The Autumn sun greeted us as we arrived at The Lowry Outlet, Salford, for our first ‘mass participation’ run, the City of Salford 10k. We’d received our packs in the post at the start of last week and followed the directions (and timing) to the car parking which meant we arrived in plenty of time. In fact we arrived almost an hour and a half early.
Neither myself or Wendy had been to Salford Quays before so we spent a lazy hour walking round the many futuristic looking buildings in the area; the ‘new’ BBC, Media City, The Imperial War Museum, all very impressive and looking spectacular in the early morning sun.
We met up with a few friends from SRC Chorley as the start time approached and we moved into the rapidly filling up start area. There was a bit of a delay as the trams were still running but once they’d been sorted we were off and the mass of runners in all shapes, sizes, colours and costumes set off, moving as one chaotic entity around from under the shadow of The Lowry Theatre onto the course proper.
The course was, as advertised, almost perfectly flat and as we ran I was pleased that my pacing was going according to plan, keeping to a constant speed rather than trying anything fancy. Approaching the 7km mark I was starting to think I’d gone off a bit fast so eased back a bit which turned out to be a good idea as during the later stages of the race the weather, although beautiful, started to take its toll as the heat rose.
And then the finish was in sight, over the hump of the final bridge, a quick run along the Quay and back into a bit of a headwind then through the finish line where I actually managed a bit of a sprint finish. My time… 46 minutes 55 seconds, nearly 1 and a half minutes faster than my previous best 10k time!
After queuing up in the mayhem of goody bag grabbing (note to the organisers… you need to sort this out a bit better guys) we started to gather together and compare our runs. Lots of new PBs (personal bests) from my friends. Martin finished in a blistering time of just over 42 minutes and Wendy knocked a massive 7 minutes of her previous best time.
After we’d all got our breath back everyone agreed that it had been a fantastic race and for me it was certainly a good introduction into the larger running events and one I recommend to anyone, especially if your after a fast time, we’ll definitely be back next year.