Pacing the Manchester Marathon 2018

25/10/2018

This year I chose The Manchester Half Marathon as my autumn pacing event where I lead the 1 hour 55 minute group, are you ready to be motivated?

The Manchester Half Marathon is a race I’d never done before but I’d heard good things about the flat route which would make it a great course to pace on.

Manchester really spoiled the pacers on this occasion, the race sponsors provided some extra goodies in Optimum Nutrition Gold Pack & On Running Cloud Flyer trainers. I pace to help others but I was really grateful for some free kit as Manchester is a long way for me.

To break up the journey my family & I set off the day before to Warwickshire, where we met Delroy & Michele. Del was pacing 2 hours & Meesh was Running for her first sub 2 hour half.

We met for lunch at The Dun Cow & had a great time chatting. Then we headed to Draycot Water for some playground fun.

It was really good fun, I love hanging out with Del & Meesh anyway but as runners it’s usually before & after a race, & I really loved hanging out with them just as people doing something normal.

After the playground we headed to the water to see some ducks

I think by the end of the day my little one & Meesh were BFF’s 🦆

My family then headed home & I spent the night at Del & Meesh’s place, where me & Del went live on my YouTube channel to give some pacing tips.

https://youtu.be/6ouZB2FkOp8

Meesh made us an awesome pasta dinner & it was an early night for me. 04:30 🕟 on Sunday morning the alarm went off, we all dragged ourselves up & hit the road, snagging a drive through breakfast & coffee to wake us up.

We got to Manchester & they’d pre paid for parking, but we were running late. As pacers we were meant to be at the pacing tent for 07:30 & were rolling into the car park for 07:45. We were in such a flap we actually went to the wrong car park but we were let in & then Del & I jogged the half mile to the race village, it was a good warm up as the rain was starting & it was quite cold. ☔️

We got all set up to go with our pacer flags & T-shirts

I was so glad I bought a poncho to keep the rain off in the start pen it really helped keep me warm & dry.

The start pens were packed, this was clearly a popular race which sold out early & we were set off in waves. As overs we were give. Really specific instructions on which one to go to & where about a in the pen we were to stand. This was great it evenly distributed us along all pens & was meticulously planned by the organisers.

… & we were off where I had to do 08:45 per mile pace to achieve the 1 hour 55 minutes finish time. I tend to go a shade faster than required to give runners a buffer at the end in case the fade, but I have to strike a fine balance as too much of a buffer is too much for them & would be detrimental to their race.

I think a video tells it better than my words so here’s how the race went & how the pacing group got on, you’ve got to watch to the end & see how well they all got on.

https://youtu.be/YqudwfERuSw

The race was fantastic, well organised, flat as advertised & the medal was brilliant.

I then made my way back to the pacing tent & it was raining hard & I was getting cold but when I got back Del was already there. This really confused me as I knew he was pacing 5 minutes behind me. It transpired he’d picked up an injury & pulled out at mile 3. I felt gutted for him as it’s never good to DNF a race but it’s even more gutting when you’re supposed to be delivering the pacing service & can’t. This had happened to me at the Great North Run 2017 & I hated it.

Del really struggled to walk back to the car & was in pain but he was so selfless telling me & Meesh we should still get some photos on route, he even made light of his situation posing on a ‘finisher medal’ selfie.

Delroy is now injured so please click his name & send him some love on Instagram.

I’m also currently nominated for best blog at the Running Awards. If you’ve enjoyed this blog, your free vote for baze187 will really help support me & my blog, just click this massive red button.

Thanks so much for reading I hope you enjoyed it

Vote For Baze187