It all began with a train journey – meeting Red Haired Girl on the train started a great forumite weekend in York. Little Miss Happy and mark*w met us at York Station and off to the hotel. Runnybunny joined us for a meal and then it was an early night for all!
Early next morning we woke to find a fine sprinkling of snow and a glorious blue sky. After the best breakfast Travel Inn can offer at that time of the morning we were off to York Race Course for the Brass Monkey Half Marathon.
Thanks to the Green Ribbon Code we were able to make contact with Aim High!(and sister), Torque Steer, Elephant Feet and XB.
And then its time to peel off all those layers of warm clothing and just wear your running gear – some folk wore shorts, some folk went sleeveless, but I was snugly warm in Helly top and concurve tights (plus hat and gloves!!).
RHG and I did a warm up lap of the field before setting off – avoiding the blokes who all seem to have found a reason to peer over the fence in to the scrubland beyond (we did not go close enough to see what was of such interest!).
Then we are off, not having the technology to give you a mile by mile breakdown of the race, I will just describe a few memorable moments. Soon I was fairly near the back, but a few distantly behind me and a lady in a purple top 100 metres ahead. After about half a mile we had our first climb – up over the bridge crossing the A64 to Scarborough. This was followed a little later by a much steeper climb – another bridge – over a railway line I think. Then it was pretty flat from there on. At about two miles there is heavy breathing behind me – and I am overtaken by two race walkers!! Gosh they were going well – no chance of me keeping up with them
Shortly before 4 miles came the point where the route bears off to the left, but will subsequently loop back to the same point – and I made it to there before the fastest runners came back – a great triumph I thought!!
Then its out on a minor road across farm land – rather exposed in places, but fortunately not too windy, although for a while we lost the Sun behind clouds. Trundling through the occasional village, I don’t remember much about the next five miles – I managed to keep a fairly steady pace of just over 12 minute miles by running a mile, walking for 30 seconds, and keeping my HR around 145-150 (75-80%).
All along the route the marshals were incredibly helpful – both at marshalling the traffic and also at encouraging the runners – great stuff. Soon after 11 miles my calf muscles experienced some strange ripples, making running pretty painful, walking eased it but I did not want to walk too much. A kind marshal gave me a quick and painful massage which helped a little, but I was slowing now. At the A64 crossing point it is about 1 mile to the finish – I had 14 minutes to get back before the cut-off of 2:45!
Could I do it? As I turned the corner into the race course I could see a crowd of waving people 100 metres ahead – they turned out to be my much quicker forumite friends – thanks to RB, LMH, mark and RHG for waiting for me (was EF there too? – I think so). So now I had to do it! LMH encouraged me and ran me in for the last 100 metres – thanks for that it really helped.
So I made it – 2:43:27 on my watch and a PB by more than a minute, and under 2:45 on the official clock.
And at least two peeps behind me!
Then after collecting a super sweat shirt, warming up and listening to the prizes being presented, it was off to the pub for lunch!
A great day had by all.
By the way 5 of us got PBs!!
And Aim High beat his sis!
It was especially good to meet so many great forumites.
What difference the forums make - I cannot imagine I would have even entred if I thought I was going to be on my own - and MrBeanz does not feel the need to come and support as there are other friends there.
So thanks friends.
where: Brass Monkey Half
how far: 21 km 13.1 miles
pace: 12.5 minute miles
core: not as well as all that surely??