By Scott Mills
This weekend athletes from all over the world will be travelling to compete in the Manchester Half-Marathon.
Famously known for being one of the fastest courses in Europe, many are aiming to record a new personal best, and the Weir Archer Academy’s Stuart Bloor is no exception.
After narrowly missing out on his personal best in the Lisbon Half-Marathon where he still managed a 4th place finish, Bloor hopes that this time round things will be different.
“For wheelchair racing, this course seems like the perfect opportunity to beat my personal best, especially after coming so close in Portugal”, he explained.
“This is my first half-marathon [in Manchester] but in May, it is where I achieved my current PB for the 10,000m.
“So the aim is to just get a good time to be honest.”
Despite this being his main aim, for Bloor this course has more than just the potential to record a new personal best.
It also happens to be 15 minutes away from where he lives, something he feels can work to his advantage.
“With it being one of my local races, I have got a few people coming down to support and cheer me on, which I feel will definitely give me more encouragement.
“Especially when things get tough, I believe it will help me to keep going,” expressed Bloor.
Although, the 29 year-old has had an incredible last few months with his victory in the Great Bristol Half being the highlight, the season hasn’t all gone as smoothly as he’d have liked.
“This season has certainly had its ups and downs.
“Due to a few issues, I missed most of the track season but on the road everything has been absolutely brilliant.
“Since then, both training and competitions have went really well,” explained the Crewe-based athlete.
So whilst Bloor prepares himself for Sunday’s 13.1 mile expedition, there is a familiar face he is likely to see when the time comes for the competing athletes to congregate at the starting line.
Fellow teammate and friend, John Smith is also competing in the race and after going head-to-head against him in Lisbon, Bloor believes that it will be another really enjoyable experience.
“I really enjoyed racing with him in Portugal to be honest.
“I have never actually had the opportunity to race against him in a road race before then and it worked out really well for me.
“So I am really looking forward to working with him again, as I feel like it is really good to have someone there to work with and he’s a really nice person who gives me that encouragement to go out and do well.”