It's a big day today for two reasons; firstly, the final day of the Premiership and secondly, entries for the Parish Walk close at midnight!
Starting with the football, I am holding out little hope of QPR getting a result against Man City and letting Man United sneak back in, but you can always hope! One person who won't be hoping that QPR get a result this afternoon (and not so Man City win the league), is Michael Bonney. Michael has been a training partner of mine over the last couple of years and a 4 time Parish Walk finisher, but is giving it a miss this year and has instead been spending time in the gym and doing more running. Hopefully he will be back next year, as I'm sure he can still improve his PB. Anyway, Michael hails from Bolton, so will be nervously watching his local team hoping they avoid relegation.
Back to the battle at the top, I'm sure that most neutral supporters will be cheering on Man City. It hurts me to admit it, but Man U haven't really played that well this season, with City playing the more attractive football. I think there needs to be a clear out at Old Trafford over the summer, as there are too many average players with an over reliance on Scholes and Giggs and very few players in the team that can change a game. Fergie has done it before and I'm sure he will build one more title winning side before he puts his feet up!
I had a look on Murray's 2011 pre-race blog and on the closing day for entries last year there were nearly 200. At the moment the number of entries is 1683, in comparison to 1756, which was the closing number in 2011, so it looks like we will have a new record, but unfortunately the target of 2012 entries looks to be out of reach, but lets hope there is late flurry.
If you are reading this today and still haven't entered, below is the link, so do it now!
A fairly standard week on the training front. A 5 mile run on Monday, followed by a 9 mile walk on Tuesday with Vinny. With there only being the two of us, we decided to give the Groudle loop a miss and instead headed out along Marine Drive and out to Port Soderick taking the right turn up the hill on the Old Castletown Road. We then took a right turn back into Douglas, past the Nunnery and up Woodbourne Road. Vinny always like to set a good pace on all training walks and we ended up covering the 9 miles at an average pace of 9.40 per mile. Wednesday was Circuit training at the NSC, followed by the Groudle Loop on Thursday with Dave W and Mike George.
Saturday's walk was a 7am start at the NSC with Dave and Mike again. Given the Rally was being held on a number of roads we would usually walk round in the middle and north of the Island, we decided to head south along Marine drive. We followed the route initially as on Tuesday night, but instead of turning right on the Old Castletown Road we took a left turn and joined the Parish Route. We passed the entrance to the Orrisdale Road and down into Ballasalla for refreshments. On the way, Mike mentioned that he had been on Manx Radio the previous evening along with Robbie Callister, Maurice Bellando, Maureen Moffat and Gillian Cunningham to discuss this year's Parish Walk. I had also been invited along but had to decline as I was working. If you missed it live you can catch on the listen again feature (Friday Sport Preview) on Manx Radio's website and the link is below:
During the radio discussion Mike mentioned the cheery comment he made last Saturday when he, Dave W, Vinny and I were in the same car on the way to Ramsey, which was "I wonder how the dimension of this year's Parish Walk would change if the 4 of us were to get wiped out now"!!!
After a fairly easy stroll to into Ballasalla and re-supplied, we set off towards St Marks, through to Mount Murray and then the Parish Walk in reverse back to Union Mills. This was a lot quicker than the first half and when I got home, after just short of 23 miles, I was absolutely shattered. Took the dog for a long walk in the afternoon and certainly slept well last night.
Back to the football - Man U have scored, but so have City, so they're still in the driving seat.