After the race I had a very intense busy week including contending with an injury to my right knee sustained from the race slowing me down, I hoped to write this post before the Collins family jetted off for a weeks holiday in the Algarve but I’m afraid time beat me. I’m not the biggest fan of hot beach holidays but I’ve enjoyed the break and had well needed rest. It’s a shame I’ve not managed to run while away but even though the right knee’s swelling has gone down it is still sore.
The first thing I feel I must say is a very BIG thank you to all my family and friends that helped me make the first running of the Lions Bridge trail marathon such a success. My wife Yuk-Lam for letting me hold the event in the first place and for helping in the build up to the event and on the day. My kids, Abbey and Lucas for enjoying the day and not being any trouble! My Mum for helping out at short notice in the kitchen and my Dad for coming down and supporting. Dave and Steve, for lap counting and time keeping. Sandra for her extra support at the finish giving out water and medals. Finally and by no means least, the man that beat me to the Gin Pit early Sunday morning and left after me! Barry, your friendly help to ALL the runners ALL day was fantastic and I can’t thank you enough! Without you all I couldn’t have done it.
I have had very positive feedback from most of the runners, this makes all the hard work feel very worthwhile and enjoyable.
We had a lovely, dry, warm day, maybe a little warm for the serious runner but very pleasant summer weather. The course measures just a bit long at roughly 13.25 miles for the half and 26.5 miles for the marathon so I hope none of the runners have beat themselves up over their times and if any of you did get a PB extremely well done! I would like to consider the extra bit of distance as getting value for money.
For the half marathon congratulations go out to Catherine O’Dwyer from Bolton Harriers for not only being the first lady but first in the race, with a time of 1:28:50. Four minutes behind her was A&T’s very own half marathon specialist Steve Coleman in 1:32:50. It was great to see a good turn out from A&T and other local clubs including Swinton, Bolton, Burnden, Horwich and St Helens.
For the Marathon we had some excellent times from the front runners with Glen Kay once again winning with a time of 3:08:24. There was a new Gin Pit winner for the ladies, Beth Taylor-Jones in 3:46:18. Very well done to you both. Even at the other end of the race we had some great efforts with all competitors finishing within the 6 hour time limit. 21 finishers in the half and 28 for the full.
For me the race was a challenge over injury. I so wanted one of the medals, after all the effort having them designed and then manufactured in China. I just couldn’t let all 50 of them go without earning one for myself. I had injured my knee the week before so rested as much as I could to get the swelling down and give myself the best chance possible of finishing the Lions Bridge. The knee was only slightly sore for the first 3 or 4 laps but then started to get worse. By this point there was no quitting and with the chance of dipping under 3 hour 30 minutes I even pushed on during the second half. I couldn’t quite make a sub 3:30 and finished with 3 :31:48. Shame the course is a bit long or I would have managed it. The knees much more sore now so time for a well deserved rest.
I was delighted to be able to invite members of my previous running club, Swinton Running Club and see several of them attend the half marathon. I still have friends at Swinton and some very happy memories from my time with their club. It was especially great to see and run with Stuart my training partner from years ago, we ran together for the first lap and had a catch up chat. Hope we can do it again sometime.
The event was in aid of the Christie Hospital and I’m pleased to say we raised £251.64. I wanted to raise some money for the Christie as a way of thanking them for helping my Dad and a close friend over recent years.
Hope to do it all over again next year.