Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Friday 21 April 2023

Friday = Isabella Day (46)

While grandad took Markus to Hebden Bridge, Sue and Isabella enjoyed a selfie at Jump Heaven.

There was lots of jumping.

And other activities.

All a bit exhausting.

After lunch, grandad found an old (probably 70 at least) Hornby clockwork train set. It ran passably on the wooden Brio tracks.

It amazing how much excitement a small clockwork engine can generate.

Then it was back to the Brio, and some of Sue's photos that seem to be cataloguing various 'bits'.

"Well then. What next."

How about a book? Yes that had the desired effect.... "Again."

Time for home, and Isabella puts on her cheeky monkey face, demanding that she sits on the back seat and Sue sits in the child seat. She knows it'll never happen, but it's a good tease!

Well behaved as usual, she's a pleasure to be with.

Friday 21 April 2023 - Markus on the Pennine Way

Erstwhile TGO Challenger from Austria, Markus, touched down from Dornbirn yesterday and enjoyed an evening in Timperley before being dropped off in Hebden Bridge, from where he hopes to follow the Pennine Way route all the way to Kirk Yetholm.

It was supposed to rain, but the sun was shining as Markus waited for the camping gas shop to open and I returned home for a visit from Isabella.

Good luck, Markus.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Sunday 16 April 2023 - The Manchester Marathon

Thanks to Wythenshawe Community Run supremo Paul for the picture taken above at the finish, where he was volunteering. Whilst somewhat distant, he has captured a rare moment when I was actually running. What a contrast to four years ago!

Today's 18579 runners started from Old Trafford over a period of two hours. Purple A, where I was placed, started at 10:50. Elite runners started at 9:00.

That left time for a good breakfast and a photo in the garden before I discarded the bum bag, stuffed my pockets, and wandered off to Timperley Metrolink station.

What a contrast with my previous marathon at Loch Ness. A ten minute tram ride from home, and masses and masses of toilet facilities.

I wandered around for a while before joining the Purple queue. Apparently there was an 'athletes' village', but I didn't come across that on this occasion.

This series of photos has been provided by various supporting friends, as well as Paul - Sue, Cary, Andy Wright, the Barbers and others. Thanks to all those supporters, one of whom must have taken this picture of the lead car/runner (just following the motorbike).

Meanwhile, I was dawdling my way to the start behind the other Purple A runners. Judging by the bags of discarded clothing, it had been a busy morning. They got a nice t-shirt from me - the three layers in which I set off from home would have been a tad excessive. You can see runners coming the other way on the left, after their 5-6 mile run into central Manchester and back.

Soon after setting off I'm sure I saw these guys coming the other way at or near the front of the elite race. (It's not my photo.)

Laura finished in 2:57:22, the 21st woman out of 5074, a fantastic achievement. I'd probably done about 5km by then!

Her dad was going strong, ahead of the three and a half hour pacer, but watch where you are treading, Paul.

Oh no - he didn't watch where he was going. A face-plant saw off the 3:30 target, but Paul still finished in 3:36:04, and came a creditable 10th out of 81 in his MV65 age group. Well done both! I hope Paul's expensive running shoes didn't get damaged.

Sue was positioned near our house (roughly the half way point), armed with a banana, isotonic drink, etc, and jogged along with me for a while along Park Road, where I was pleased to see that the potholes had been filled in overnight. I'd kept to my planned 8 minute/km pace up to then, but after half way that started to drift...

I chatted with folk who had travelled far and wide to take part in this event - South Wales, Birmingham, members of a worldwide menopausal women's virtual running club, a chap from Dumfries who couldn't speed up fast enough for his pacemaker to change gear, so he was trapped at a low heart rate pace. Etc, etc, with quite a few 'Run, Walk, Run' enthusiasts - which I think applied to most people at this end of the race.

Soon afterwards, or 'some time later' I was seen, head down, trudging through the litter strewn streets of Altrincham. (Sorry I missed you, Sheila.)

Sue then reappeared in the middle of Timperley outside Treadgold's butchers shop and ran/walked with me to the 30km point for a couple of photos to broadcast that I was still in the land of the living.

Returning to Old Trafford along Washway Road would have been too easy, so the route took us through the leafy suburb of Sale, where Cary and Penny spotted me from the corner of their road, where Tris and Alison (just in the above picture) were there to accost me with some goodies.

Sue had also pedalled into Sale, and was there with Richard and Jenny to create a rousing welcome from a large group of residents who seemed to be cheering me on.

I was very tired by now, with a rather delicate knee that didn't take kindly to running (or walking, for that matter).

Anyway, I made it up to the bridge in Sale, where Andy Wright took the next three pictures. Thanks for your support, Andy. It's a shame that I don't seem to be running, apart from in Paul's picture of me striding out in the distance to reach the finishing line!

The last five miles was something of an endurance test, but the couple of hours of pain at the end of this run was well worth it for the money being raised for St Ann's Hospice (as I write it's up to about £1200 - thanks for all the donations - the JustGiving page that I started last Thursday is here).

There was tremendous support for the runners as we passed through Chorlton, and I was still hopeful of finishing inside six hours. However, turning into Talbot Road, the finish line was too distant to achieve that, despite a sprint to the finish with a plucky lady in green.

Here are my stats for the day - as usual, click on the image for a more readable version.

Here's the route.

Back at home:

And mainly for my own entertainment, a summary of all eight of my marathons. 

Maybe I'll do some training next time...

That's it - a run in tribute to my parkrunning pal, Michael, once an elite marathon runner, who is having a horrible time just now.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Saturday 15 April 2023 - Wythenshawe parkrun #518 and a family lunch

Saturday morning - a sunny start to the weekend in more ways than one. Andy Wright joined us by Isabella's tree, where she watched Dan deliver his Run Director Speech, joined the clapping at the appropriate moments, then ran off in pursuit of the 274 participants.

It was a bit wet on the loop past Oliver Cromwell's statue.

Afterwards, [full results here] coffee with Andy and the Barbers, before you know who adjourned to the playground.

After that, Sue went paddle boarding with Richard and Jenny.

 Whilst I was tasked with preparing a family lunch.

Then we went to Newton Park for football, frisbee, and another playground.

What a lovely day. Will they always be this well behaved?