Report from Hannah:
What can I say about this years Leeds Half other than it was hot, hot, hot!! There was a good turn out from Otley AC and I think we can safely say the heat was starting to get to us all even before we started running, we weren’t looking forward to it at all.
For those of you unfamiliar with the route it starts from the Headrow and you work your way up Meanwood Road and Stonegate Road up to the ring road. This feels like an endless climb for 4 miles before a bit of respite downhill on the ring road before another climb up to Weetwood Roundabout.
This year we had our own Otley AC team of fans waiting for us there with water, electrolytes and words of encouragement courtesy of Sean, Stephen Boddy, Toni and little Maisie. It was really appreciated so thank you.
Then you make your way down to Hawksworth Road before hitting Kirstall Road at 9 miles to finish off the race with a brutal 4 miles back to the city centre. For those that have done Abbey Dash it’s basically the same route.
The crowds were great with many handing out sweets and oranges with their cheers of come on Otley. A couple of kind souls had their hose pipes running so you could get a refreshing shower and on the final stretch back to town there was a water tanker with a hose pipe attached which was just what you needed after 12 miles of running in sweltering heat.
We all had very different experiences on the day, many people were really affected by the heat and did not run as well as they usually do. Personally I managed a blinder and finally got my sub 2 hours, no idea how as my training has been pretty poor and the heat usually doesn’t do me any favours. I set off at a comfortable quick(ish) pace and kept counting down the miles as I just wanted to finish in one piece. That was until at 10.5 miles I realised if I really pushed it I could get my sub 2, my worry was that in the heat it might also mean I blow up and collapse. So I decided to keep pushing on at the same pace and try pick it up in the last mile or so and hope I could just scrape in under the 2 hours. When I finished I wasn’t sure I’d managed it but I soon got my results text that confirmed I had. I’m ecstatic!!
Special mention to Louise, Beth and Isla all doing their first halves and doing brilliantly. Also, to Nicky who is a tough cookie and is on for raising £1,000 for Manorlands in memory of her Dad who recently passed away.
plus note the following results not included on the lync Mary Hampshire 1:50:13, Beth Leitch 2:55:18, Isla Hurd 2:01:24