York 10 Miles
It’s never good starting out in the dead of night to a race. When I say the dead of night, I mean when it’s pitch black outside in autumn and it’s freezing at 6 o’clock in the morning. Having barely pulled my eyes apart, I quickly dressed myself with the clothes laid out on the floor without getting frostbite. The heating hadn’t even kicked in it was so early. I find laying out your clothes the night before a race is essential, otherwise I’d be running around locating safety pins, trying to find the rights socks and underwear. I’d never find where I left my headphones or flipbelt despite living in a 2 up 2 down. Being ready in 2 mins and grabbing my overnight oats from the fridge to eat on the journey to York still meant we were leaving the housing half an hour after we woke up. How on earth does than even happen?
Travelling along the M62 in the pitch black and fog lights fully on at 6.30am on a Sunday morning when I could be under a warm duvet, I wondered what on earth makes me want to do this? I’d decided that eating a couple of hours before the race would be best so I scoffed my overnight oats in the car at around 7.15am and then danger….. I hadn’t been to toilet this morning. Everyone knows the pre-race two poo rule, EVERYONE. We are on the road and the danger signs are there and my legs are crossed. By the time we park up at the airfield at RAF Elvington I am desperate. The sense of relief when I see a line of portaloos is immense and I almost run out the car to join the huge queue. When I reach the front my toilet is a disabled toilet and I sit and ahhhhhhh relief. I turn to get toilet roll and toilet disbelief, shock and utter panic. There is none. NONE. I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing that resembles a piece of tissue. What do I do? I’m thinking, I’m sat there thinking, tick tock. What on earth are people thinking I’m doing in here? Well nothing for it. Off comes my trousers, off comes my pants. They’re the nearest thing to a wipe right? RIGHT? I’ve never run commando before. There’s a first time for everything. The look of horror as I walk out of the toilet must have been something to behold as I tried to hide the pants and found the nearest bin to throw them away in.
Well embarrassed, horrified and feeling a little bit free we hopped on the bus to York University and off we went to the race village. We were very early so we hung around the race village. The marathon starters were called to the start line at 9.15am and the 10 mile starters at 9.45am. It was about a 10 minute walk to start from the race village. I joined the other 10 mile racers, there were no pacing sections. There was a warm up at around 10am.
The race started at 10.15am. There was an immediate bottle neck after the start which meant the first mile was a very slow one.
As soon as the road opened up it was easier to put my foot down and speed up a bit which felt much more comfortable. The race went into York town centre and past York Minster and then out into Heworth. The roads were all closed to traffic and it was very quiet so really nice to run on. The 10 mile route was the same as the marathon route for the first 5 miles. Then at 5 miles, runners turned right and were diverted down a road and back onto the end of the marathon route. Very clever planning. This took runners through Molton and Osbaldwick. I kept my momentum going through the race and had a plan of running in 1 hour and 30 minutes. I felt like I had slowed down considerably from 5 miles when @marathon_Sam had overtaken me and we’d exchanged a very brief conversation about her very lovely fairy costume. At 7 miles I put my foot down and ran as fast as I could. It’s always a great feeling when you start overtaking everyone that overtook you. By 9 miles I was regretting putting my foot down so early and my legs were not forgiving me. Right before the end there was a hill. A HILL. Who puts a hill before the finish? So I slowed briefly before powering as hard as I could to the finish line. All the time thinking, must be sub 1 30. Looking at the clock. My official photos show how hard I was pushing on finish. My jowls couldn’t have wobbled much more had I been blasted off into outer space.
I loved the medal and the chocolate at the finish is always a welcome sight. The 'technical' tshirt looks good but as usual the small is built for a small horse so will be used a nighty or general houseware. Please Mr and Mrs race organisers, can we realise that a small woman is considerably smaller and differently shaped to a small man. PLease could there be an extra small? This isn't a pop at York but all races. I think the fit in most leaves a lot to be desired.
A nice slow walk back to the race village and I got my race medal engraved for free. The results were avaialle immediately on the app. Two great little ticks there York, well done. Then straight onto the bus and back to the car park and a visit to the portaloo's (this time choosing one with toilet roll) before heading home.
A great race venue all in all and definitely considering signing up to the marathon next year.