Yorkshire Marathon & 10 Mile Race – Sunday 16th October 2022
Race report by Caroline Brash
Sometime back at the start of 2022, during a perfectly innocent conversation in Costa after Hillsborough Parkrun, I decided it would be a good idea to run a marathon before I was 50. Next thing I know, I’m signed up to the Yorkshire Marathon, and had managed to co-opt fellow Strider and Hillsborough Parkrun Event Director John Liddle to join me and to be my training partner. Fast-forward several months and 18 weeks of pretty structured training, I find myself on the campus of the University of York with a group of fellow Striders, variously signed up to the 10-miler, the marathon, and the all-important cheer squad.
The lead-up to the event was great. Numbers arrived in good time despite the ongoing postal strikes; clear instructions were sent out by the organisers; and whilst my husband Pete and I opted to stay overnight before the race in a conveniently placed but utterly grim Travelodge, other Striders drove up on the day and took advantage of the various drop-off points and park & rides, which seemed to work efficiently.
Bags dropped, team photo taken, the marathoners among us trudged across to the starting pens ahead of the 9:30 start. There was a fabulous atmosphere as the pre-race briefings were made; the warm-up took place; and then we were off!
A downhill start to the cheers and applause of the spectators led us through the city walls, and then past the splendid Minster where the skies were blue and the bells were ringing out. It was here I caught my first glimpse of Steve Oldfield, one of Hillsborough Parkrun’s stalwart marshals, which was lovely! The support continued pretty much throughout the route, and I loved the music stations, the friendly and enthusiastic eventeers, and the crowds calling my name (as with a lot of big races our name were printed on our bibs). There was plenty of water and gels etc out on route which was welcome on such a sunny day.
We continued through villages, down country lanes… It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest but I do recall the route wasn’t as flat as I’d hoped!
There were a couple of out-and-backs that were a bit soul-destroying, particularly the one from about 16–20 miles, which was fairly featureless and relentless. These were redeemed for me slightly by two further sightings of Steve who’d zoomed there on his electric scooter, and lots of shouts of encouragement to and from various clubmates who were ahead of me and who were therefore running back towards me.
By the 20-mile mark I was a little disappointed to be taking some walking breaks, but I was still within my target average pace range so I was ok with that.
The final 10k continued to be undulating and with pockets of support which were really welcome. As we headed back into town and up towards the university campus, I was somewhat dismayed to be faced with a rather cruelly-placed uphill section, but the finish straight itself was flat and then downhill, and the support of the crowd was out of this world! I couldn’t quite believe I was about to complete an actual marathon, and when I saw Pete shouting encouragement at me just yards from the finish line I was totally overcome with emotion. I crossed the finish line feeling more elated than I’d felt after any race. I’d done it! If you’d told my 16-stone self 12 years ago that I’d complete a marathon at any pace I’d never have believed you, but the fact I ran it well within my 5-hour target time… Just wow!
It wasn’t just me who ran my first marathon. Steve Blake also ran completed his first marathon in a cracking time, and it was also the first for my wonderful training partner John Liddle (thanks for everything John, particularly for putting up with my constant swearing on our training runs…).
Whilst we were out on the marathon course, several Striders enjoyed the 10-mile race which set off an hour after us and which followed some of the same course.
If anyone is considering a marathon, I can really recommend Yorkshire. It was well organised, well supported, scenic (mainly!), not too hilly, and reasonably local. I’m still on a high from completing it.
Special mention must go to Robert Hoffman who stepped in to guide a visually impaired runner whose original guide had to withdraw due to injury. What a star!
20 Striders ran the marathon (results at https://chiptiming.co.uk/events/run-for-all-yorkshire-marathon-2022/) which was won by Benard Bosuben in 2:22:56. First woman was Samantha Antell in 2:54:18 (both unaffiliated according to the results).
7 Striders ran the Yorkshire 10 Mile race (results here: https://chiptiming.co.uk/events/run-for-all-yorkshire-10-mile-2022/) which was won by Kieran Walker of the North East Project in 50:57. First woman was Faye Birkby of Pudsey Pacers RC in 1:00:10.
Striders results: Marathon
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Striders results: 10-miler
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