Battle of the sexes

The Three Halls of Stockport

Race: 3 Halls of Stockport
Distance: 10miles
Date: Sunday 21st January 2018
Supporting Runners: Abby Kay, Jonny Fletcher, Matt Oldfield
Fundraising to date: £1,490
Finishing Time: 01:53:40

Whilst the back ends of storm Fionn were creating blizzards in and around Cheadle and Bramhall this morning, there were 2 teams of very freezing cold ‘runners’ battling to win the 3 Halls of Stockport 10 mile race. 

This mornings run, and the 8th in the 30for30 challenge, consisted of a girls vs boys style challenge around 3 landmarks (Bramhall Hall, Bruntwood Park and Abney Hall). The aim of the race was to pick the quickest route, based on a map and knowledge of the local area, and just go for it and hope to not get lost…

My competitive side decided that this would be a good run to have 2 teams due to the staggered start and also running whilst having absolutely no idea where the other team would be up to…

I put a ‘call for runners’ post out there and assistance came in the form of Jonny Fletcher – a good friend of Adam’s, my best friend’s fiancè and the father of my 2 lovely godsons. Jonny kindly volunteered his cousin and friend of mine, Matt Oldfield, to join the challenge (I am sure Matt was delighted to receive that call) and we were all signed up and -kind of- ready to go. Ready to go in Jonny’s world consisted of no training and a night out the evening before…

Why did I want to do a ‘battle of the sexes’ approach to this race?

In life, men have been expected to be the stronger ones, the tougher ones, the ones that are supposed to ‘man up’ and get on with it. We read more and more about this on social media and in the news, and finally attitudes are beginning to change. However there is still a long way to go.

I wanted a way to talk about this in my blog, to give people something to think about. This morning’s run wasn’t about winning (and for the purpose of writing this blog with the point I am trying to prove, I am relieved that the boys didn’t absolutely thrash us!) – We were just 2 teams of every-day twenty-something year olds who put ourselves through the same challenge and both practically came out at the same time.

small print: the girls won by 3mins.

As men and women/boys and girls – we are all going through the same big challenge that is life. And it is an awfully huge challenge at times (a greater challenge than running 10miles in the cold)

Girls typically talk to each other more openly when things get tough and a small part of spreading awareness for mental health is to encourage men to do the same.

On Facebook this week, I saw this link about a group of local young men in Bramhall, setting up a support group to encourage men to talk. I absolutely love a play on words so I am extra impressed with the name ‘MenTell’, but also feel proud that stuff like this is now going on. Considering the run today went through Bramhall Park, it is more than great timing to share on this blog:

Now for the race round up…

We arrived at the starting line at the later time of 9:20am (runners could start any time from 8am – but I love bed).

I provided energy gels for the team (including the opposition) and we were all in high spirits despite the 100% chance of snow that the weather app had told us…

IMG_1129.jpgOblivious to the extreme weather conditions we were about to face…

We set off 10mins apart so we had no idea of each others whereabouts, and I spent the first 1-2miles paranoid that we were being chased and could be overtaken at any minute.

I later found out that they did the reverse route to us, visiting Abney Hall first whilst we headed to Bramhall Hall. Both teams had to get the checkpoint cards stamped and return to the starting line, in no particular order…

Checkpoint photos…

Big thank you to those who were at each checkpoint. Darren @ Bramhall Hall, Sophie, Sandra, Martin, Paige, Louis & Joe @ Bruntwood Park and of course, Mum & Andy @ Abney Hall.

I can’t speak for the boys at this point, but for Abby and I, the last 20mins were by far the worst running conditions I’ve experienced. The snow was well and truly at 100% but we were already soaked from the rain and practically freezing over. My gloves felt like they were doing more harm than good as they were frozen, so I decided to take them off. WORST DECISION EVER. It made the problem 10 x worse and we just felt like blocks of ice trying to get to the finish line.

It seemed that the boys weren’t having a great time either…

We made it back and through chattered teeth I managed to ask if we had won…

I spent 10mins causing a commotion about my hands. I can’t describe the pain but it was that bad I cried OK… YES I had a little cry because they were so cold they were burning. I have never felt anything like it and the lovely organisers were wrapping scarves round them so I could regain feeling. Like I say, not like me to be dramatic or anything.

The other wanderers returned soon after with sore knees and full of mud and I think we were all just glad it was over. We had some warm food provided by the organisers and a nice warm cup of tea and exchanged our route stories by the fire (that sounds a lot more pleasant than it was).


So grateful for the team of runners! Once again you made it fun and helped raise even more money for the cause. ❤️ Maybe next time we could do one in the Summer…

To donate please visit:

Or to make a difference, please encourage anyone around you to speak out. If you are worried about anyone, male or female, why not ask if they are OK.

A week or so off now until race 9. Until next time, here’s a photo of Mr Chips being a great post-10mile run support:



One thought on “Battle of the sexes

  1. Alan Bramwell says:

    If anybody feels they have a need to talk to people there is a good Philosophy Discussion Group that meets up in Chorlton once per month. For details please contact The Lloyds Hotel.


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