Manchester Half Marathon – 26th May 2024

by Clare and Harry Rose

Harry and I signed up for the Manchester Half Marathon way back in January when he needed a focus. To say training was hit and miss was an understatement, with me being admitted to hospital and Harry not really having any idea how to train for 13.1 miles.

Then, Kate beat him at Middridge and welcome competitive Harry.

Race day was perfect conditions; we were up, prepared and ready.

Harry set off first with a 20 minute head start on my wave. My husband said his head was up, he was focused on the 1 hour 30 pacer and whoosh – he was off.

Being an out and back course, I had worked out that if I timed my run right, I would see Harry twice. I was right – I saw him at his 6 mile and my 3 mile. He was full of smiles and an awful lot of energy.

My run continued with surprising ease. We ran past both the Etihad and Old Trafford, other notable landmarks and then came the home stretch.

I had hoped to have spotted Harry at my 9 mile point with him at about 12.5 but he was nowhere to be seen. I must admit to a few tears at this point as I knew he would have been close to his target time.
I cursed mile 11 to 12 and gave myself a talking to with 1 mile to go.

I’d set off with a target time of 2:15; I came in at 2:03 which I am over the moon with.

Harry, at 17 years of age, with 12 weeks of training, hit his target of between 1:30 and 1:32 coming in at 1:31.

As a mum, I’m fit to burst with pride. Harry cannot wait for the next one!

Harrys perspective,
I’ve been excited for this day for ages. Predicted times ranging from 1:30-2:30. I knew I was capable of around 1:30ish, not sure how but it’s one of those daft things you just know. I argued with myself having never run further than 8 miles, I could possibly live with 1:32.

The half marathon was so well organised and, once I escaped my mum’s fussing, it was time to enjoy the crowd, the bands and the music. The course, in my opinion, was perfect. As flat as I could wish for. The bands and music kept me going all the way round. I tried to stay with the sub 1:30 pacer but he was on a mission I will keep for another day. I settled and thoroughly enjoyed my 13.1 miles.

I was really pleased to finish 9th in my age category, and I will be back to break that 90 minute golden gate down.

To see my mum come in way quicker than she expected was the icing on the cake.

Time for a quick bite to eat before heading home and a shift at work for me to complete my epic day.