Whether it’s a catch up run with friends, a local park run, the London Marathon, or the Marathon des Sables, we’re all running our own races, for our own reasons, in our own way. But on Sunday 22nd May, I took part in a truly “great race”, where people from all walks of life were running together, sharing the streets of Manchester in the glorious sunshine!
The Great Manchester Run (that has now became a symbol of solidarity after the bombing at Manchester arena last year) is a race full of sunshine and celebration that showcases the spirt of Manchester in all its glory. The streets are lined with spectators, singers, volunteers, steel bands, whilst runners turn out in their thousands, including celebrated survivors of the atrocity and the running elite (hello Mo Farah and Lily Patridge).
I was privileged to be running with team Garmin, the company who arguably lead the way in GPS navigation, innovation and wearable technology for runners. Our team was made up of established speed demons, yoga teachers, social media influences and even through our experience varied (lets be honest, I was never going to run a 10k in 36 minutes) what we all shared was our love of running!
The Garmin team truly encapsulated the philosophy that running is for everyone (yes even you). Whatever your age, whatever your experience and whatever your pace, there’s nothing stopping you lacing up your trainers and hitting the streets.
The Great Machester Run was my first race since the London Marathon and unbelievably it was just as hot too (typical). The fact that we set off in the first wave of 10km runners (which was about 1:30pm) meant it was a whopping 23 degrees in the sun at the start line.
With very little shade on the course, we all knew that a sensible pace was going to be vital. It’s so easy to get carried away with the atmosphere of the race and set off as if you’re running the 100 metre sprint, only to realise 2km in that you have very little left in the tank (I am not Mo Farah, I am not Mo Farah…). So, as with all my runs, I relied on my watch to help me maintain an even, steady pace throughout.
I’ve always used Garmin running watches (previously the Foreruner 230 and for this race the Forerunner 235 ). Throughout the race, it helped me to monitor when I needed to slow down or speed up (simple enough). It also helped me keep track of distance, so I knew exactly how many KM’s I’d covered and how many I had left to run. At the end of the run it gave me an accurate time, telling me exactly how long it had taken me to complete the race. It even has a feature (which I love) that monitors your heart rate – hello my new best friend!
Geek Alert – Additional features include 11 hours on a charge(in Training Mode – using GPS AND the heart-rate monitor) and up to nine days when it’s being used as a watch with activity tracking, notifications and the heart rate monitor. It’s also important to note that the Forerunner 235 picks up a GPS signal faster than any device I’ve ever tested. Which makes it the perfect device when thousands of other runners are trying to connect their devices to Russian satellites (yes seriously).
So how am I feeling after Sunday….excited, inspired, in awe, determined. Basically the same feelings I get after any big event but the Great Manchester run was a special one! The atmosphere, the crowd, the passion but most importantly the people! Get out there and start running – I promise you, you won’t regret it!