It was a great day and the event was well managed. I am delighted I could be a part of it.
But have you seen the York Press pics? Even before they set off those Kenyans looked fast. They all looked built for speed. I have seen more fat on a butcher’s pencil! As I approached my starting zone they were heading off for a last minute warm up run. I have recently been reading about how the Kenyan runners train in ‘Running with the Kenyans’ by Adharanand Finn. He tells about their training camps and the total dedication they give to their training. They do little other that run, eat and sleep.
I was not quite so fast. If you read my previous post about my preparations you may have wondered how it went.
The shoes were great and didn’t cause any discomfort at all, in fact they were just right. But the gels?!
However, I have now discovered I have not got the knack of opening those little gel packs while running. I found I had to stop for a few seconds each time to down them. I also found that I completely lost track of when I had taken one and when the next one was due. I need a better system next time.
The weather was good, though a bit warmer than I had expected and I was soon wishing I had worn something cooler. I had foolishly worn leggings and a long sleeve top. Wrong! The periods of torrential rain did not appear, or perhaps they were forecast for a different location. I should have listened more carefully to the weather forecast.
Would more rubbish bins along the route have been good? If we had some every mile or so we may not have seen all those empty gel packs lying on the road. Out of the city people were offering trays of jelly babies – how kind. If I were giving them a suggestion I would say some gel wrapper bins would be great here and there.
Talking of gels, many runners have special belts to hold their nutrition gels. Some of those belts obviously don’t work, evidenced by the number of full gel packs lying on the road that must have dropped out of badly designed belts, leaving their owners disappointed when the time comes to fish one out.
What a day though. The runners are preoccupied at the start and tired at the finish, but for the spectators it is a real party atmosphere and a great spectacle. One spectator said to me, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!” the organisation was excellent and the number of volunteers is a credit to the city of York. I can not imagine the amount of income it will generate the city in the years ahead as it becomes better known and able to include more competitors.
Nearly forgot, how did I do? At least I finished, but at about mile 17 something went in my right hip and I was in great pain. I had to walk long stretches in those final miles. I finished at a half a minute less than 4:30. I don’t know if anything could have prevented my injury but already I am thinking that next time I will aim to fit in more long runs as part of my training. I would certainly like to do it in less that 4 hours. I think I can do that, apart from injury.