This was my third marathon. My hat trick.
There, any kind of remote feelings of wonderment towards me must end (only in this regard, of course, carry on for the other reasons).
My third as a spectator, bag looker afterer, next of kin, meerkat impersonator as I attempt to spot my partner in crime (the Rabid Mime) proud supporter and, it has to be said, worrier.
My first was the Greater Manchester Marathon 2013, my second the New York Marathon 2015, and this the third, the Greater Manchester Marathon 2016.
My marathon (supporting) career resembles a kind of New York sandwich. Which would make it a Reuben.
The journey on the day begins with the actual journey. Early rise on a Sunday, on public transport with fellow runners and fellow supporters – do they feel as embarrassed as me to be in civvy clothing? Probably not as they are sure to be well adjusted and more self assured than myself.
None more so than the couple who swanned on at Cornbrook.
Hey everyone, if you move down it creates space and allows more people on!
This, revelation, mind, was bellowed as the doors were opening. Everyone, not having had a chance to create space.
We then approach Trafford Bar.
Open the doors! Open the doors and let me off. This is the stop for the Marathon.
A kindly soul gently explains that they are best to get off at Old Trafford Cricket Club, that being, in actual fact, the closest to Old Trafford Cricket Club, the start of the race.
This was met with silence and a refusal by the couple to make eye contact with everyone.
Great weather was matched by a greater location for the race village; Old Trafford Cricket Club. Yes I know its full name includes its sponsor but I’m no corporate puppet, no siree.
I do understand that the baggage collection element of the ‘Manchester Marathon didn’t go brilliantly, but this didn’t affect this blogger and her charge, as this blogger also serves as supporter and packhorse at races.
As always, it was heartwarming (read ‘soul-destroying’) to see all these fit and sporty people, smiling, laughing, and milling right before running 26.2 miles.
It’s important to have a pre-arranged meeting place after any well-populated race. Where better than in the Pavilion with this view:
Goodbyes said, the runners make their way over to the Start Line whilst supporters plan their vantage points, consider how they’ll spend the next few hours, wonder if their phone batteries will last the course (me), where the nearest loo is (me), whether they’ll find somewhere to linger and write, that won’t judge me (see Foundation Coffee House post) .
Most of all, whether they’ll ever find themselves running a marathon (me and no).
After having the brilliant idea to go to the Costa Coffee down the road (did you know that it’s an actual drive-thru?! I’m still getting over my first visit to a McDonalds one, two years ago – what a seamless magical routine they have), I quickly discovered that pretty much everyone had the same idea.
And so it was to the 5 miles mark that I headed, right opposite the infamous Lou Macari’s Chip Shop. Here were lots of fervent supporters and whoopers and there I stood, and filmed, and photographed, and clapped, and managed to miss seeing my runner.
Come on! Hooray! Well done.
You get the general idea.
I and my fellow self-loathers did see plenty of other runners though and magnificent they all were. Two boys behind me made me smile as they listed the characters who were so far beating their dad…
Batman and Robin!
118 men …
Wait for it
A man in a skirt!!!
yes, we’re looking at you man and indeed all men from Scotland.
Some hours later, the runners, they did run and emerged back at Old Trafford Cricket Ground tired, magnificent, happy and victorious.
Whilst this blogger and supporter got out of breath walking over to Salford Quays and back, these runners had been here, there, everywhere and essentially to Altrincham and back.
As I sat in the ground on our pre-arranged spot I was just considering whether a spot where my runner had to walk up steps, immediately after finishing, was wise. And so just as I was looking around for a plan B, up those steps he did appear.
With a personal best of
the Rabid Mime did become the Rapid Mime (brilliant, eh?).
And so another wonderful day for (Greater) Manchester as Mancunians joined with non-Mancunians who came from far and wide, to run, see South Manchester, achieve personal goals and raise money for charity in the
Greater Manchester Marathon 2016.
Final mention and word, however, must go to fellow supporters, little George, and his mother, as we were all leaving the race village…
George, you’ve pulled your pants up with tomato ketchup hands!
Congrats to all (especially George)!