After booking a long weekend t’ut North to see my Dad in Carnforth, Howard and I were looking for things to do. We saw that there was an Airshow at Blackpool that weekend and on studying the schedule, we also saw that there was a 10k race and we all love a bit of parkrun/race tourism don’t we?
We arrived early at Bispham race HQ; first time I’ve picked up a race number in a Fire Station! Disappointingly, no hunky firemen but I did see a runner who was the spitting image of an actor from the TV series “Shameless”.
As we walked in to the Fire Station, someone said “Coltishall Jaguars? You’ve come a long way!” It turned out this particular runner had once supplied the Jags race vests! Small world!
The race was really cheap at £6 Affiliated so we were not expecting a medal; as it turned out there was no chip timing either! Two painted white lines marked start and finish with a stopwatch at the end. The bibs were recycled from previous race leftovers so the numbers were random with the names of the previous races cut off the bottom. If you want to put on a cheap 10k, this is how!
The start of the race was down a slope away from Blackpool and I had to slow down as I got a bit carried away! After turning on to the lower promenade I settled into a comfortable 4:50 km/min and had a brief chat with a friendly runner. The run towards Blackpool tower was pleasant; warm with a nice breeze and a lovely view out to low tide. I then saw that I had to run up a steep slope back to the upper promenade; luckily I’ve done my hill training because I didn’t want the Northern runners to think I was a soft Southerner from flat East Anglia so I ran up it!
The run back to Bispham was up a few unexpected slopes but I took my mind off it by looking at the Blackpool illuminations and I was soon running downhill to the finish picking up speed. I achieved a new 10k PB and came fourth in my age category at 48:24! Howard finished at 44:17 and won a spot prize of a packet of cookies! The post-race goodies consisted of helping ourselves to crisps, chocolate biscuits and fizzy pop
After a quick spruce-up in the Fire Station, we headed back to Blackpool Tower to watch the airshow and the Red Arrows did not disappoint! All in all a nice, friendly little race and a great day out. Oh and after looking at the results and race photos, I found out that Ciaran Griffiths who played Mickey in “Shameless” had run part of the race right beside me. Doh!