Team JMC runner and born-and-bred pie eating Wiganer Martin MacDonald achieved a PB in his local 10K and won a banana…
This is the 2nd year of the illustrious Wigan 10k and the 2nd time I’ve competed. Last year was an all singin’, all dacin’ event for the whole town. Year 2 had a lot to live up to and did not disappoint. The day was a lovely sunny September Sunday, perfect conditions. We’re pretty used to this type of weather round here. Being my home town and the “Hollywood of Britain”, it’s quickly become my favourite event of the year. There were just under 3500 competitors on the start line and the buzz was as good as any start I’ve been at. The course was relatively flat for the most part and took a route out of town round the DW stadium and back through the world famous Mesnes Park. There were people lining the route the whole way which, from a runner’s point of view was great. The organisers also threw in to the mix professional pacers so it was very easy to gauge your time based on how close or how far you were off without having to count your fingers between gasps. I managed to get relatively close to the front before kick-off, making it easier to get through the bottle neck at the beginning. The race was started by local double code rugby legend Andy Farrell (I met him once). After a few words of wisdom and encouragement the klaxon sounded and we were off.
The first few KMs seemed to just slip by quite nicely. Half way turned out to be round the back of the DW stadium where the water station was situated. For the last few years I’ve avoided the water stations on 10k races. I can run the distance in training without any difficulty, so I figured it was only going to slow me down if I decided to make use of it. Water stations are great for clearing traffic as well, so I used the opportunity to gain a few places. The second half of the race was quite hard going, it must have been in the mid 20’s and in direct sun. The last section, which ran through the historic Mesnes Park, didn’t get any easier. The route through here was a new path that twists and turns, goes up and down, like a twisty-turny, upy-downy thing. At this point my legs started to burn. Whilst coming out of the park’s huge ornamental Victorian iron gates, the finish was in sight. About 800m up hill. The crowds were heaving all the way up the street, it gave us tired runners a real burst and the last meters just disappeared. I was over the line and the ever occurring barrage of beeps was followed by a fumble around to stop all the timing and GPS devices attached around my person.
The course mapped was 11.3km due to the necessary weaving throughout, but in a respectable time of 48 minutes and a top 500 position, I’ll take that. A bit slower than I wanted, but quicker than last year. Walking through the few finishers that had already come through the line, I picked up my goody bag, and roped on my medal. I was met by my support crew, and as usual, the younger member claimed ownership of the medal but traded me a banana. A few pictures later and we were on our way back to the car.
Brilliant day all round, and I’ve registered for next year already.
Next stop, the sea side!