The GNR, Manchester Half Marathon and Relays race update

So I promised a race update, and well I have done 3 races now including the Great North Run, the Manchester Half Marathon and the Manchester Relays (6 by 3.01km)

The Great North Run (GNR)


Thankfully my parents came to  watch the GNR so getting there wasn’t too stressful. We stayed in a hotel and used the trams and taxis for transport. Otherwise I would have found it hard to get there, I had organised to stay at the sleepover in the city, but didn’t know how I would collect all my stuff after the race etc.


There were so many people, 57,000 runners! I’ve already talked about this one on facebook, it was hot and hilly and great fun. I was close to the front as that is where the 1:35:00 pacer was, not sure why they do that, but he was right next to the 1:30 pacer also. In the end I can say I was only 27 seconds behind Mo Farah, at the start… and a bit further behind (only 35 mins or so) at the end. I was really happy with my time, definitely gave everything on this race, had to drink a lot on route as felt like I was baking, but the training over summer paid off as I wasn’t too badly effected in the end.


I used the ph spelling for Sofie, hadn’t quite settled on the name at this point! Underneath was Joseph though, quite formal but I couldn’t run with it.

Super happy with the time given the conditions, and really happy getting 1058th!


The Manchester Half Marathon

I had been in a low mood for about 2 weeks before this one and it had stopped me from doing some running and training. I wasn’t really sure if I was even going to go or not. I got a lot of encouraging messages from friends at the running club to go and decided to act to myself as if I was going to go, setting an alarm, getting my running gear ready etc, which is usually enough to get me to the start line. It got me to about 10k when I just wanted to go home but by then I figured the quickest way back was to get to the finishing line. It wasn’t a good effort on my part, I hadn’t carbed up or prepared for it but I was surprised with my time. Just about 1 minute 30 seconds slower than last year and I had walked for a minute whilst mentally screaming at myself.


My pace dropped after 5k, and you can see how I signed up as Jo this time, instead of Joseph at the GNR, so I didn’t feel the need to modify the bib this time. Bear in mind I signed up for these last year, hence the Joseph at the GNR and Jo here.

Also my position dropped quite a bit, the reverse of last year, although I did intend to go under 1:35 so I think I started in the right area, In the end I wasn’t there mentally, I also think my muscles were quite tight from not running much and not stretching in the week before the race. Which I could feel because I was having to take more steps per minute to keep the speed going.

It was awesome to see Jose and Oscar and heard Margot on other side of road. And also didsbury runners were doing marshalling towards the end and was really good to hear them shouting “go Sofie!”. That is probably the reason I kept some speed, really lucky to be with them. It really feels good to have changed my name 😀


The 52nd Manchester Relays


This is a really fun one, I did this last year also, everyone should do this and the Manchester Mile even if you have never run. Didsbury runners put two teams in again for a 6×3.01k relay race. There is a mix of ultra fast and slower runners and it’s very laid back. The fast ones tend to be students from all over the country who then have a night out in Manchester. Its quite interesting to see how things develop and you get to run the race and cheer others on at the same race. I was really happy with the time too! I think that’s a 3k PB and about 1 minute faster than last year.



Also this was my first race run as Sofie Lewis which was awesome! Although there were a few issues with names but I’ll take it. Could end up being an in joke that I always run under the wrong name.


You might not be able to spot me in this picture as I am extremely well camouflaged.


I have been doing less running than usual for a few weeks now, I think that it could be good in the long run. The “break” was mainly due to feeling low rather than being an injury so I have run enough to maintain fitness. Now I have regrouped I can head into marathon training over the winter and be stronger for it. Next up I have the Bolton Abbey Half Marathon on 11/11 (next Sunday) definitely haven’t done enough long runs but going to go and enjoy it, I should be able to beat last years time which was just under 2 hours, it looks as if the route has changed a bit too so who knows. I asked the race director to change my name to Sofie as they will be printed on the bibs this year, so could be a first! Fingers crossed 😀


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