Report from Hugh Pearson: The inaugural Yorkshire marathon had its start and finish at the campus of York University. A one-way system for pedestrians aimed to ease the passage of runners through the baggage areas but since two narrow footbridges over the lake were part of this route, bottlenecks were inevitable. I decided to test the efficiency of race organization by leaving my timing chip and baggage label on the table at home. When I reported this to the desk I was immediately, and with minimum fuss, provided with a new number and chip, so top marks there. The start and finish was along University Road with pens separating the runners. Starting from the back of pen 1 I was over the start within a minute and set out through the packed streets under the Micklegate and past the Minister before heading out into the flatlands of the Vale of York. The weather was warm and, apart from a few drops at the start, completely dry. Unusually as well, this was run on closed roads. The only moving vehicle that I saw was an ambulance hauling away an unfortunate runner towards the end of the race. Another impressive feature of the race was the crowds. York itself was packed with spectators and I was expecting the crowds to dwindle as we went out into the countryside. This was not the case. Every village seemed to have most residents out by the roadside cheering the runners on and there were very few places where we were out of sight of spectators. Two out and back sections enabled me to say hello to Tom Potter and Graham Lake before my lack of training began to tell and my legs decided to stop working properly. I had a painful last 8 miles to the finish where once again the crowds were massive. All in all this is an excellent marathon. Flat, fast, well organized and with great support along the route. If it is able to repeat its success in later years this could become massive. Highly recommended if you want to do a marathon next year. A stunning run from Scott saw him finish 10th behind some very fast Kenyans. Winner Edwin Korir 2:13:31, ladies winner Helen Koskei 2:40:06. For Otley AC Scott Harrington 2:38:08 (10th), Graham Lake 3:12:47 (128th), Tom Potter 3:28:28 (341st), Hugh Pearson 3:54:26 (972nd), Billy Rayner 4:16:41 (1718th), Gilly Wight 4:53:36 (2961st) and Ged Peacock 4:59:38 (3115th). 3881 finishers.
Report from Graham Lake: I had a really pithy report in mind for this already. Something like “Did a road marathon, hated it, back to the fells”. As it turns out, I quite enjoyed it! Gorgeous running weather, if a bit breezy in some places, well organised (especially for an inaugural event), amazing support all the way round (I particularly enjoyed high-fiving a line of cub scouts about 10 miles in), friendly fellow runners, celebrities (I even got a “you’re going strong pal, come on” from Emmerdale Bob), picturesque course (not as flat as they were claiming!). In all a great day.
As for my race, I took on board the Honorary Handicapper’s advice to just keep it easy for 18 miles then ‘race’ from then on. This was harder than you think, having never really trained at such a slow pace! But I ran a pretty even 7.20 pace for 18 then pushed on. Last 2 miles were horrible mind you, felt like I was running in treacle, but luckily everyone else was too. Nasty kick up before the downhill finish which I did I nice little sprint finish to nip under 3.13 race time. Nice free massage after, and special thanks to Matt Broughton for sneaking me into the corporate relay building for a bacon buttie and coffee! Enjoyed it. No compulsion to do another one!
Report from Tom Potter: After much preparation, most of which has been less than ideal, with a few niggles over the summer, and then the unfortunate appearance of an Achilles tendon tear. It was finally time to head over to York for the inaugural running of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.