The new big race on the block last year was the Yorkshire marathon and I missed out as it sold out extremely quickly. This year I entered immediately as entries opened in January so not to be disappointed. It is based at the university campus in York, giving plenty of space for the thousands of runners to prepare before the start but I must admit I found it a little confusing walking around the many paths and buildings on the site. I suppose the foggy morning didn’t help.
The race started on a duel carriageway on the north side of the campus. The first couple of miles took us into York’s city centre winding round the city streets’ pasted the city’s medieval castle walls and charming old buildings. After this we made our way out of the city and into the countryside, mainly down what I would describe as “B” roads. The fog stayed for virtually the whole length of the race, clearing only as I neared the finish. The best part if the race was spent in the Yorkshire countryside and I’m afraid due to the fog all I got to see was hedges and about half a field on either side. Crowd support was a bit patchy but large and very vocal in places which was much appreciated.
For me the race was more about continuing my training for next May’s 10 marathons in 10 days and not about racing. I was actually feeling quite tired at the start. I think my training and last weeks fast Chester marathon were affecting my legs so I decided to take the first half fairly easy. By the time I got to halfway I had loosen up I felt good so picked the pace up. In the fog it is hard to analysis a course properly but I would describe it as lightly undulating and having a good PB potential. Even though it was very fog, it was calm and cool and made for good running conditions. The end of the course brought us back into the city up a tough little hill right near the finish and back on to the same duel carriageway from where we had started and into the finish. Great support from the crowds as we came into the finish and a very well organised event. I would like to do it again without the fog, I’m sure the race would be more interesting if I could have seen more than 20 or 30 yards! At least I got to see a good handful of friends before the race and out on the course.
I finished in 3 hours 24 minutes 42 seconds with a 5 minute negative split, so it’s another marathon done and more good training completed towards next May’s challenge.
Found an unusual petrol station on the way back to my car after the race . . .