My final marathon of 2013 took me the short distance from home to York and the inaugural Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. This new event had sold out the 6,000 places within 3 days of opening registration and I had only gained my space through the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. I therefore committed to raise £300 for them in doing so.
I travelled over with fellow runner, Alex Cleeland. However, he was coming as support for his friend, Claire, and I as he had opted to not run. I did join, however, Julie Donald on the starting line, better known as Where’s Wenda from my London 2012 Marathon. Both of us where incognito as Beverley AC runners – as seem to be the case for a number of the club, who had over ten entrants.
Above - Just after the start - middle blue runner is Lucas with lady in red on his right being Julie
Below - Kate from Project 30 -
The route was well supported and started out from York St John’s university campus on the east of the City and took in the City Walls and Minster within the first couple of miles. I quickly left Julie and slightly over egged my pace as I went though mile 2 in under 7:22 minutes. I slowed down again and maintained a steady pace as we headed north east out of the city and into the surrounding countryside and villages. I found myself alongside Emmerdale star and regular London Marathon runner, Tony Audenshaw(Bob Hope in Emmerdale). This at least got some cheers – but soon enough I dropped behind him as my state of fitness of recent reflected. I did have the same crash as in Kielder two weeks earlier and retained a good pace through the first half in just over 1 hour 42 mins. As we headed up and down and up again along the A164 to Stamford Bridge and Gate Helmsley I held onto a running pace – as much due to the crowds and determination not to walk in front of them. At mile 16 a loo stop was required at a gate and then I carried on running through into mile 18 or even 19 before I finally succumbed to a walk. I had not set myself any particular target for the course – but under 4 hours was a preference.
As we left the A164 and went through mile 20 I was feeling it – I managed a slow run/jog at around 9 minute miles but, with a stretch stop using a Landrover to lean on I finally halted at mile 22 and a first aid stop to ice my right glut and left shoulder. Both were not entirely happy and I was having some weird nerve issues with my right leg which kept feeling as though I couldn’t feel it!! The stop was effective and although it meant mile 22 took 18 minutes as I restarted I found myself alongside a lady called Claire who I’d seen in the Hull Daily mail earlier in the year. She is marking her 30th year with 30 challenges to try and raise £30,000 for 30 different charities. We chatted for a mile and I invited her to join my 40-40-40 challenge.
Alex finally appeared around mile 24 – and I was feeling a bit more upbeat again after the 18-22 phase. Mile 25 motivated me to just pick my pace up a little bit, especially realising I should be safely under the 4 hour mark. However, the hill at 25.5 miles wasn’t welcomed and whilst not especially steep it was very noticeable at that stage! It did mean a drop down to the finish line at the university and a time of 3:56:39. Alex’s friend Claire came in in 4:...??
I also found Julie had passed me somewhere around 18-20 miles though neither of us saw the other! She finished in 3:50??? None of us had times we had maybe hoped for, but the event had been well organised, well supported and turned out a good first marathon. Just seemed odd that I as home by 4pm and at panto rehearsal that same evening!
Claire comes through mile 24
Alex does a “selfy” before the start whilst Lucas grabs a cup of tea!
Lucas runs through around mile 24
It ended the running for 2013 and £3,000 has been donated to LAMAction plus £300 to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal – many thanks to all for their continued generosity. Look out for a hoped big challenge for 2014!
To the right - Another finishers t-shirt and medal!