Welcome to another of my non-elite race reviews! First off, let me start by saying that I love the For All Events York 10K and have done it every year. It’s great to have a fab event right on my doorstep that’s a good opportunity to assess form in the run-up to the Great North Run and is also in aid of a really worthy cause, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. This year my new-to-running brother Mike was doing it too, his first-ever 10K race.
We awoke to fog on race morning, which was a bit unexpected – and chilly – but at least it wasn’t raining! We’re able to cycle to York Racecourse (where the race starts and finishes) in about 15 minutes from our house, meaning we can avoid traffic queues and have a nice gentle warm-up en route – very handy. Hubby Steve came along to support us.
There’s always a fantastic atmosphere at the York 10K, probably due to the fact that it’s so inclusive, with runners ranging from elites through to joggers and walkers. The lovely Elly Fiorentini of Radio York was doing her usual great job of encouraging us all at the start. We probably turned up a bit later than we should have, so Mike and I found ourselves closer to the back than we’d have liked, but that was our fault for not getting up earlier! The race was started by World Cup final referee Howard Webb, who also took part in the run.
Unsurprisingly the first mile or so was spent trying to get past quite a lot of people. People say this course is quite good for achieving a PB, which it probably is if you’re an elite runner, but back in the main pack lots of people seem to stand closer to the start line than they should. Why? We all get our own individual chip time, so you have nothing to gain by getting in the way of faster people! Not that I’m fast, but I’m far from the slowest at this type of mass event, and it is a bit annoying when you see people who started near the front begin to walk after about half a mile. You can waste a lot of energy trying to get round them, as well as groups of friends who want to jog along five abreast. Note to self – get up and in the pen earlier next year!
The route of the race is lovely, taking runners past some of York’s finest sights such as the Minster and the castle, then along the river. The sun also managed to break through after a while, which I knew it would as I’d decided not to wear my shades! The event is always very well organised, with two water points en route provided by the Asda Foundation; my only grumble would be that the people giving out the water couldn’t keep up with demand, so anyone wanting it had to stop and wait to get it. Some tables with bottles laid out on them would have been useful. As it wasn’t too hot and I’d hydrated well beforehand I didn’t bother, not wanting to waste valuable seconds. I was refreshed by the sight of Steve popping up unexpectedly to cheer me on in a couple of places instead!
I always like to have an aim on race day to keep me going and have a dream of completing a 10K in under 50 minutes, just to get a time with a 4 at the beginning! As I get older I realise that’s less and less likely to happen, but it’s still a good motivator. My first few mile splits were pretty good at around 8:15, but I find it hard to keep that up over six miles, so did fade a bit towards the end. I finished in 52:30, about 20 seconds outside last year’s time of 52:19, and was very glad of the Lucozade Sport provided at the finish line! Mike did really well, coming in at 46:04. The goody bags at the end were great, with an attractive t-shirt and, for the first time, a medal too. Fired up by Mo Farah’s golden performance the previous evening, we felt a bit like Olympians ourselves, albeit quite a bit slower!
So, after a rest day today I’m back on it tomorrow, now on week seven of my twelve week training plan for the Great North Run. I’m doing it for Martin House Children’s Hospice this year, so please feel free to donate on my Just Giving page if you’d like to. Can’t wait for that one!