Yorkshire Marathon 2016
I remember when I used to hear people say ‘I’m running a marathon’, I used to think they were crazy but also had a lot of admiration and assumed it was something I’d never achieve! Well, fast forward to October 2015; after running the Yorkshire 10 mile in October 2015, I made up my mind that I would run the full marathon in 2016, quickly signing up in January. Of course, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to train, also planning in a couple of half marathons on the way. So after signing up, and also becoming a member of EHH after taking part in the ‘new runners initiative’, I was on my journey to the big 26.2 miles!
Well, the months flew past and I’d probably bored every friend, colleague and relative with my continuous running updates and regularly sharing my fundraising page on facebook (I decided to run for Mind, the mental health charity). All the weeks of clocking up the miles, feeling awesome (and knackered!) as I my long runs became further and further and arranging EVERYTHING around my running schedule soon came to an end.. race day was here!
As I was walking to the event village, I felt more than excited than nervous which I wasn’t expecting! After what seemed like a million toilet trips, I was in line ready to go! The countdown started and the walk to the start line seemed to go on forever, but then I crossed the line and this was it, no going back…
I stuck to my pace, ensuring I started off easy as many people had advised me. The first few miles flew by and I had to be careful to not let the buzz of running past the cathedral make me too speedy – the crowd and sound of the chiming bells was amazing. So I got past this point, had the air bnb lady come out of her house to cheer me on and high fived the vicar at Stockton- on-the-forest. Then, I saw the 4 hour pacer, and around mile 7, overtook him! At that point, I was determined to run a sub 4 hour (which was my dream goal) but was also concerned I was pushing it too much!
Spurred on by the many supporters who shouted my name (I highly recommend you have your name visible on your running top for these events), I carried on at a good pace, running with a crocodile at one point (some kids thought he was a dinosaur) and then the halfway mark was in sight. I got to the halfway point, with the clock displaying 1hr 50 – yes, I can do it, sub 4 hours, I’m coming for you! Then at mile 14, I was greeted with the buzz of the spectator crowd, in which my mum, step dad and boyfriend were definitely the loudest and most enthusiastic supporters! Now, up to the hard bit, when would I find this mythical ‘wall’ and how would I get through it? Well, at mile 17 and a half, my legs started to feel tired…okay…here we go..grabbing at energy drinks and jelly babies, the tired legs eased and I was at the part where you see the faster runners shoot past you on the opposite side. I kept an eye out for fellow EHH’s, shouting ‘go EHH’ at each one I saw! I then looped round to that bit and there it was…mile 20! Okay, I can do this…it’s only 10km now, right?! The next few miles were actually a blur and seemed to whizz by. Then mile 23 arrived, okay I’m pretty much doing a parkrun, I can do this! The worst part was running past a pub near the end, with supporters cheering whilst holding their pints – I told them that they were cruel! Then it approached, the final mile! I got near to the end where there’s this horrid little gradient right near the end. Thank goodness I’ve been attending hill training sessions because it all helps, I hope.. I chatted to a fellow Hull runner, a member of Kingston upon Hull athletic club, she was doing great! So there it was, the horrid hilly bit, then over the top, using my all to sprint down, and the finish line was in site. There I was, arms spread out and a massive cheesy grin as I crossed the finish line. I expected to cry but somehow kept it together, especially as I’d completed it in less than 4 hours! I slowly walked to collect my medal and goodies and went to find my family who greeted me with food and water. I then collected my phone and my result had come through; ‘your finish time was 03:46:41!’, I said I’d be happy with 4 hours but, for my first marathon, I was thrilled! I then celebrated with 10 plates of yo! Sushi and a peaches and cream IPA at the house of trembling madness. The bonus was that I also raised just under £500 for mind.
Overall, the training is time consuming but I’m so glad I ran one and found it easier than I expected! The support was amazing, the event was well organised and I enjoyed the route. I even spotted my face when the race was aired on channel 4! I am now considering signing up to 2017 one but also have my sights set on at least one more, maybe the Brathay marathon next year around the beautiful lake Windermere. I may event try and get some more trail running in and opt for a trail marathon in the future as a bigger challenge! I’m also grateful for all the support of EHH and also think the summer league races, hill running and speed work sessions have helped! Well done to all of EHH who ran the marathon, some very good times were achieved by all 🙂