Report by: Lucy Broom
Date: Sunday 7th May
My desire to bag the V45 half marathon record took me to Skirlaugh in East Yorkshire last weekend.
Previous attempts at this record have helped me specify my requirements! These are: Flat (avoids energy sapping hills); small field (avoids weaving and adding extra distance); country roads (avoids time sapping wiggling around town centres), inland (avoids a race ruining sea breeze). The RunThrough East Yorkshire half marathon seemed to fit the bill. It’s a new race, so there were no reassuring reviews, but it looked good on paper. Race HQ was at Burton Constable Hall, 8 miles from Hull. The races (10k and hm options) were run on closed, country roads around the villages of West Newton and New Ellerby. We were promised ‘a fast, flat route with real PB potential!’
I had trained well and was feeling good, until catching a badly timed cold at the start of taper week. I left the decision (to run or not to run) until the night before. Whilst not fully better, I felt okay, and having messed around with family bank holiday plans, didn’t want to waste the opportunity.
Race morning was an unpleasant 5am start, for a 9am race. The journey was uneventful (1.5 hours), parking plentiful and loo queues long (I was one of the lucky few who found the secret toilets in the courtyard). The course was good – lots of straight, flat sections, and well marshalled. It wasn’t fully flat – there were definitely inclines. I know this because I remember telling myself, through gritted teeth, that I’m from Sheffield and love hills! The downside of small races on country lanes is that they are lonely, both in terms of runners and support.
My race plan went pretty well (maintain even pacing) and I felt okay. Aside from chasing the record, I found myself in a motivating mini battle for the podium spots (moving from 3rd to 1st female, before eventually finishing 2nd). Miles 9 onwards were predictably hard, but helped by falling into step with another runner – we worked together in silence for a couple of miles. Unfortunately, I let him go at mile 11, and my pace dropped until the last desperate mile, when I put myself deep in the hurt locker and got back to target pace, before the final desperate ‘sprint’ in (on gravel, urgh). I never look at the time while racing and had no idea until crossing the line whether I’d done enough. I hadn’t this time and had missed the record by 14 seconds. Very disappointing but there were many positives. A PB (yey!) and 2nd woman. I was mentally strong too. No talking myself out of it today. I told myself throughout that there were No Excuses, I was getting the record today, and I believed it.
Two things happened after the race. I had cramp, which was novel and alarming, and needed another runner to straighten my leg out, to get me ‘unstuck’. I was also missed off the podium, with 2nd and 3rd prizes given to the wrong women while I was elsewhere. On presenting myself to the race director, I learnt that the top three runners in each race had been given a tap on the shoulder as they crossed the line, and taken aside for their prizes, but somehow I had been missed. A rather haphazard method, especially when a quick check on their race timing app verified that I was indeed second. The race director was very apologetic, bought me a coffee, took an unofficial photo of me on the podium, and sent the £40 prize voucher on by email (expensive mistake!).
So, my obsessive search for flat, medium sized, wide looped, rural half marathons continues for the next 7 months, before time runs out……!
292 runners finished the half marathon. Catherine Harris (unattached) won the women’s race in 01:28:05. Alec Gibson (East Hull Harriers) won the male race in 01:12:48. Lucy Broom – 1:30:35. 31st overall. 2nd female.
94 runners finished the 10k. Patricia Bielby (Bridlington Road Runners) won the women’s race (V70!) in 00:50:47. Declan Nattrass (unattached) won the male race in 00:37:21.
Link to full results here.
|31||Lucy Broom||1:30:35||F||2 (also 1st V45)|