After Total Warrior I jumped on a train to York in preparation for the Jane Tomlinson Run 4 All 10k. The journey down was long and hot and on the changeover at Leeds I ended up on a train sitting opposite a couple who were listing all of their relatives that had died (bit grim really).
Upon arrival at York I immediately felt relaxed. York is without doubt one of my favourite places in the UK and is a great mixture of modern and historic. The walk to the hotel wasn’t as long as I’d originally thought it was going to be and a passer by helped me to locate it as, weirdly, it was tucked away at the end of a street of residential houses. Not far from the hotel I was surprised to pass someone from Carlisle who seemed almost as shocked to see me as I was to see her.
On entering The Novotel Hotel I was impressed at how clean it was and how friendly the staff were. For once my room was well away from the lifts and it appeared that my neighbours were quiet so this was already looking promising. The room was lovely and spacious, the bathroom was clean and the shower worked so this hotel was certainly a winner and for once my last minute change of hotels worked out for the better.
Having arrived very late I decided that I really needed to get some food so I headed out into York centre and happened upon a very lovely French restaurant called Café Rouge. Having ordered a very tasty Chicken Tagine with some bulger wheat I left with a full stomach and decided to walk the 2 ½ miles to where the run was starting from so I knew where to go and how feasible it was to walk it in the morning.
After the walk it was back to the hotel to do a little bit of foam rolling then get my head down for the night in a very comfortable bed. I awoke the next morning feeling refreshed after a great sleep despite being a little battered and bruised. I arrived at the restaurant a little early but was granted entry anyway and grabbed myself a breakfast of sausage, bacon and beans. As I went back to sit at my table the chef came to speak to me and enquired whether I was running today which I replied in the positive. After a little talk about running where he told me that he used to be a bit of a runner back in his day he disappeared back to the kitchen. Minutes later he came back and he’d knocked some scrambled egg up for me. I certainly couldn’t knock the service in this hotel as they all seemed keen to provide.
Now it was time for a few last minute preparations and the walk to the start area. Upon arriving at York Racecourse it turned out that they’d set up a large screen in the field where everyone was watching the Olympics and for once there were a plethora of toilets.
As the run was starting at 9am there wasn’t much waiting around but it was surprising how foggy it was that morning. Around 8:30 everyone was asked to make their way to the start areas and get in the specific running waves of elite runners, sub 50 minute runners, sub 55 minute runners etc etc.
There was a pre-race mass warm up followed by a talk informing us of the aims of the run and the charities that were involved and a quick chat with Mike Tomlinson and Howard Webb who was the official race starter. At dead on 9am the elite runners were on their way and about a minute later my group were off and running. I was really looking forward to this run around York as the area is very scenic, however I’d decided that I was going to take it relatively easy and if needs be I was going to walk. I imagined that I would, at some point during the run, feel some effects of Total Warrior the day before.
The first 2k of the run was around residential areas before hitting the city centre at 3k through to 5k taking in such sites as York Minster and Cliffords Tower which, as has become tradition, I saluted upon passing (Cliffords Tower means a lot to me as this was the site where I asked my wife to marry me). There was a water station at 4k which was much needed as the foggy morning had suddenly turned into a very hot day. At 5k I checked my watch and realised that I was halfway through in a time of 27 minutes which wasn’t too shabby considering. If I managed to keep that pace there was no reason why I couldn’t complete it the course in an hour. From 6k to 7K we were running along the River Ouse before hitting York Millennium Bridge, I was surprised at how bouncy the bridge was as we were running along it. Seeing the photos taken at this point afterwards it looks like I’m in pain but that was actual the opposite of how I felt, I think it may just be that the motion of the bridge makes me look like I’m about to throw up.
From 7k to 8k we were getting back in to the familiar territory of the route to the racecourse. Then 8k to 9k was a run around the old Terrys Factory, upon seeing the 9k marking I checked my watch again and saw that I was on 48 minutes. I certainly had enough in me to pick the pace up a little bit which I did when I decided that the last kilometre would be taken hard and fast. Coming up to 400m and the amassed crowd gave me a bit of a surge to get through to the end where I crossed the line at 53:04. Unsure of my chip time I would have to wait until I returned home later that night to find that my time was officially:
Race No. 2953 Name Steven Claringbold Gun Time 00:53:04 Chip Time 00:51:5111
I had placed 970th out of 4109 finishers (4118 had taken part but 9 didn’t finish). I had surprised myself slightly as the exertions of the day before had really put me in the mind-set that I would end up walking a bit of the course but to find myself finishing in 51:51 made me quite proud of myself.
Once I’d received my medal and goody bag I decided to walk back to the hotel to stretch my legs out after the run and then, after a nice shower, I lay on the bed at the hotel for the next hour before checking out.
I had a wait of 4 hours before catching my train back to Carlisle so I decided to have a walk around the shops but the weather had different ideas. A storm was brewing as signified from the thunder so I made my way to a café not far from where I was only to find myself literally inches from a lightning bolt. I’ve been scared before in my life but this really frightened me so I spent the next hour holed up in a café drinking coffee waiting for the weather to brighten up a little.
Having gotten on the train to leave York I’d decided that I would be back again for the 10k in 2013. I’d enjoyed it immensely and the hotel was brilliant so I would definitely be staying there again.
Following this run I had the whole week to recover before I had to take part in The Cross Bay Challenge half marathon from Lancashire to Cumbria via a tidal bay. I was really looking forward to this run and was hoping that my legs would recover in time to enable me to give it a good go.