What a lovely run the Leeds Abbey Dash is. There was a point yesterday morning when I wondered if we would actually make it to the start line though.
We didn’t receive our race packs in the post but I phoned Age UK (the run organisers) twice during the week to say that they hadn’t arrived and that I couldn’t find the confirmation emails. That’s fine, they said, you are definitely registered. Just go to the information point on the day and pick up your race number. That should be easy enough, right? Wrong. Firstly, the earliest train we could get, without leaving home at 6.30 to be in Leeds by the time the information point opened at 8.30, was 8.09 am so by the time we got to the information point it was about 8.40 am. Secondly, when we got to the information point, they didn’t have our names down on their list :O Fortunately, they had some extra numbers and gave us our entries anyway.
Next, we had to find our way to the finish area so that I could drop off my backpack with our fleeces in at the left baggage area. This was about a 5 minute walk away but we were going against the flow of runners going to the starting pens so it took a little longer. It didn’t help that I was trying to fill in the blurb on the back of our bibs while we were walking either. I also kept hearing “Will runners please make their way to the starting area as the Junior run has started and they will be coming through the finish line shortly.” I was in panic mode big time. Anyway, we got to the finish area and left the bag with our fleeces inside but had to keep our loose tracksuit bottoms on over our running leggings because the bag wasn’t big enough for them too – oops! It was fine, I don’t mind having warm legs.
By the time we started walking back to the start area it was 9.20 am and the run was due to start at 9.30 am. Once we got back to the start area, we had to go to the toilet but fortunately the queues weren’t too long as the race had started and we were in the final group of 60 minute plus runners due to go to the start line itself. After all my panicking, we got there with plenty of time to spare 😀
We started to walk from the warm-up/start area at about 9.45 am and I should have started my Garmin searching for our location when we started walking but I didn’t. We crossed the start line and went about 200m before my watch was ready to start recording. I had set the intervals for 4 minute run; 1 minute walk as this is what seems to suit Adam and me best at the moment. Although, I felt really good and could have kept going for longer as I kept the run speed at a slow pace for the first 4 km or so – I think we averaged around 6:50/km up to the half way mark. The run was lovely and flat with only a little bit of a slope (hill) as we approached Kirkstall Abbey – hence the name of the run – to turn round and run back to Leeds city centre. This was also the water station. Unlike most runs I have been on in the UK, the Leeds Abbey Dash hands out a small cup of water rather than a bottle. They do this at Disney World too and I must say I prefer it, you either drink it or throw it over you/away. I told Adam that he could take his time drinking it while we walked but that we would then run two intervals without a walk break to make up for it. He did good 🙂
As usual, Adam gave me a running commentary of what we were passing. This included a Harvester, McDonalds, Vue cinema, Frankie & Benny’s (we went through a leisure park), ITV Yorkshire, a dairy and a fire station. Oh and a big blue bus which said “TV and Film Support Bus” on it.
I still haven’t found out what our time was (my watch said 1:07 for 9.94km so not as fast as York but faster than Sheffield) and we did enjoy the run, once I got over the panic of not having my race number beforehand. I think we’ll be back for this one again next year.