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Yorkshire Marathon 2022
Sunday 16th October 2022
by Owen Delaney
I last ran this race back in 2013. That one remains my marathon pb to this date at 3:09. Never to be bettered I imagine, those days of fast running have probably passed me by! 🏃♂️💨
I knew this time would be no match for 9 years ago, after a summer worsening fatigue 🎻 - eventually found out it was due to a folate (vit b9) deficiency, but not in time to approach this with anything other than a “just get round” strategy… But the advantage of such a strategy is that expectations are… well, there aren’t any. So I get to take it as easy as possible, with the hope that “easy” will be easy enough to just finish. I did manage to get a couple of long runs in leading up to the race so was quietly confident that I’d manage... something 🤷♂️
🚂 I travelled up with my neighbour Ben, and the weekend got off to a not so great start when we arrived at Kings Cross only to discover our train was cancelled… 😒 We then spent a few too many hours sat waiting at the station, listening to a repeating and increasingly annoying announcement from Michael Portillo telling us that it was the station’s 170th birthday. Hurrah 🎈
Anyway, we did eventually get on another service and found ourselves in York after a suspiciously brief journey time. Then first things first, we set out to find somewhere to watch the football and get some food. A surprisingly difficult task when a lot of pubs had bouncers that wouldn’t allow Ben in on account of him wearing joggers… 🤨. We did eventually find somewhere that allowed scruffy southerners and settled in for some pre race fuelling and feet up.
🌧 Then it started pissing it down, and we got pretty soaked and cold on the walk in search of a bus to take us to where we were staying - the Stableside hotel, near the racecourse - a funny little place but comfortable and quiet enough for a decent sleep.
☀ However! On the morning of the race the weather had cleared and conditions were pretty bang on for 4 hours of running around the roads of York. The hotel was a few miles from the race village at York university, but we (well, Ben really) managed to sweet talk a couple who were also staying at the same hotel, and got dropped off right near the start.
Cue the usual pre-race faffery involving safety pins, bin bags, bananas and finding somewhere warm to sit down.
The race village at York is probably the best I’ve found. Lots of university buildings with toilets, a cafe, and space to sit down, try to relax and forget about what we’re about to do…
Bin bags were donned, and we made our way to the start. All was smooth and the race soon got underway promptly. Plenty of runners but not London levels of crowds, so we were over the start line within a few minutes of the gun firing. 🔫
The first few miles of the route took us into and back out of the centre of York, passing by York Minster and plenty of supporting crowds to cheer us on. Then it’s out into the suburbs and country lanes. And hills. Wait, what?! I’ve been telling people that this race is flatter than London since 2013! Had I conveniently forgotten that there are in fact hills, and it is indeed not flat? Yes, yes I had. Ohh crap. 📈
I suppose at least there’s some downhill towards the end? 🙄 Not that it made any difference to my standard procedure of hitting (or falling off?) the wall 🧱
Still we did make it round, and I was delighted to get in under 4 hours.
I was surprised to feel fine and very much able to walk afterwards and for the rest of the day.
I wasn’t surprised to be very much unable to walk in the days that followed…
A nice weekend. A great, well organised event. I promise not to tell anyone it’s flat again.
You get a nice finishers tee, a shiny medal, and if you’re lucky, a feast at Five Guys on your return to London.