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Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon

By Matthew Rose, 14 October 2018

2018 has been an interesting year, what started out as a disappointing run in February on the course where I set my half marathon PB in 2012 (Great North West Half in 1:32:29), this year I ran a very disappointing 1:39:06. Heading into the race, I felt fit, I felt good, and whilst a poor run, that race taught me a lot!

We'd entered the marathon in December 2017, the "we" being Jen Wolstenholme, Damian McQueen, Shaun Coggon and I. A bit of a follow on from some crazy antics during 2017, the marathon would provide a real focus for us all and keep us in check! That didn't work fully.. and on the 14 October it was time to execute our plans and compete in the seventh edition of the very popular Yorkshire Marathon.

UK weather forecasters have issued flood warnings as Storm Callum is predicted to bring 36 hours
of heavy rain and 85mph winds from TOMORROW!

Saturday's weather predictions

The weather had been up and down all week and we'd concluded it was going to be wet; it was. Jen had offered to drive and we'd taken advantage of the excellent park and ride service. We'd booked the park and ride bus for between 7:30 and 8:00 and thankfully, having missed our turn off to the airfield, we followed a less congested route arriving on time for our expedient transfer to race HQ at York University.

Incessant rain was falling and most like us took shelter. We huddled under a bike canopy, all in good spirits and discussing our hopes for the race. We made final preparations and headed to the bag drop, a quick hello to Phil Hanson, in positive spirits for the 10 mile race and trotted down to the start area which was already quite full of soaked and shivering athletes.

More commonly found on the set of Emmerdale, and a keen marathon runner himself, Tony Audenshaw counted us down to the start and at 9:30 we are away.

We hadn't had a good opportunity to warm up so we'd all committed to taking the first few miles easy. My last few marathons hadn't gone to plan which had left me with some nervousness about the outcome of the day. Training had gone well, I'd got the miles in the bank but I'm all too familiar with what can go wrong at the marathon distance. I set off comfortably and could see the 3:15 and 3:30 pacer in front of me.

We weaved through the city and at just under two miles we approached York Minster with the bells ringing out and abundance of support sporting umberellas and waterproofs with hoods up. I maintained a comfortable pace and didn't concern myself about the pacers - I'd decided to run my own race and not overly concern myself with the mile splits.

After the Minster we headed out of the city walls towards the countryside. The road was mostly flat with a few undulations, we headed through Heweth and towards the 10K timing mat in Stockton on the Forest; the roads here were lined with locals offering encouragement and the vicar offering high fives which most people accepted - perhaps it would prove useful later on in the race!

I'd overtaken the 3:30 pacer and as I passed the 10K mat, I took a glance at my watch - 46:57(7:34 pace).  It felt slow, I felt good, everything was under control.

We headed right, towards the village of Upper Helmsley and Sand Hutton where we were greeted by Scottish pipers and drummers braving the weather providing a deserved lift. As I approached 20K just outside Stamford Bridge I still felt OK. At 13.5 miles we slung a left and headed down towards Stamford Bridge, passing runners who had already reached Stamford and now heading back. A sharp turn at Stamford and we were now one of them, as we contined along a long five mile stretch of Stamford Road.

The second turning point was just beyond the 18 mile mark where a two mile uphill slog would begin to take its toll. I'd convinced myself, get to mile 20 and if I could, go for it. I pushed on, working hard with the group around me until reaching the turn towards Holtby.

At mile 20, my mindset changed - Race! I covered the next mile in 7:32. I tried to maintain that pace; my head could, but my legs wouldn't. I still felt strong and was overtaking other athletes but knew my pace had reduced.

The last 10K was through winding roads and a few small villages, I was working hard and keen have sight of the finish line!

YMBlingLrg

Marathon conquered, 3:21:57 PB

With just under half a mile to go, I turned left towards the finish at the University. I didn't know what to expect at the end though and had  been warned about a "cheeky" bump at the end.  It certainly was just that, maxing out at 8% it was a delightful feeling to reach the summit for the final sprint to the finish line. I had no idea what time I'd run, I heard my name on the tannoy and just threw everything I could at it.

It took me a few minutes to compose myself, I stopped my watch and leant over the barrier. My legs were screaming, bringing tears to my eyes.

I shuffled onwards, collecting my medal, my free pint of Alcohol free Erdinger and walked gingerly back to collect my bag and to meet the team at our agreed rendezvous point. I called my wife who advised of my official time, I'd done it - a new PB of 3:21:57.

The rain still hadn't stopped. I found Damian, then we were reunited with Shaun and Jen before catching the bus back to York and the return on the Gusibus back to Huddersfield.

The race was great thanks to the organisers, and all of the volunteers and supporters who braved the wet and cold conditions to make our day. My thanks go to our families who support our training, and our Awesome HHAC team who inspire me to do these events and who make the journey so pleasureable.

Seven Harriers completed the marathon, they were Brandon Holroyd 02:54:11 (PB); Damian McQueen 03:08:56 (PB); Matthew Rose 03:21:57 (PB); Michael Shaun Coggon 03:43:15; Robert Davies 03:55:18 (1st timer); Jen Wolstenholme 04:02:33; Mark Barraclough 04:02:26 (1st timer).

The race winners were Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC) in 2:27:02 and Katherine Wood (Sale Harriers Manchester), 2:41:33.

Results: http://chiptiming.co.uk/events/asda-foundation-yorkshire-marathon-2018

Learning from Great North West Half Marathon

The learning from the half marathon at the beginning of the year was about myself. To run within my ability, to understand my own body and let my head control the race and not my watch. From then on, I’ve had (by my standards) some great performances. I’ve had a number of Parkruns under 21 minutes, a PB for 5K, PB for 10Mi (69:56), a SB for the half marathon(1:32:52) and now a PB with the marathon.

ASDA Foundation Yorkshire 10 Mile road race

On the same day, with the same difficult conditions, the was a relay and shorter 10 mile race.  Take a moment to read Phil Hanson's Yorkshire 10 Mile road race report.  

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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