Great marathon, friendly runners, amazing support from the crowds.
I am used to running marathons in the middle of nowhere, or ultras with a few 100 runners, and no locals even know the event is on, let alone come out to cheer (although some b*****ds do nick the route signs)! I found the cheering and support and people shouting your name quite emotionally overwhelming at times, but it was fantastic for keeping you going over the tough bits . A real credit to the friendliness of the Yorkshire people.
My 34th marathon / ultra (I don't bother to count them separately ), and after 3x trail 50mile+ ultras this year I wasn't expecting a great deal out of my legs. Happy with a solid first half in 2.08, aiming for a 4.20-30 finish, wheels fell off on the ever so slight subtle incline / hideous long drag (depending on how you were feeling at the time) between 14-17m, and was getting a little chilly. 17-20 was mentally tough seeing the people in front of you, so I just tried not to look!! Stomach cramp hit at 20m, reduced to a run / walk strategy for the last 6m, 4.30 went out the window, 4.45 quickly followed it when I was overtaken by the pacer , walked up the last hill then at least managed to finish in style and sprint the downhill to a 4.53.
Cannot say I am surprised with my time given I haven't trained specifically for the consistent running required by marathons this year, and in the end was happy to come away with a sub-5 and not too much damage apart from a gypy stomach.
Highly recommend this marathon to anyone. Great for a first one because of all the support and regular water stations.
I saw a young woman suffering at 15m, on her first, saying it was too hard and she never expected it to be this hard. Her friend summed it up well 'it doesn't matter how many marathons you do, they are all hard, and you are doing something most of the population wouldn't even attempt'. Needless to say she finished it .
Stiff today, had a short hobble around the allotment but my knee is too sore from itbs to do anything major.
Elspeth - take it steady and you should do it, but it may not be too pleasant if my experience this year is anything to go by !
FFB - Fling would be 'essential' if you hadn't done it before, but you've done it twice already so I don't see what the big deal is, as long as you train on similar terrain / distance. Also the Devil section is the harder part of the course, the Fling is the nice 'cake' bit in comparison, so its the second half that needs the most training work and recce's not the first bit IMHO .