Wigan 10k…PB hunting.
I think I have finally learned. This was probably my best race ever. Pre race warm up with Warren and Karen then into the start pen after all the pics and the use of Sam’s bucket.
A long countdown from Jack and we were away I sat on Gaz Wane’s shoulder as watched some of the red and black army go of into the distance. Every race I set off too fast and every race I die. I should have learned this, really I should. Mile 1 was a little fast but it’s down hill so free speed, the 40 min pacers were running on effort I think and not on time. Mile 2 bang on what I wanted pace wise as I was going for sub 40 turning into stadium way still with Gary Jonathan and Kyle not far behind us slowly catching up to Paul Platt. Banter between me and jonathan and Kyle, basically me shouting at them we were on home turf, this is our training ground, come on pick it up.
Jonathan was on my shoulder as we left Gary heading down past the stadium past the water station, no gin needed for me Mark but kind offer. I caught Paul as we left the barriers and went past him I had Warren in my sights. We were right with the 40 min pacers from exiting the stadium this is my favourite part of the course getting shouts and shouting to the other runners coming the other way. As we exited the industrial estate a shout to Mel and Leanne.
Both me and Warren overtook Paul Bryers I was feeling good all the way up the hill to the park so I kicked on. I saw Jordan on the right turn he seemed to be struggling as I passed him more banter getting him tuck in behind me before Andy Mac sang me a song teenage kicks I was singing all through the park while looking over my shoulder and encouraging Jordan.
Round the corner of youth zone Stuart Fairclough next in line for abuse ” I’m catching you Stu I’m going to beat you”. That’s when I started to kick beat Stuart over the line by 1 second gun time 39:24 chip time 2 seconds quicker a 2 minute pb finally sub 40. Really happy Jordan and Jonathon also got under it as well. I managed to see the wife cross the line also with a PB too.
The next report on Wigan 10k comes from one of our newer members, Alex Roberts.
Having done various runs this year since joining the Wigan Harriers, it would have been rude not to enter the Wigan 10k given it was my home town race. Having acquired new PB’s earlier in the year, firstly at the Liverpool Spring 10k at Sefton Park in May and again 2 months later at the Southport 10k, I was sceptical about my chances of smashing it here considering the slightly hilly nature of the course, but in any case I was determined to do better than my time last year.
I watched the weather forecast which hinted it might be cloudy for the race with the threat of rain, so wondered whether we would get away with it. I arrived in Wigan over an hour before the race and made my way down towards the college for the team photo. Although I had done various runs since joining the Harriers and a regular at the training sessions, this was the first race as a newbie in 2017 that I felt part of the group and part of a team. Everyone was pumped up for the race and I felt the vibes that everyone was confident of a good race.
Shortly after the team photo was taken, it started to rain. It wasn’t torrential rain, but I was guaranteed a soaking as it was the fine stuff. Getting slowly drenched and having wished my friends and other Harriers well for the race, I made my way to the start area focused on the race ahead getting slowly cool and slowly wet, thinking “can we just get on with this please?”
Before I knew it, it turned 10am and the race began. The atmosphere at the start line and along the course from all the spectators and fellow runners was amazing and it certainly gave me a boost for the first couple of km’s as I ran into the rain along Park Road and Woodhouse Lane. As I turned onto Scot Lane, I really started to feel the rain now but ploughed on along Stadium Way and towards the DW Stadium where we had to do a loop via the back of the car park and Robin Park Arena. I’m not sure if it was the rain or running behind the East Stand car park having an air of familiarity to it given this was the venue of many of the training sessions I attended since joining the Harriers earlier this year or the fantastic steel drum band performing near the stadium, but at this point I was motoring and ploughed on towards the water station at the Arena and past the halfway point running back on to Stadium Way.
As I made my way through Martland Mill Industrial Estate, it started to speculate whether I could actually beat my PB after all as I had good pace and the rain was not deterring me, but instead of dwelling on what my Garmin was telling me and being distracted by doing the arithmetic in my head, I put those thoughts to the back of my mind and ploughed on through the rain. I made my way back onto Woodhouse Lane and powered through Beech Hill. As I approached Springfield and the 8km mark, I took another glance at the Garmin and I started to believe I was on course to beat my PB…providing of course I didn’t lose too much time on the hilly sections during the final 2km’s.
I carried on putting one foot in front of the other and ploughed up the hill past the Pagefield, underneath the railway and into Mesnes Park past the 9km mark. I’m not sure if it was intentional to route the final km up the hill through Mesnes Park, but I’m not complaining, so I rose to the challenge and tackled the hill where the crowds at the top were cheering us on despite the wet weather. Only ½ km to go with a nice downhill and flat section to go!
Now out of Mesnes Park and onto Mesnes Park Terrace, I went for it, turned onto Parson’s Walk and legged it towards the finish line that was now in sight. I crossed the line and leapt for joy with a fist pump when I stopped the Garmin and it flashed a time of 46:39 which was a new PB – BOOM! Although I was knackered, I couldn’t contain my delight at smashing my PB by over a minute despite talking myself down before the race. It also meant I had improved on my time from last year by almost 3 minutes. Maybe there is such a thing as home advantage!
All in all, despite getting drenched by the fine rain, I was very satisfied with my effort at this year’s Wigan 10k. When I first got into running 10k distances, I remember saying to myself over 2 years ago I’d be satisfied with completing my first race in just under 60mins. Having come a long way since then and seen the progress made this year, I’m now determined to kick on and have set myself a target of getting a sub-45min time soon.
The next one in a series of Wigan 10k articles, thanks Mel for this.
At some point during my pregnancy I decided that I would need some motivation to get myself fit again once the baby arrived and entered the Wigan 10k; which is how I found myself in Wigan at 9am on a rainy Sunday morning in full Harriers kit with a 3 month old in a pram.
With only 12 weeks of training in the bag, I knew this year wasn’t going to be a PB year but I still had a very clear game plan. Team photo – feed the baby – last minute toilet stop – run and hope that the baby doesn’t poo / scream / be sick on herself – try to keep this going for 10k – shower and change – after party!
The early stages of the plan went well; Scarlet was fed and filled her nappy early, giving me plenty of time to sort her out before heading to the start line. With a few minutes to go, Scarlet fell asleep and we lined up at the back with fellow mummy/baby team Leanne and Lottie. I felt strangely nervous as we inched slowly towards the start line but once we were out on the course I forgot it all and just ran.
Leanne and I made the most of the early downhill section of the course weaving in and out of runners and catching the 75 minute marker about 20 minutes in. We (mainly the babies to be fair) were getting lots of support out on the course and I was enjoying the pace that we had settled into – not too slow but not so fast that it was a struggle. It was nice to be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the race for once!
As we made our way into the DW, the rest of the Hillam-Morgan Clan were waiting to give us a big cheer. I had a quick drink but soon realised that I just don’t have the co-ordination to drink, run and push a pram so decided to push on.
It wasn’t long before we got to the Martland Mill estate and what I knew was going to be the hardest part of the race – the long trek up to the park. The next couple of miles were tough but I was still running and, with every runner I passed on the way, I felt more and more confident.
I was feeling good when Mr W found me about 55 minutes in (he had run, collected his medal and been to say hello to Imogen before setting off backwards around the course to check that we were both ok). As we entered the park I was glad I had him with me, the path was narrower making it tricky to steer the pram around people without clipping their heels and, having a bit more puff left than me, he let people know when I was coming through.
Feeling bolstered by both the music and the crowds as we reached the pavilion in the park, I started to push towards the finish. Unfortunately, I forgot about the downhill to the fountain and, as gravity took over, it was all I could do to keep hold of the pram! Luckily the runners just ahead of me were able to clear a path for us and we made it safely towards the exit.
Once we were out of the park I knew it wasn’t far and just tried to hold on to the pace that I had built up. As I rounded the corner I put on a last burst speed and crossed the line in a time of 1:10:54. Scarlet woke up just in time to beat me across the line, but I can live with that!
The first of a series of articles on this year’s very popular Wigan 10k.
I left entering this years Wigan 10k race till quite late this year as since April I had been struggling with back and hip injuries.
Thankfully the nightmare of being unable to run came to an end in early July and I slowly and steadily started to find my running legs and confidence over the next 6-8 weeks. It wasn’t until early August that I actually decided I was going to enter Wigan 10k and give it a go.
My initial thought was it would be just for fun, and to support my local event, as the idea of a PB was out of the question. However in late July I started back regularly attending Tuesday and Thursday Wigan Harriers training sessions.
Slowly and gradually I noticed my pace and stamina improve. Come the week before Wigan 10k I felt I was as close to full fitness as I could possibly be. So I said to myself go and give it your all and what will be, will be…
The morning of the race started really early with a 5am rise and out to walk Dexter my Labrador and his brother Jack as I was dog sitting him that weekend. After a brisk walk with the boys my legs felt warmed up and ready for the bashing I was about to put them through.
Whilst having my routine pre-race breakfast of TrueStart Coffee and porridge, I felt the nerves and excitement start to set in. This was my first proper race since my injury, and lots of thoughts went through my mind. Would I be able to keep my pace up? Could I get over that line in one piece? etc etc…
I eventually told myself to stop being silly and just go for it. I had trained well, probably better than I did for last years race.. with that I polished of my Truestart and porridge, got my race gear on and jumped in the car to drive myself to Wigan.
Like everyone I made my way to Sam Blakeman’s shop to drop my bag off. Then it was onto the new meeting point outside Wigan & Leigh College for the traditional Harriers team photo, which brilliantly this year was underneath the Wigan 10k start line.
After the photo those familiar feelings of excitement and nerves before a race were there. Those feeling quickly faded away as I followed the sea of black and red shirts to invaded the start line. Looking around at all my fellow Harrier’s I felt proud to be part of such a great team, and I felt that it was good to be back and competing for the team once again.
Then it was time to put my game face on. I started to focus on what was hopefully going to be just under 50mins of gruelling but rewarding hard work and effort. The countdown began and there were a few shouts of encouragement from fellow team mates. Then the buzzer sounded and I was off.
As I was literally on the start line before the buzzer, I got carried away with the sea of people and went out fast and hard after about 5 minutes I felt I was going to fast and looked at my watch. Indeed I was going to fast and I started to slow myself down, as I didn’t want to blow up in the first mile.
Approaching the end of the first mile I felt I was definitely going too fast so I looked at my watch and the first mile split came up on the screen as 7 minutes 29 seconds. With that I put the brakes on. As I did a mix of fellow harriers and other competitors flew past me. This was hard to take, but I knew I was doing the right thing.
The next couple of miles was about finding my comfort zone which I gladly did. As I approached the DW stadium a few fellow harriers that I felt were similar to me in speed and potential finishing times passed me.
With that Competitive Kev reared his ugly head and I tried to chase them down. Bad idea, clearly during the months I had been out injury these guys had trained very hard and improved themselves a lot. After about 3 minutes of punishing myself trying to keep them in my sights, I gave up and began to run my own race again, instead of someone else’s.
As I went through, and out of the stadium I felt like I had found my stride again. So decided to not push myself too much in mile 4 and 5, so to have something left for the end of the race. I don’t really remember much of the next two miles as I was so focussed on keeping my composure and trying not to blow up.
I eventually came to my senses as I ran up Woodhouse Lane. I then began to think about last years race and how difficult going through Mesnes Park was for me. I think I spent the rest of the approach to Mesnes Park saying to myself, Mesnes Park is coming up, Mesnes Park is coming up, Mesnes Park is here.. arghhh..
With that I put my head down and gritted my teeth to get myself through the park and on to that finishing straight. In the end going through Mesnes Park wasn’t as tough as I thought it was going to be.
However after Mesnes Park I felt like my heart, lungs and leg muscles where burning. As turned the corner I readied myself for the sprint finish, but felt like I had nothing left. In the distance I could see the clock and it read 48 minutes something.. I thought to myself, come on your on for a sub 50 minute 10k again.
With that I shut my brain off and just tried as hard as I could to raise my arms and legs and get through the sprint finish.. As I crossed the line the clock just hit 49 minutes dead. I literally took a couple of footsteps over the finish line and grabbed on to a metal fence on the righthand side as I tried to get the air back into my lungs.
As I got my breath back and walked up to get my goodie bag and medal I punched the air as I realised I had achieved a course PB, knocking 17 seconds off last years time.. later on in the day the chip time came through and confirmed I had actually finished the race 1 second under 49 minutes, in 48:59 giving me a sub 49 minute finishing time and an improvement of 18 seconds off last years time.
I was absolutely over the moon with what I had achieved, especially after the injury problems I had, had in the months leading up to the race. It was then time for the fun and best bit of the day… It was time to celebrate with my running family and that I did all day and all night..
The 4th edition of the Wigan 10K was the biggest yet and so was the Harriers team…70 runners yes that’s right SEVENTY! How awesome is that!
An excited crew of Harriers gathered for the obligatory photo call. There were plenty of nerves on display as they prepared for home town action.
Mark Morgan-Hillam kindly volunteered his services as club poster boy for the day, endless photo calls ensued.
Nobody had the heart to tell Ian he only had to run 6.21 miles this week.
Harriers were also out on the course at various points as marshals, in particularly the drinks station again.
Steve got a little wet.
Chris did two laps to get a couple of drinks off his favourite player.
Harriers formation style.
Some nifty headwear options on show.
Ian realising he could do another 194 miles, still fresh.
When you are first Harrier home then take a bow!
Mark realised he still had another 5 photo shoots to do, despair loomed.
Flying Harrier display.
Jonathan our hero helps a fallen runner!
Darren tackles something less than an ultra for a change.
The results! Let us know if you are missing.
|POS||BIB||GENDER||NAME||CAT||CAT POS||CHIP TIME||FINISH TIME|
A hug for little sis!
Mark Morgan-Hillam M40 winner! GB Sticks just about managed another smile!
Barry Abram M55 winner, well done Bazza!
Wigan Harriers First Men’s team, yes he’s in this one too!
A few drinks to celebrate, cheers lads!
Well done to the organisers, marshals, spectactors and runners for making the 2016 Wigan 10k an amazing success. Everyone up for it again in 2017? If you can’t wait then take a look at the Wigan Run Festival in March – more news to come soon on that one!
It’s Wigan 10k time!
Last year we had over 50 Wigan Harriers competing in the Wigan 10k. This year we will smash that number and with it dozens of PB’s will be obilterated!
As is now customary we can’t let such an important milestone for Club and Town pass without a photo so cameras and photos to the ready. We will aim to gather in the same place as last year at 9.15am, just by Grand Arcade and Yorkshire Bank. Bit of a slope so short ones you know which side to stand!
Thanks in advance to those who have volunteered to help make it another successful event.
The after show party is in Revolution from 12pm to celebrate.
Happy New Year!
Christmas all finished, one week into the new year, what’s next for Wigan Harriers Endurance?
Quite a lot actually!
Next up is the 4th fixture in the important Mid Lancs Cross Country League – 16th January at Hyndburn. Yes this is the same venue as used earlier in the season for Red Rose. It’s a particular favourite of many from the club as it always presents a varied and tough challenge. Anyone training for a marathon will find the strength and stamina gained from Cross Country running very beneficial.
On 24th January the 401 Challenge rocks up into town. Ben Smith is attempting to run 401 consecutive marathons (what a hero!) for charity. He has chosen Wigan Harriers to guide him through 26.2 miles of Wigan territory. Please let Jayne Taylor know if you want to get involved and run some of the route with Ben.
The second club event of the year is the “New Year Do” at Wigan Cricket Club. Anyone who moves fast might still manage to sneak tickets for our first January party, they are £12 each. It promises to be a fantastic evening. Please contact Nina, Mel or Becki.
The following day are the Northern Cross Country Championships at Witton Park, Blackburn, on 30th January, 2016. This is one of the biggest Cross Country races of the season and it would be great if we could enter Men and Ladies teams in this event and keep Wigan Harriers in the limelight. Teams need to be entered soon so please contact Steve Nicholls without delay!!
For anyone still wanting a further challenge then there is the ‘big daddy’ of all XC’s – the Nationals! The National Cross Country Championships will be held at Donington Park, on 27th February 2016. A chance to mingle with elites and club runners from all over the country. Again please let Steve Nicholls know if you want to enter, once we know numbers we can plan any car sharing and the neccessary coffee shop stops en route!
That’s just the first few weeks of this year, 2016 promises to be full on…..
Sunny skies were the reward for a sparkling turnout from Wigan Harriers. Record numbers of 51 entered our home town race with equally impressive numbers managing the DW Stadium water station and marshalling key points on the course.
After some caffeine fuelling there was time for a quick group photo of just some of the Harriers involved.
51 Harriers did themselves and the club proud, well done!
|Wigan Harriers roll of honour
It was then time to clear up, recover and celebrate!
Congratulations to the men who were first male team and Jayne Taylor for 1st L50.
Did you run the Wigan 10k? were you one of the army of new runners in Wigan who conquered the 6.2 miles? If so, you will probably be feeling sore, tired but just a little bit elated with your achievement and rightly so.
You are possibly also thinking about next year already, or maybe even another 10k sometime soon? Can you run just a little bit faster next time? Maybe you would like to go a bit further and take on a bigger challenge in the form of a half marathon? Or maybe you just want to keep up the running habit and all the health benefits you have discovered it brings.
Wigan Harriers can help with all of the above!
Have a look at the Wigan 10k results and you will see we have a huge spread of abilities amongst our members. We are very proud of our fast runners who were racing it out in the top ten, but we are equally proud of the rest of our members spread throughout the field. This means that if you can already run 10k you will certainly fit right in to the training with Harriers and be able to take your running to the next level.
In fact, quite a few of the Harriers vests you saw on Sunday first joined after last years Wigan 10k so you will be in good company!
We offer free sessions organised by fully trained UK Athletics coaches that are tailored to suit all speeds of runner. You can come along and simply enjoy the company and camaraderie of training with like minded running enthusiasts, or throw yourself into a full training plan and see just how much faster or further you can really go. Either way we would love to see you come and join us.
Training times are updated and available on the TrainingTimes page, but the best night for new runners is Thursday when we meet at the DW stadium car park near to Robin Park Arena. Drop us an email to let us know you are coming, or just say hello when you arrive and we can have a one to one chat about what you want to get out of the club and how we can help.
See you soon!