I arrived in Manchester Friday night and went straight to bed. It was way too late. But Saturday was much nicer! In the morning I went out to pick up my race bib and then around town a bit. At noon, the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan started so I watched some of it on my phone before realizing that they were showing it on a big screen at the media city so I hurried out there to catch them walking out of the church to the cheers of the Windsor crowds as well as the cheers of the people gathered at the big screen. After the coverage had turned a bit boring, I went to the Imperial War Museum which is an amazingly well-done museum and filled with interesting stories. Some more walking around and relaxation and I was back in bed to get some sleep before race day.
The race itself is covered below but it was a really big race. It was a 10K and a half marathon and there were so many people participating. It was also roughly a year after the Manchester bombing at the Ariana Grande concert and I think that the race became a bit of a rallying point for the commemoration for the victims.
About the city, I would say I was pleasantly surprised. I admit to not having the highest of expectations of Manchester as it was in my view a worn down industrial city, perhaps struggling to move on from that. But I found a city of friendly people (although I cannot understand their Mancunian dialect) and a newly renovated city center. Newly renovated as it has been bombed a few times by the IRA. There’s also a really interesting mix of new restaurants and clubs opening up in old industrial buildings which is pretty cool. I really enjoyed my time in Manchester.
- What? Great Manchester Run
- When? May 20th, 2018
- How far? 21.1 kilometers
- Where? Manchester, United Kingdom
- Strava activity
- 5K – 00:31:38
- 10K – 01:03:42
- 15K – 01:35:41
- 21.1K – 02:14:36
As mentioned in previous race reports, I have completely neglected training of any kind and just started running. This comes a week after my Copenhagen Marathon which I only just managed to recover from. And that’s recovering from pain from walking not the general tiredness so I was adamant to just take it easy here and spend it in a very comfortable pace.
I actually didn’t get any breakfast for this run. And before you go all crazy, I usually run on an empty stomach from training runs so I was not that worried about it. Besides the amount of food I ate the day before meant that I was actually still pretty full. I made my way down to the start line, leaving all of my stuff in the hostel and warmed up. The corral filled up at 30 minutes before race start and I had an energy gel just before. There was a mass warmup event with people dressed as the Duracell bunny getting people warmed up. There was also one minute of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing the year before.
Not to sound arrogant but this was a routine run for me. I set a comfortable pace at 6:10 and aimed to keep that throughout. Just like in Vienna and Copenhagen, the sun came out during the race and the temperatures rose quickly. The route went straight out of the city and then onto a highway which was really bad as there was absolutely no suncover at all. Not only was it sunny on the highway, it was also really boring with no spectators as it was a raised highway and far away from the city.
Luckily at 8K we reached Etihad stadium which is Manchester City’s stadium and there was something to look at and plenty of people cheering us on. Then it was back to the highway for another 9K before we reached Old Trafford, Manchester United’s stadium, at 17K and there was cheering and something interesting to look at.
The last few kilometers were better however with more people gathering around and the finish line was absolutely packed with people.
I ate whatever I could find in the post-race package that I got and then made it back to the hostel to pick up my stuff. A bit more walking around the city and then a meal at Nando’s and then it was back to the airport and back to Denmark.
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