Week 5 This week I stepped up my daily runs from 2 miles to 2 ½ miles most days to record a total of 17 miles.
Week 6 The marginal increase did nothing for my fitness. The first day of my week, Saturday, I went to support one of Andy O’Sullivan’s races, THE BROWNHOUSE WHAM 5 K STARTING FROM the Oxford pub, Whitworth Road, Healey, near Rochdale. The race was celebrating the 80th birthday of Sidney Edwards who is the father of four time Olympian Diane Modahl who was Diane Edwards when she worked for Ron Hill Sports. It was also Andy’s 62nd birthday and this was the 590th race he had organised! Diane arrived with a big team from the Diane Modahl Foundation.
Aside from my poor health, a continuing chest infection, this was not my kind of race! Almost ¾ mile steep climb, first on tarmac then on a stony path partly covered in sheet ice leading to a rough trail with icy puddles, two laps of the Brownhouse Wham reservoir and retuning the same way. My heart sank as I warmed up on that first section. I was in oxygen debt from the off and almost tripped three times in the muddy icy conditions. One young lad from the Diane Modahl team, Jason Edwards, kept passing me, then walking, and it was only half way round the second lap of the reservoir was I able to leave him behind. From reaching the reservoir I passed only two runners before the finish. I skated on the sheet ice fearing for my safety. Not long after reaching the tarmac I heard someone behind me urge, “Go on. You can get him!” I was being chased. I went as hard as I could and just held off Rochdale Harrier Rod McLean by one second. That so exhausted me that I could hardly stand at the end. My time was 31:43 for what was just under 3 miles and my clubmate from Clayton -le- Moors, Jack McGuire, who had never beaten me before, was one ahead of me. Well done Jack. Everyone else seemed to enjoy the event; I hated it! Race winner was B Mcartney, Salford Harriers, in 17:08, 1 second ahead of Ian Grime, AFD, who went wrong right at the end whilst leading.
First female home was Kirsty Johnson, Glossopdale Harriers, 20:59.
On the same day another charity event was taking place where local man, Steve Melia was leading a group of cyclists on a ride from Blackpool to the pub. They arrived at the pub not long after our race finished. Andy had bribed me to run the race with the promise of a bottle of scotch. When Steve had heard about this, he said,” I’ll buy the scotch.” And so he did!
The next day I felt pretty bruised and my left foot was sore. Nevertheless I ran 4 miles and pushed my total up to 25 miles. I needed to get fit!
Week 7 I kept up the slightly longer distance for this week despite feeling rather tired at times and recorded 26 miles.
Week 8 My week began with the Marple, Brabyns Parkrun. I had decided I needed a benchmark to measure myself for future improvement. It was very muddy. I warmed up with a lap of the 2 lap course and decided that I would run steadily and not “kill “myself. The majority ran away from me and my first lap took 16:37. I began to pull a few runners back but half way round this last lap I could hear voices behind me. As they came closer I heard, “It’s my turn now.” Then I realized it was a man and a woman pushing a pram with a youngster in it. That was spur to up my pace slightly over the last K and pass half a dozen runners to stay ahead of the brave couple with the pram and record 32:22 with a second lap of 15:45. My slowest ever Parkrun and the only time outside 30 minutes. 116th out of 137. 1st male, William Griffiths, unatt. , 19:05, 1st female, Jill Parker, LifestyleTr, 20:19 and 5th overall.
27 miles for that week, 97.5 miles (157 K ) for February, bringing my lifetime total to 160,175.5 miles ( 257,777 K )