In our 4th edition of ‘McCarkiss and Friends’, we hear from Friend of the Project, Chris Jordan, on his trip up north where he hoped to go through Trafford like a young Danny Wellbeck.
What – Raining in Manchester?
Following on from a 32:13 at last year’s downhill, on roller-skates, Telford 10k, hopes of a sub 32 in the build up to VLM rested on finding an equally rapid course. Having had a look at last year’s 10k rankings, the Trafford event seemed to be awash with rapido times and a very strong field. Selfishly abandoning the Leicester Corinthian’s winter road league campaign I opted to ditch the near-alpine ascents of the Kibworth 6 and headed north.
A quick glance at the entry list confirmed a quality field, whilst a glance at the sky confirmed it was pissing it down. Spotting a couple of past and current European Medallists in the form of Helen Clitheroe (beatable) and Andy Vernon (not) led me to be believe that this would be no park run. The start was a massive scrum, and I spent the 1st K reattaching my number as someone had tried to rip it off in an attempted identity theft. Namir Batavia is the number one suspect of this crime, given that he was complaining about his midpack purple number compared to the clearly elite orange number being sported by myself ;-).
I still don’t understand race day pacing, but it is absolutely true that three days earlier I had been literally incapable of running a sub 5:20 mile on a flat straight road. Nevertheless an old man was standing at the mile mark shouting times in case we had forgotten our watches, revealing a sub 5 for the (marginally uphill) first mile. Feeling like I was in almost last place at this point I overtook a few casualties who had an even worse pacing strategy than me to reach halfway in 15:55.
So – sub 32 was still on at this point and I managed the next 2k into the wind in 6:20 to remain on track. Catching up with some-time rival James Skelton of Wolves and Bilston was reassuring, but unfortunately that familiar heavy feeling of too much lactate began to nag. The 5 mile split (the same guy shouting, but now facing the other direction) of 25:40 still gave 31:59 an outside chance, but by this point the tank was seriously low on juice, and despite trying to give myself a serious “ just one mile” team talk, I slipped to an eventual 59th place in a pb of 32:11, and in any case my brain was rubbish because it was 1.2 miles anyway. Andy Vernon, it turned out had been running with his Mrs, so my initial jubilation at this mighty scalp was somewhat dampened.
All in all definitely a PB course, quicker than Telford on proper roads, similar to the also highly recommended Cheshire 10k but with a stronger field bettered maybe only by Leeds. 32 mins though as I commented to Skelton afterwards, is proving to be a bit of bastard. Anyway – on to Reading and then London. More PB’s please, legs.
McCarthy for Top Gear? Seems the obvious choice.
Following the race, Jordan was unable to confirm or deny whether he will be making a shock move to the ‘McCarkiss Elite Project’ in the coming months, as they look to recruit a membership with enough people to at least fill the top three places in a race, which they would inevitably achieve. Watch this space.