners by runners!
Unlike usual,I wasn’t my normal jokey (read smart arse) self. I disappeared,headphones in and warmed up alone,not because I was miserable but because I had to get into a place that only a spice girls megamix can get me ;). As a coach I tend to worry about getting everyone else ready for races and sometimes forget to look after myself but today I had to be selfish.
A few nervous hand shakes and piss taking on the start line and it was almost game time,it was a shame the chuckle brothers wouldn’t be going for the hour with me this year but life/injuries sometimes get in the way and to be honest,I still have nightmares about them both beating me last year! ( no idea what i’m talking about?you can read about 2017 HERE ).
The gun went and it was go time,I went out hard and just prayed I could hold on (the climb at 5 miles ALWAYS breaks me so I needed to bank a little time to safely ease off the gas to ascend the one mile hill!!
Top of the halfway hill I was greeted by Dennis the menace!! No I wasn’t hallucinating he is Marple Runners mascot! I thought I had missed him as he normally waits at the bottom,but a high 5 at the top restored my faith and off I trotted!
Had the hill conquered me again? I wasn’t quite sure to be honest! I heard footsteps behind and I thought it was Rob ready to slap my arse just like last year! It wasn’t, it was a lad from Chorlton who I had a real good battle with all the way to the end!
Through the housing estates and approaching mile eight, just like Big Shaq I did some quick maths and as long as I didn’t blow at the water station like last year,I had half a chance of sub 60!
I had still had New Zealand Road……..
Ask anyone who has ran STK 10 about New Zealand Road and watch them go a little pale….
Its steep,long and at mile 9 really not necessary! But if everything was easy everyone would want to do it and who then would we boast to in the pub !?
New zealand road ascended ,just 1000m to go on flat as you like paths and onto the track ………..
56 mins on the clock!
I can run a four min k, I’ve done it countless times in the past BUT I was hurting,my lungs were screaming and the vom monster was about to rear his ugly head!!
Watch ignored I just decided to chuck everything I had left at that kilometre.It was either going to be 60 mins or bust.
Hitting the final 20 metres I looked at the clocked and a wave of elation hit,I wasn’t even fussed that the lad I had been racing pipped me to the line!
I had done it! I had Finally broken Stockport!!
I roared like a madman and almost burst into tears.Yes in the grand scheme of things it is only an arbitrary time and no one will really care bar me,but it has been a long time coming!
So what now?
Am I hanging up my stockport bib and leaving New Zealand road to some other poor soul?
I will be back next year,and every year that i’m able!