This is my 300th post!
It seems fitting that I am writing about the Great Yorkshire Run as my 300th post. I wanted my 300th post to be something special but this will do as a substitute.
I took part in the Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield yesterday and, knowing that Sheffield is quite hilly, was a little worried about whether or not I’d get round as quickly as I got round York with my friend in August. As it happens I didn’t need to worry about any of it until the last 200 m!
We were up at 6.15 am to get ready to drive to Sheffield. Why did I think this was a good idea? I don’t get up at 6.15 am on a school/work day let alone a Sunday! We wanted to leave home by 7 am to ensure that we got to the tram station by 8.30 am. We were out of the door by 7.03 am and on our way down the A64 when I said “I forgot my croc hat and sunglasses.” The croc hat wasn’t important but sunglasses definitely were, I hate running (or walking or driving) with even the slightest bit of glare from the sun. Fortunately, we hadn’t got too far down the A64 and were able to turn around at Bilbrough Top. So we went back home for me to get my hat and sunglasses and were off again by 7.30 am. The roads were fairly clear and we were at Meadowhall by 8.30 am to get the tram to the city centre where I saw the hill to the finish line! To say it is steep is an understatement.
We had plenty of time so we walked around a bit and arranged a meeting point for afterwards in case my husband and son didn’t see me cross the finish line and then wander to the end of the packet pick-up bit. It was then time to queue for the loo. It was actually a short queue, definitely shorter than any queue I’ve ever seen at York with fewer toilets. How does that work? I’m guessing they weren’t the only loos available for use.
As I didn’t have a 10 k time when I signed up for the Great Yorkshire Run, I was in the Pink wave of runners at the back. That was OK. I’m happy to start at the back as most people weave their way past me at the beginning rather than the other way around. I usually catch up with the eager beavers after the field has thinned out a bit and it’s easier to get round them. As I was in the last wave of starters, and we started 25 minutes after the elite runners, we saw the leaders coming back up the hill as we were going down it. It could have been very disheartening if we had all started at the same time but knowing that our wave was 25 minutes after them and it took me about 2 minutes to cross the start line I was encouraged rather than discouraged by it. Apparently the first runner home finished in 29 minutes.
So, we ran down the hill which we would have to run up again after 9.8 km and then made our way on to a lovely long, flat dual carriageway towards Hillsborough. Well, it felt flat after thinking that it was going to be hilly. There were singers and bands spread out along the route too to keep us entertained. There was one guy who was singing songs like “Keep on Running” and “Born to Run” – fab! The car sales people came out from their showrooms to cheer us on too – they weren’t getting any business while we were running along the road since the road was closed were they? At about 2.5 km I needed to go wee. I knew it was a bad idea to not go again before I started! Anyway, I kept on running (and walking, I’d decided to run/walk 5 min/1 min) until I got to Hillsborough Stadium where we turned around and they had 3 loos. Of course there was a queue but I didn’t think I’d last until I got back to the finish. I think I
wasted took about 2 minutes to queue and go to the toilet but it was well worth it because I wasn’t thinking about my bladder anymore and some of the runners I had just passed at around 5 k were now back in front of me giving me a target to get passed.
The 4.5 km back were a lot easier without the pressure of my bladder. Well, they were until 9 km to go when we had a little hill to climb followed by a little hill down and then, of course, the 200 m steep hill right at the end. Anyway, I made it.
I was aiming to beat 1:15:10, which I ran in York in August. Ideally I wanted to beat 1:13:?? which I ran in York in 2010. Guess what, I smashed it! New PB: 1:09:50. Just think what I could have done if I had gone to the loo immediately before the start instead of having to stop half way round!
Taking part was, of course, mostly about raising money – why else would I be wearing a crocodile hat? – it was a little bit about the prizes, medal and t-shirt.