The York 10K Race Review…
This weekend I took the train from Kings Cross on the Swift Nick trail to York, a beautiful northern city that was home to the Romans, and the Vikings, and the capital of William the Conqueror.
The race was organised in memory of cancer campaigner Jane Tomlinson and her appeal and started and finished in the famous racecourse.
Now, this was sweet. I have run for Help for Heroes, for Diabetes UK, for the MS Society, but the Jane Tomlinson appeal staff sent a good luck card.
Map and the course…
From the start at the race course you ran through the cobbled streets of the old city, by the famous York Minster cathedral, past Cliffords and along the River Ouse.
I had originally booked a beautiful B&B by the River Ouse for the night but, when calling them, it turned out that they had a 2 night minimum stay policy, so I cancelled that booking 2 days before the race. The Hilton in York, where I have stayed, and could have used HHonors points was not a Hilton by any stretch of the imagination. It stank of stale cigarettes and cost a whopping £250 for the night. That is more than the stunning Hilton I stayed at in Brussels. So I ended up at the Lamb and Lion Inn, an inn in the middle of the city that boasted it’s current incarnation as being built after a 17th century fire. £125 a night for a single seemed a lot, but by then I was desperate.
It was a pub with 11 rooms above it. I arrived with a bag in the evening to the place heaving and found the hotel part had no front desk, so you had to fight your way to the bar burdened with luggage. The pub manager led me to my small room and told me the incessant thudding of the kitchen extractor fans would stop around 11. It was noisy, the bar downstairs and a beer garden out the back heaved. At 11 people were still singing downstairs and the fans had not turned off. There was no phone. There was no alarm clock. So there was no way of the Inn giving me a wake up call. The TV was a cheap LCD effort the size of an iPad that was at such an angle on the wall bracket that you could not watch it in bed. You would need to stand up to see the show. So I skipped X-Men and Monaco vs Spurs.
At 2am local clubbers woke me up with loud shouting.
At 4.30am the nightwatchman must have been a little peckish as the extractor fans in the kitchen woke me up and went on for half hour.
So, not the most ideal preparation.
This was my 20th race. I have run 8 half marathons, 1 ten miler, and 10 10ks. I had learned lessons about when to eat before a race, what to eat, what to wear, what not to wear, what to carry, what to drink, and I got it right here.
For breakfast 2 hours before the race I had a nice strong cup of tea. I had some cookies, 2 bananas and a bottle of water. For the race itself I had another bottle of water and a handful of jelly babies.
And so I made my way to the York race course and a wonderfully set up start and finish line. Honestly, outside of the BUPA London and Sheffield runs, the New Orleans and British 10ks, this was great. Good announcer from BBC Radio York who I had exchanged tweets with. Nice set up all over.
I even stretched and went for a jog. I am a little concerned with my calves after Torbay, so wore Zensah compression socks the whole race and was glad I did. Any niggles came from other parts of my aging body.
I taped my toes too. This sounds weird, let me explain. I have crazy hobbit feet, as anyone who reads this blog knows. I have size 8 1/2 length H!!!! width feet, meaning they are almost as wide as they are long. It means that my poor hobbit toes are splayed and, since running, esp with supination, that I land on the outside of my feet, and roll inwards, taking off (ideally on my big toe). Nope. My right lands more angled out than my left, both roll in, and the right takes off on, yep, you guessed it, the second toe.
This has caused me a lot of pain in the past 16 months of running. This week I tested taping the second toe to the third and Hey Presto! It worked. I still had a little discomfort, but nothing I could not ignore with the help of Ibuprofen.
Anyway, I digress.
There was a large crowd, I would say 10,000 or so and everyone was enthused. After herding us into pens, we were off. I ran until after the 3K marker, and walked again between 7-8k. It was a nice run, a few slight hills but nothing in the realm of last weekends Greenwich 10K. There was towpath by the river, cobbled streets in old town, there were quiet back roads, and hundreds of supporters.
I took on water at the 7K mark too and ran a sub hour (59 mins) but know I was going easy on myself with another race next week.
It was also hot again, despite the weather forecast being for rain. Ah, well.
I finished strong, and uninjured, and with enough in the tank to run back to the Lamb and Lion to shower and hit MacDonalds for lunch.
The bling is different to all the others (the other 19). There is a bit of a pattern forming where the medal just describes the sponsor or main charity and not the event. The event isn’t mentioned on the bling, just on the ribbon like the Greenwich 10K. I would bet the London Summer 10K next weekend does the same.
Brucie Bonus…(and another ballsup)
When checking out I was asked what I thought of dinner, I said I didn’t have dinner there. It turned out the website had set me up for a dinner and breakfast deal for £125. The kind barman then changed it to room only and I was £50 better off.
Until I discovered, on the way back to London on the train, that I had forgotten my phone charger in the room. 😦 I did mail them to send it back to me. But as yet have had no response.
Meeting at station…
I have mentioned many times before that I love the camaraderie post-race and was happy to see several people at the station wearing the red tech-tee given to all finishers.
As I was waiting for my train back to London a runner from Scunthorpe came over and started talking to me. It was her first race and we chatted for about 10 mins about my races, my thoughts on training and everything running related. It was her first race ever! And she was doing it with kidney stones too. But she was so enthusiastic, and wanted to listen to what I had to say. I do so love to get in that zone with other runners, where the enthusiasm for our sport excites everyone involved.
Would I run it again?
I would not, for no other reason that I already have. I would recommend it to anyone though. Although, I will say this, friend and colleague Caroline, a triathlete, from that neck of the woods, did question the cost. It was £35 I think, for a 10K. It was pretty steep, about £15 over the odds from the outside. But when you are there you can see where the money went. There was great support, excellent marshals and runners village and decent chip timing.
Roll on next week and the LONDON SUMMER 10K in Regents Park or…
As I double booked myself yet again
Roll on next week and the CITY RUNNERS 10K RICHMOND PARK