Well, yesterday was the big day... the Great Manchester 10K Run. Before heading off to catch the tram into the city, I did the sensible thing and checked on the radio to see if the event had been called off because of a terrorist threat of some kind. But no such luck. It was all going ahead. There was no getting out of it.
Before long I was joining thousands of other runners in the Orange Wave due to start at 10am. They all looked a bit too serious for my liking. About 20 minutes before the start we were subjected to warm-up exercises by Mr Motivator, or some other annoyingly perky fitness trainer person who seemed to have far more energy than must be healthy.
Just before the start itself, I heard the man with the microphone announce that alongside him on the starter's podium was Tanni Grey Thompson. Seconds later there was a gunshot followed by an eerie silence. For an awful moment I thought they had shot Tanni. They can't do that! I mean she's a Dame isn't she? As the crowd of runners that surrounded me slowly edged forwards, I quickly realised that the gunshot had signalled the start of the race! In fact, as I jogged past the starter's podium Dame Tanni was sat there klaxon in hand cheering on the runners as they filed past. I wouldn't have minded but she sounded the klaxon right in my ear as I passed, so was I effectively deafened for the first 500 metre of the race. And to think, just moments before I had been mourning that woman.
The run itself was fortunately fairly uneventful. I managed to run pretty much the entire course, and surprised myself to finish in less than an hour! 56 minutes 46 seconds to be precise. I had said to myself that I would add another £10 to the money raised for BLISS for every minute over an hour that I took to complete the run. By my calculations, this means that I'm owed between £30 and £40 from the donations made so far! Okay, okay... I'll put in £10 for every minute under an hour, and even round it up to £40.
Thank you again to everyone who supported me and made a donation. It made it worth the effort. It's possible to donate via the justgiving page up until 20 July 2007, so if you would like to please, please make a donation. Just a pound or two (or even four... a quid for every minute under an hour!).
After the race, I wandered into the G-Mex (or Manchester Central as they are now calling it) to see if BLISS had a stall in the charity village. The Marie Curie Cancer Care folks were very generous with their malt loaf so I helped myself to two slices thank you very much (don't worry they had plenty, they were getting sponsored by Soreen). As I walked round the stalls I noticed that quite a few of the charities had a stock of food and drinks for their runners. I couldn't find a stall for BLISS, but next year I might run for Leukemia Research. They had cherry bakewells on their table.