Great Manchester 10k by Darren Horrocks

So while I am happy with 48:41, I think I could probably have gone a bit faster…….

At 4km, I noticed I was getting a mild stitch, then at 4.5km, it suddenly felt like somebody stuck their hand into my ribs and was trying to rip a rib out of me. Tried to run through it, but the more I tried, the harder it got to run, and by about 4.7km, my body just gave up and I had to stop.

I was stood still, not even walking, for about 2 minutes, and was hunched over one side, so much so that one of the paramedics asked me if i was ok. By this time, I completely wrote off the chance of getting sub-50 and started walking, and he pain had eased up, so I picked up to a light jog, and then as I passed 5km, my watch said 24:something, so I started picking back up again, and 6km came faster than the previous 200m.

As I was rounding the bend back onto the main road, I started to feel some iffy pain again, and was ready to just not bother and walk it the rest of the way back, I was even thinking “what race can I do in the next couple of weeks to compensate for mucking this one up”…

Then in the space of about 300m, somebody on the band stand shouted “nobody can slow down to this song” and began playing the introduction to sweet child of mine, which was a nice boost, and then I saw Jayne and Jacqui (I think it was Jacqui), which was another boost (as I didn’t expect to see anyone). Editor’s note – Harriers coaches and supporters get everywhere!

At 7km, I looked at my watch and noticed it was 34:50something and it was only then I realised I could still make 50 minutes. So I just blocked everything else out, set myself on 4:45/km the rest of the way, until I saw the 400 meter board, and then just stepped on it, I think I was doing about 3:55 for the last 400m.

No idea why I ended up with a stitch like that, or had it be as bad as it was, breathing was good, ate properly the day before, didn’t over do the fluids, did a good warm up…

But, in the end, I made it convincingly under 50 minutes and I am happy with that, it’s just in the back of my mind now, could I have hit 45:something if I hadn’t have been forced to stop.

All in all though, a good day.

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