Fitness Ambition: BUPA Great Manchester Run 2014


So if any of you woke up early enough this morning, you might have switched on the TV to witness the 11th BUPA Great Manchester Run. Though it is a Sunday, in the middle of a bank holiday weekend, so I wouldn’t blame you if you slept in!

Now, if you don’t already know, the Great Manchester Run (or GMR) is a 10km race, or 6.2 miles. It’s one of several events within the Great Run series, which are all sponsered by BUPA and take place all over the country throughout the year. For example, apart from this 10km event there is also the Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffeild, the Great North 10km or the Great Women’s 10km in Glasgow. If you don’t think you can hit 10km just yet, there is a shorter 5km event in Portsmouth, while there’s 10 miles also being held in that same weekend. To increase on this there’s the Great North Run which is a half marathon.

But focusing back on Manchester, this year they expanded the entries so 4,000 runners and walkers could take to the streets of Greater Manchester and enjoy the event.

I first ran the GMR in 2010 a few months before I came to university. It was to aid my training for the Great North Run the following September which I was supposed to be running for Asthma UK, though an injury prevented that. Of course, these events are expensive in my opinion and generally aren’t seen as PB (personal best) potentional for some athletes. This is because of the over crowding and really, you’re not going to pay just under £40 to achieve a personal record when there are much cheaper more appropriate races closer to home.

But that’s not to completely strike off this run. In 2010, I had taken up running the previous December. I had been targeting the Great North Run since I got through on the ballot, but I was far too impatient to wait until September and signed up for Manchester before I even heard back about the ballot. Then I decided to run a local 5km in Blackpool in Stanley Park which was being hosted by Blackpool Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club– though this was all before I could even run a mile.

You’re probably starting to realise my impatience in many situations.

Without going to far into it those were my first and last 5km and 10km races, and consisted of 30:50 and 77:45 PBs. Not the best but admittedly, I wasn’t the last in either which was achievement enough for the one who had come last in every sports day event during high school and primary school.

So I am doing it again. Yes, with little under a year until the next GMR I found myself signing up to the 2014 event while the current year’s one was being televised! Not that I can afford £39 for an event I probably won’t train for again.

Now, with that in mind of course, I do need to train for it properly this time around. I’ve put down a target for a sub 60 minute time which isn’t any small ask. I plan to run for NSPCC and I will be also keeping track of it via this blog too.

So I guess we’re moving beyond my academic and personal rants, now I’m throwing a bit of fitness malarky in!


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