Last Sunday I took to the streets of York to run the 2018 Yorkshire Marathon. I have to admit that I can’t remember much of large parts of the race except that it was really cold, didn’t stop raining and I found it really, really tough. One of the things I do remember is that there were many times throughout the race when I just wanted to pull out and go somewhere warm and dry to drink a cup of hot coffee. But despite the weather, and that I ran it in my slowest ever marathon time of 4 hours 53 minutes, I absolutely loved running the Yorkshire Marathon.
Going into the marathon I knew I was going to find it tough as my training had not gone to plan. Life circumstances and being not 100% well in the months leading up to the race meant that I didn’t do the amount of miles I needed to run the marathon in a time that I would normally aim for. My longest run was only 15 miles, but I was hoping that the fact that this was my third marathon and I had run my last marathon earlier this year, would mean that my body would be able to handle the endurance needed for the 26.2 miles. I had also made the decision early on that I wasn’t going to run this marathon for time to help take the pressure off.
In the weeks leading up to race day the weather forecast was predicting 14 degrees and no rain. Up until a few days before the marathon I was thinking that I might get too warm running, then Storm Callum hit and the weather forecast suddenly changed to heavy rain and cold temperatures. I don’t cope well in the cold so I knew that this type of weather was going to be a struggle. On the morning of the race when handing in my baggage I made the last minute decision to run in my jacket, thinking that it was waterproof and that I could always take it off it if I got too hot – during the race I discovered my jacket is definitely not waterproof!
Yorkshire Marathon review
I may have struggled around the course and the last few miles were the toughest I’ve ever done – not helped by the fact that my hands were too cold and numb to open my energy gels so I was running on fumes – but it was a brilliant race and I’m so glad that I decided to run it.
The organisation was great from start to finish; there were even shuttle buses that took runners from York train station to the athletes village at the university. The baggage area was right next to where buses dropped off and picked up runners, although this was about a 10 minute walk to the start and finish line – not a problem at the start but at the end I was wishing it was a bit closer to the finish line. There were plenty of toilets, many of which were scattered around the area, plus runners were able to go inside one of the university buildings to keep dry and warm as we waited for the start.
The race started without any problems and despite the weather there were lots of people out to support runners which created a great atmosphere. The first few miles took runners through York city centre and the route went past York Minster, one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in York.
Once away from Yok city centre a lot of the course went through country roads which meant that at these parts there were little to no supporters. I didn’t mind the quieter sections, especially towards the end when I was finding it tough. Whenever we went through villages, though, the support was fantastic and the locals really made an effort to help us through.
Throughout the 26.2 miles there were lots of volunteers to ensure runners were alright and at key points along the route they put in lots of effort to create an energetic atmosphere that was motivating and helped me to push through the tiredness and pain. As well as this, there were water stations every 3 miles, plus energy gels and energy drinks were handed out.
At the finish line runners got a race goody bag with a t-shirt, food and a protein drink, a medal, and water. There was also a free pint of beer for finishers. The shuttle buses were efficiently taking runners back to York train station and, as it was still raining and I was worried about getting too cold (I was shivering at this point), I got on one as quickly as possible to head back to my accommodation.
Luckily my hotel was just a short walk from the station so it wasn’t long before I was able to jump in the shower and finally get warm with my hot cup of coffee.