I have been looking forward to sharing my marathon course with my friends from Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners and missed out last week when they ran the first half because family commitments meant I had to go to Chinatown in Manchester to celebrate Chinese New Year. So this Sunday I was really pleased to go out with them for the first time and we ran the second half of the course.
The weather wasn’t great but it could have been worse, cool with a breeze, very cloudy but at least the rain kept off. Today it was Astley & Tyldesley Road Runner’s magnificent 7, Shaun, Terry G, Scouse Mark, Mike (a new face to me, hi Mike), Michaela, John & myself. We set off from the Gin Pit to the Marsland Green Bridge and on to the canal and the course.
We hadn’t gone far along the canal, in fact only a mile to Butts Bridge in Leigh when we witnessed John’s star performance. At most of the canal bridges there are little metal barriers to slow down bikers and you have to do an “S” shape to get through them. Or if you are “Fearless” John you can swing on the end of the barrier over the canal to get round quicker. But if you do this please be careful and don’t copy John. John’s feet went from under him and yes you guessed it he was up to his waist in the canal holding onto the barrier.
So for any Gin Pit Marathon runners out there, the way round the barriers is NOT to swing round them over the canal but to do an “S” shape through them.
We pulled him out, John assured us he was fine and happy to continue with the run. We were all genuinely concerned about him but blimy was it funny! Our hero!
We continued along the canal through Leigh and passed Pennington Flash. The canal path was a bit muddy but not bad. But when we got to Platt Bridge the canal path’s gray mud from the mine workings many years ago was slimy, deep and very sticky. It could only be likened to a quality cross country course! All we could do was make jokes about the state of the canal path and laugh. In fact at one point I was laughing so much it hurt my ribs. I’ve never had that before on a run.
Here is a bit of an advertisement for Adidas. . . .
My new trail shoes Adidas Kanadia are brilliant on the muddy trails. They look great in bright orange too but I’m afraid it doesn’t last long. Second run and one careful owner!
We checked the second half of the route with our Garmins and recon it is a very accurate half marathon.
While we were getting our breath back at the Gin Pit Club we were still laughing at John’s antics and realised his leg was actually cut and bleeding. An update from John later in the day was that he had gone to the local walk in centre and had 3 stitches. And here is the gory proof, yuk. . . . . .