While Helen Clitheroe was running her final KM of the Great Manchester Run in 3:01, me & my (not a Runner but running anyway) friend Kate were still in Preston, feeding babies & playing with toddlers.

Dispite our line up time for the Pink wave about to begin, we were only just getting in the car for the 40 minute trip to Manchester. We weren’t worried about missing the dancing warm up thing, Kate’s a fitness instructor, if she was going to miss it, I was certain that immunity would also pass to me. (Plus part of the reason I like running is that it’s not a group excersise & I don’t have to be co-ordinated or in time with anyone else)

As we bumbled around Manchester, coffee in hand, looking for the start line, we didn’t know 99% of all the other runners had set off… It’s safe to say, Kate & I had a fairly relaxed approach to the whole run.  Until we  could hear the announcer shout that the last runner was crossing the start line & stopping for Amir Khan’s autograph, and we still hadn’t took our hoodies off, or crossed the start.

So we ran and, I’m fairly confident when I say this, we were the last 2 runners to cross the start line. In fact I think we had to dodge a few startled street sweepers to get there.

So running & trying to take of a waterproof jacket & a hoodie do not seem to be my forte. And I had something that Janet Jackson would call a “wardrobe malfunction.” And whilst I was flailing about and trying to not drop everything & fall over my own feet or the walking dressed up entrants, Kate vanished off ahead into the crowd.

And then I dropped everything. But no panic, at least the stash of jelly babies was ok & my phone still seemed to be tracking the run & working, and I still had the car key & change, so all was ok.

But it started to rain more & the wind was horrible, was it Janthon, or May?  And well,to prevent me making this whole post more dramatic than it really was, I’d got to about 3.5 / 4 km before I was back on stride & running properly. And miles behind my 1hr target. Le Sigh.

So I put my hoodie back on & ran the next 4km, looking for Kate, and getting repeated annoyed at an old guy who would run ahead of me fast, then stop to a walk so that I’d overtake him, and then 2 or 3 minutes later he’d sprint past me again & then slow, and the groups of cackling women in various shades of flouresent pink & yellow would make some noise about not being seen walking past the charity supporters, and run for 20m, then winge and slow back down. The giraffe man from last year, was no where to be seen, phew.

Around 8k  BUPA Boost Zone would be handing out jelly babies, and last year I was so slow that they had ran out, I am relieved to say they hadn’t this year, so I had 2, to make up on the deficit. With the last 2km to go, I decided to man up & get a bit wet, so the hoodie was taken off (again) and with the 2 jelly babies munched I got back into the running.

The end arrived, but I hadn’t seen Kate all the way along & I hated to slow to a walk rather than my camp jog, as this just made the 2 blisters on my instep hurt more!

But Yeaah! I’d competed my 2nd Manchester Run & I was faster than last year (so a technical PB)

SO in honour of Cathy @ Jogblog (who was closest with her guess & I will be knitting socks for) here are some stats from my 2011 Manchester Run

People Behind me at start: 0

People behind me at end: 11,374

Official Chip Finishing Time: 1:24:22

Phones me & Kate had between us: 1

Plans we had made  in case of separation: 0

Only size shirts available when I got to the end : Small