Temporarily joining a new club for the weekend, Team Joseph Holt's (yes, the brewery) 4 of us set off on sat afternoon to the north east to support The Christie in their relentless fight against cancer. The journey started well having decided to take the more scenic M6 route rather than the M62 which we later learned was gridlocked for 2 hours due to an accident. Arriving at base camp we dropped off the bags and headed to the bar for some light refreshments. A hearty fish & chips meal followed by round after round of strongbow ensured we were in a relaxed mood for the next days task. Not the most ideal of preparations, particularly for an athlete (EA no. 3006610) such as myself, but we had taken comfort from the fact that the pre race manual did say not to change your normal routine! Sunday morning started nice and early and we headed for the start taking our position a good hour before the race. Following some emotional moments we set off with the sun beating down. The first few miles passed reasonably quickly and I suddenly realised I had attracted my own personal stalker (unfortunately male) who seeing my ATRR top and Garmin watch assumed I was a runner who knew what he was doing and used me as his pacemaker. He made himself known after 5 miles and we continued for the next 8 miles or so helping each other over a quite hilly course to beat our target time of under 2 hrs. At 9 miles the heavens opened, a welcome relief for me, and for the next 2.5 miles we got thoroughly soaked. Buoyed on by the atmosphere set by an enthusiastic crowd, the coast and finishing line loomed into view and it was a very satisfied ATRR who crossed the line in 1.54.50.
All in all, a very tiring run and but memorable weekend. Happy days!