Angus MacPhail: One down – one to go!

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The first stage of my double bill of short running events is over and I’m very nervous about the next.

I’m writing this on the train back up from Manchester, where I joined the Team Eilidh fundraising group to take part in the Great Manchester Run.

Most of us did the 10k event and, given how hot it was, I was very glad I didn’t join the one brave soul in the group who tackled the half-marathon.

For a cold water creature like me, who finds it physically draining to even lie down and read a book in the sun, to have to run in the sweltering heat of Manchester last Sunday was not pleasant and I was exhausted just walking to the start line.

However, the combination of good crack in the group beforehand, encouragement from the spectators and envisaging the relief of submerging myself in cold water afterwards kept me going and I managed to finish 4,870th with a time of 57.48.

Having come so close, it was obviously tough just missing out on a podium place but the 4,867 folk between me and the bronze medal were just lucky on the day!

Mo Farah will not be feeling threatened with these results but I was just happy to get to the finish line without melting.

With more than 30,000 people taking part, this was a massive event and the diversity of runners was huge.

This was the first time I have ever run with more a than a few people and what was more surprising than anything else was the lack of correlation between body type and age and speed of other runners. I dare say further up the field into the elite category, the bodies and ages of the leaders would narrow into the categories of young and lightly-built types but back in the mid-range average Joe department, all bets were off.

At the beginning, when running among a large concentrated clump of people when the speeds of runners have to separate them, I had some amazingly gratifying moments of gliding past folk who looked like fitness models.

The elevated feeling was short-lived because, as the runners began to spread out further, I noticed there were a fair number of the elderly and those who looked rather less than in the peak of condition leaving me for dust.

It’s not a nice feeling when running along feeling like you’re doing quite well when a pleasantly plump cailleach in her sixties flies past you like a Redbay Rib overtaking a CalMac ferry. Regardless, I just had to swallow my pride and plod on, despite them leaving me in their wake.

The welcome at the finish line was incredible and it felt great to be part
of such thoroughly positive event.

The fundraising for Eilidh’s memorial is going well but we still have a fair bit to go to reach the £3,000 target on the Just Giving page.

The downloads of Wishing Well, which reached number 24 in UK mainstream charts last week, are still selling in good numbers which will add to the fund and the audience were very generous with donations to the collection buckets at the Usher Hall last week.

The main event for us is the half-marathon this Sunday in Edinburgh and we need to have reached the online target by then, so any donations large or small would be most welcome.