I remember exactly when I agreed to this race, or at least to run in York. It was the May Bank Holiday and I was resting against the metal railing outside the Yacht Club in Burry Port at the end of St Illtyd’s ultramarathon. Everyone who had completed the race was waiting around in their pale blue tee, medal around the neck, drinking celebratory pints and cheering the finishers over the line. Josh had just legged it to get fish and chips before the chippy shut and Luke and I got chatting about jobs, and running, and stuff. I agreed to find a race up in York and to run with him and his boys. And this weekend, 6 months later, I got to do exactly that.
I was heading north as it was, a 7 course tasting menu at Marmadukes had my name on it, twinned with some family oriented errands, a brunch at the Ivy and it all conveniently coincided with the Gunpowder Plot 10K, a small (300 in the field) 10K in York, complete with local Guy Fawkes lookalike as the race is sponsored by the York Dungeons. A race with an HQ at the local football club clubhouse, that involved 2 laps of Knavesmire, one of a number of large, marshy undeveloped areas within the city, which are collectively known as Strays (thanks Wikipedia for making this educational).
These aren’t the kits you’re looking for
The idea was to run as Boba Fett. The boys (Luca and Theo) are Star Wars fans and so the plan was to go full Boba, with Luke and the boys also running in fancy dress but this plan evolved over the course of the weekend to the boys running in running kit, and Luke and me wearing Mandalorian t-shirts.
I was just glad I brought the full costume, short and long sleeved tee options. Saying that, a few runners were also in fancy dress including a Ghostbuster and Guy Fawkes, so I would not have looked out of place – I would just have sweated like a monkey.
Half on path, half on grass, it would be a gentle bimble for Luke and me for the first 5K and then we would be joined by the boys. Simple plan, with a water table and sweets at the start/finish/5K turnaround point, and water table and Percy Pigs and JBs at half way.
How we did… A long time ago, in a field far, far away
I did warn Luke I was a little broken. I have been trying out new shoes in the vain hope of finding an On replacement. It has not been going well, but I am settling into the Nikes. I ran the RunThrough Halloween 10K/5K on Thursday (dressed as Jason and breathing through the mask sounding like Darth Vader’s asthmatic cousin), and a nippyish Parkrun in Clapham the day before and was nursing a few niggles as I headed into Athens Marathon week.
And he was kind enough to jog around with me for the first 5K, putting the world of running to rights, waxing rhapsodic about St Wales, basically a wheezing, running version of the King and I song “Getting to Know You.” And then, at 5K we were joined by the boys. And it was fun. Luca, the sprinter, was off and running ahead. Theo, nursing a sore ankle, kept us company. Promises of Percy Pigs at the 7.5K mark and pointing out where the finish was would be employed as motivator. He would keep talking about his Sunday lunch. “I am only keeping going because I am thinking about my roast dinner”, Theo would say. Well, out of the mouths of babes. The thought of stuffing my gills at the end of a race is the only thing that keeps me going at times. And with the thought of beating his brother sending Luca over the line ahead of us, and the 3 of us finishing together it was all over in quite a respectable time really. 1:06 for a 10K that including walking with the boys and stopping for water and Percy Pigs at least three times.
Bespoke and I like it. The boys got a medal each too, and it added to the whole day. And what I got from this is that you can inspire your kids to run. The boys, despite their grumblings at times, and wanting to be carried (I did too), they were excited by the prospect of running with their dad. It was precious. I can see why the whole Dad Runs movement, akin to the Run Mummy Run, is growing, and inspiring their kids to run too. I was honoured and humbled to be part of something so great. The boys did superbly well, earned their adult Sunday roast and, well, I am not sure how they remember it, but this was the medal photo for my recollection.
It is two laps of a field with two water stops, and sweets. I know Luke trains there so it would take something special to want to race there. I have run the York 10K, the Yorkshire Marathon, and now this. I like York and would gladly head back at some point for another. I think there is the Vale of York, but don’t know the details. It could have been grim if wet and therefore muddy but we lucked out with the weather. I even wore the short sleeved Boba top to run around in. The medal is nice and you get a little goody bag of snacks too. It did feel like a Parkrun with medals and I think Luke said there is a Parkrun there too, although when asking if they wanted to run it the boys categorically said no.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE GUNPOWDER 10K? It was a bit small, and a bit basic.
WOULD I RUN THE GUNPOWDER 10K again? I was there to run with Luke and the boys, if it is the only option then yes.
The Flumprunner Count