The Amazing Yorkshire Marathon
Last year’s York marathon was a massive high on my running calendar. My second marathon and the promise of a flat course left me excitedly preparing for what turned out to be an amazing race.
This year I had the memory of that awesome day in my mind as I lined up at the start at the University of York campus in the sunshine. The race this year was different for me for a few reasons. This was the first time I have run a marathon with a running buddy, and my good friend Aaron accompanied me for the whole 26.2 miles, my third, but his first ever marathon.
It was also different because this year I was running in my club shirt. Having joined Leeds Frontrunners just before the marathon last year I had signed up as a solo runner. This year I was running proud as a Leeds Frontrunner. Seeing my fellow club mate Andrew before the race was a great confidence boost, and knowing I had so many club members cheering for me on Facebook was really pushing me on, and had helped me get through countless training sessions.
The atmosphere on the York marathon is amazing. There are people out in the thousands to cheer on the runners, and the joy when someone calls the name on your running number out, nothing can bring on a smile like “Come on Eve, you can do it!” – I love that the crowds get so involved, handing out jelly babies, and high fives galore.
The course goes through some beautiful places with amazing scenery. I think the scenery may have blurred my memory as I’m sure last year’s run didn’t feel quite as hilly as this year. It is still a relatively flat course, but when the hills kick in slow and steady at mile 18 you really do feel it.
The best part though is the final push that turns into a downhill sprint, through the funnel with the crowds roaring madly. I can’t express in words what that feels like in those last few moments when you realise you’ve conquered 26.2 miles.
I didn’t manage to beat my previous years’ times but the experience I had running was just as amazing. If you don’t feel like running the full 26.2 miles, but you want to experience the York marathon there is a shorter 10 mile run on the same day, but I think it has much to offer as a spectator sport too!
This was the final race for me in a season of 6 Yorkshire races. The White Rose Ultimate challenge, which Andrew, Matthew and I began together at Sheffield Half Marathon in April has seen us complete over 70 miles of racing (sadly Matthew was injured and couldn’t complete the marathon). It was the pinnacle of a 7 month journey that I have loved sharing with my fellow club members and we’ve had such great support along the way.
It was such an amazing experience I’ve already booked my place on next year’s Marathon, and I know that Leeds Frontrunners will be supporting me all the way there.