York Marathon 2015
[Mon 12th Oct]
So it was finally York Marathon day 2015, I had been really looking forward to it......... not.
4 intrepid runners from Blyth were due on the starting line at 9:30 on Sunday morning. Claire took the sensible choice and arrived the night before, Steve French, Martin Scott and I were very kindly ferried down to York by Pete Holmback at silly o'clock in the morning. Now Steven has a penchant for being late and I was quite relieved to see Martin and Steven arrive on time at 5:45 at my Gaff and we all jumped into Pete's car for the journey down to York. After a brief stop off at Wetherby services we arrived at Elvington airfield just after 8 o'clock and were soon on the organised buses to the start.
We arrived at the university of York at approx 8:45 and after the obligatory toilet stop we changed into our running kit, attached our gels then dumped our bags on the baggage buses.
It was a lovely morning with none of the fog that shielded us from the sun last year. Before the start there was a rather touching and poignant minutes clapping for the poor gent that died at the GNR, God rest his soul.
Then before we knew it we were off ! Steven and Martin went off rather quickly in comparison with me , but I was rather glad as I didn't want to hold them back, though I did miss their company a bit ! .
Within the first 2 miles I got chatting to a lady and gent from the Essex area, Mark and Vicky, they were to become my new friends for the next 11 miles. We chatted merrily along at a sensible 7:50 ish pace and the time went rather quickly. Before I knew it we were at the halfway point and Mark and Vicky just eased away, I just let them go as I didn't want to push too hard as I knew what was coming up. I managed to just keep ahead of the 3:30 pacer but at 16 the group eased past me, again I let them go, to be honest I don't think I could have kept up with them today !
after a few little rises we peaked at 16.5 and began a winding 1.5 mile section down the hill, at the end of which we did a 180 and, yup, you guessed it, ran back up for 1.5 miles, this was not fun.
I finally reached the top and jinked left then it was time for the 6.5 mile run in, that's just over 10K, I can run a 10k, or so I thought. I managed to get to 21 before the wheels started to come off and before that Claire came breezing past me, running really well.
From 21 to the finish I really struggled, my pace dropping off step by step, there were a couple of water stops so I took the opportunity to have a decent drink, not so I could walk and rest a bit, honest, but this did help and I managed to drag my butt the last remaining miles to the final corner, but this time I knew what was coming, the final hill at 25.8 mile, all 300m of it, I tried to run but had nothing left (or so I thought) so started up walking. Half way up I heard someone shouting my name and encouraging me to get my butt moving, big thanks to Scott Douglas, because it worked, I dug in, and started running again , got to the top and then increased speed for the final 300m, crossing the line in 3:35. Thank god for that !
I then stumbled through the finish area in a bit of a daze, picked up my goody bag and medal then wandered through the throng of runners and their family and friends to the rendezvous point near the baggage buses.
It was great to see Martin, Steven and Claire all there, and they had all done brilliantly, they had all got PB's Martin with 3:23, Steven 3:26 and Claire with 3:32:30, so proud of them !.
After a quick change I got the chocolate milk and mars bar from the goody bag down my neck and we headed off back to the bus to talk us back to the airfield. Unfortunately Steven was not well, he wasn't well when he arrived at my house at 5:45, how the hell he managed to PB a marathon feeling so crap I will never know, but now he was paying the price.
After a quick farewell to Claire and Dave we jumped into Pete's car again and set off for a pub and some grub, which we all ( bar Steven, who had a few chips) devoured. Then it was back in the car back up North.
We all arrived safe and sound back in Crammy just before 6pm. We all prised ourselves out of Pete's Car, and that was that ! Marathon no.4 done and dusted.
With regards to marathons I am going to take a break from doing them for a while, I just can't get the time to put the training in at the minute and to be honest they are spoiling running for me a bit, so back to some shorter races and xc and I am sure I will get my mojo back. There will be a number 5 , just not for a few years yet.
So all in all a cracking day with some great friends, let's not do it again next year !
A couple of final things, one, a special thanks to Peter H, without whom we would have struggled to get on the starting line, and secondly to a big thanks to Dave Roberts for flitting around the course and shouting some much needed encouragement, much appreciated !
Finally the people of York and the organisers did themselves proud with some fantastic organisation, great support and a kick ass goody bag, medal and T shirt. If you want to do a marathon or fancy doing another one I could heartily recommend York.
Thank you and goodnight.