It’s a beautiful autumn Sunday morning in October and I’m on the start line of The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. Lining up with the thousands of others, the usual thoughts started to creep in. “Oh, why am I doing this?” I said to my running pal Rich.
Surrounded by hordes of other eager, nervous, excited runners, I partake in a mass warm up followed by simultaneous applause for a much missed runner, David Colley, who tragically passed away last month at the Great North Run. He had been due to run his first marathon at this event, so this was a charming and fitting tribute which brought thousands of emotional runners, volunteers and spectators together.
“Here we go, good luck Liz,” Rich replied as we all set our watches and started to run. I high five Mike Tomlinson, Harry Gration and the Lord Mayor of York as I cross the start. Smiles all around, I was pumped with adrenaline, raring to go.
The route is beautiful and it’s only minutes before I run through the cobbled streets of York, passing the majestic York Minster. The sounds of its pealing bells are so encouraging. Several pretty villages go by with picturesque houses and quaint cottages. Drinks stations, medical and toilet facilities are plenty. Tree-lined county lanes twist their way with enthusiastic supporters, shouting, cheering, entertaining and clapping you along every mile. The atmosphere is just great.
As I near the end, the dreaded ‘hill’ looms. I think about walking, I hear “Go on Liz," - its Rob, my husband - then “Well done, Mum” from Lottie, my daughter. They had been tracking and following my progress on a fabulous new phone app. How could I walk now?
I’ve done it. I feel fantastic. I enter the finish area to see signposts for everything. Goody bags, refreshments, medal engraving, charity village, baggage reclaim, family and friends, medical facilities, physiotherapy and Do the ‘Y’ photos. The organisation of this event is brilliant, and the numerous volunteers are marvellous. Thank you.
And my time? 3:48:17… not bad for an ‘owd’ lass!
The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon sells out each year in just days. The pre-sale for 2016’s event on Sunday 9th October is now open and is the best way of securing a place. Sign up here.