Monday, November 17, 2014

Yorkshire Marathon 2014

Yorkshire Marathon 2014

In October of 2013, Yorkshire held its very first marathon. It sold out almost immediately and was a huge success. This year, 2014, the race sold out the 4,000 or so slots in a few hours after opening. Yorkshire is shaping up to be a key event for running in England! It is a fast, flat course in an incredibly beautiful setting. Definitely a worthy destination race!

Looking so excited to be here.
Watching the Jumbotron from the start corral in the fog.

York is a great tourist destination, filled with history, museums, and events all year long.

Medieval buildings attract huge crowds

The Jorvic museum is a Disneyland worthy ride and museum that teaches about Viking life in York.

Old fortifications are everywhere

The River Ouse runs through York and is still a very busy waterway

Tourism attracts a bit of hilarious Kitsch. I've never seen a "native American" dressed in Pheasant feathers, or looking so Peruvian, LOL

Hitting the wall can be a bit different here. I've run trail races that included climbing over these walls more than once. Not and easy thing to do when you are past the 20 mile point! The Yorkshire Marathon was, thankfully, free of walls.

       Since I live about 25 miles from York, this was a must do race for me, but it was also very low key. I didn't carry a camera because I already have hundreds of pictures of York, no one came with me, and despite the fact that this was a milestone race for me, (30th marathon/ultra,) I didn't have any fanfare or celebration planned. The last couple of months of my life have been an emotional and mental train wreck so while running has been a good escape, I wasn't enjoying my training at all and every mile was forced and hard. I toughed out Loch Ness in September on painfully low mileage and did not have high hopes for Yorkshire. Despite really not wanting to run, I knew I either had to do this race, or do a 20+ mile training run alone in order to be prepared for Athens in November. Running with thousands of people, cheering spectators, water stations, timing mats, and a well laid out, traffic free course, that I have already paid for, will always be preferable to running alone so I headed for the race start.
      The set up at the university was great. They took wonderful care of the runners, there were an incredible number of volunteers, and the campus is stunning. It was just as well that I didn't carry a camera as we ran in a thick fog the whole way that covered everyone and everything in tiny drops of water until we looked like we were all covered in watery pixie dust. It was perfect running weather though. Having so much water to breathe meant I needed very little water to drink and my lungs weren't parched dry at the end. 
       Although my heart wasn't in the race at the start, the spectators, views though the mist, and the other runners carried me along in the flow. I socialized, helped cramping runners with salt, checked on people that had stopped, and ran at a comfortable 4/1 run/walk pace. Since I wasn't in a hurry, I too it east at the start, which lead me to a nice negative half split :-D I shocked myself by being able to maintain my pace throughout and realized, with a few miles left to go, that I had a shot at a personal record. Apparently, between the speed work for the half marathon in early September and the marathon in Loch Ness two weeks before, my training was just what I needed. Not orthodox, but good enough to sharpen both my speed and endurance.
       I felt great after the race. Of course, I was tired and hungry, but nothing felt injured or wildly over used. Even the day after I was not sore, only a little stiff the next morning, but by Tuesday I was totally over it. To me, that is the biggest win! At the rate I am improving, it will still be a long time before I run the coveted sub-4, but as long as I keep improving and my rheumatoid arthritis stays under control, that is enough for me :-) 

   Next up, Athens Classic Marathon!