Sunday 20th October – The Yorkshire Marathon

Sunday 20th October – The Yorkshire Marathon

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.

I have to admit that, although I was excited and slightly nervous about running this marathon (as any distance runner will of course understand!), a lot of this apprehension was down to my less than positive experience of competing in past races organised by the JT appeal. This apprehension was soon quashed with the excellent organisation and planning from start to finish along with the fantastic crowds and marshalling throughout the race. The smooth operation was a great success and I have a lot of admiration for all involved in the organising committee.
I was delighted to see so many familiar faces at the start area. All full of pre race smiles and much hope for the forthcoming race. My Achilles tendon injury caused me only a little amount of pain up until the 21 mile point, at which point it then started to send a rather uncomfortable shooting pain into my foot. This made the last five miles a very tough battle. I managed to reach the 26 mile point and somehow I was still on for my target time and then the real pain started, Both quad muscles went into an almighty spasm and I had to shoot and scream many obscenities to myself before hobbling to the finish line – Sadly this cost me vital time and I missed my PB by 48 seconds and completed the race in 3:28:28.
A wonderful day was had by all, amazing to see so many familiar faces out on the course and a massive thank you to all those spectators that gave me a cheer along the way. Definitely a race to enter again in the near future. Although it is by no means as flat as billed! Up the Black & Whites!


12 thoughts on “Sunday 20th October – The Yorkshire Marathon

  1. Well organised race. Closed roads, good conditions, support from Otley AC along the route was amazing. I was expecting long stretches without spectators but the turnout was massive with every village and farm seeming to have a large group of spectators cheering us on. Lack of training meant the last 8 miles got slower and slower. Great 10th place for Scott. Definitely think about this as a race for next year if you want an autumn marathon…

  2. Thanks for the comment. Everyone – please do send in your reports and times if you want them included. Admin does not have the resources to trawl through thousands of results,
    thank you 🙂

  3. The “Black and Whites” were truly amazing, well done to you all, sorry i missed you Scotty,
    you all were a credit to Otley ac.

  4. We had a great day supporting and cheering everyone along, we managed to see everyone at 5 and 23miles and Scott also at 18miles. It was a very well organised race. I am very proud to be a member of Otley AC you all ran fantastic! I am also a super proud wife of Scott’s amazing achievement! Well done to you all! 😀 x x

  5. Yes, well done to Scott on his finishing position and pb time and also to all the other OAC members running superbly.

  6. Tamara – Positons/times are:
    Scott Harrington 10th 2:38:08
    Graham Lake 128th 3:12:47
    Tom Potter 341st 3:28:28
    Hugh Pearson 972nd 3:54:26
    Me 1,718th 4:16:41
    Gilly Wight 2,961st 4:53:36
    Ged Peacock 3,115th 4:59:38

    Also worth mentioning is that from 6,000 entries just less than 4,000 started!
    Thanks also to support from Gemma Harrington, Toni & Tom Midgeley and Ursula & Peter McGouran on the course.

  7. Cheers Billy. We obviously uploaded at the same time 🙂 Tom wanted that photo in by the way. Some people are so vain, ha!

  8. Well done all, great run Scott & I hope everyone’s legs are starting to lose a bit of the post race pain!

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