I had been wanting to do this race for a good few years, but had never been brave enough, because I knew it was a toughy. But I decided this year I would just go for it, despite having done a complete lack of distance training. I think seeing all the other Strider’s going off every weekend to run epic distances made me believe that surely, with a bit of ‘mind-over-matter’, I could manage a mere 13 miles!
My parents live in Pocklington, just 10 minutes drive away from the start, so getting to the race was nice and easy, and it was nice to have them as my ‘support crew’, cheering me on at various points on the way round! And it was a lovely day, nice and sunny, but not really too hot, and there were plenty of drinks stations on the way round (also with wet sponges) to keep refreshed. There were also lots of friendly marshalls.
The route itself, in my opinion, is just lovely. Very scenic along small, quiet country roads, and also about 2 miles of off road about half way round, which was a nice break from pounding the roads. It is hard work though. It felt like the whole first half of the race was uphill to some extent! Certainly between 3 and 6 miles you are climbing relentlessly and wondering when it is ever going to flatten out. But at 6.5 miles there is a wonderful downhill section off-road, and it was in the shade too. After that, everything feels ‘relatively’ flat. Steep hill at about 9 miles but it’s not too long. The real killer is the hill at 11 miles, which is a horrible drag for about half a mile when you are really very tired, and I did end up walking some of this one, and I was not the only one! But fortunately I knew that the last mile or so is another fantastic downhill, all the way to the finish. There was plenty of support at the finish and a nice hand-thrown pottery mug (I do love a good mug!). Somehow the miles had just seemed to tick over – I finished in a time of 2 hours 4 minutes which I was pretty satisfied with and really I was just chuffed to finish in one piece and with a smile on my face 🙂 I loved every minute of it.
The race is normally held in conjunction with the Bishop Wilton show, but unfortunately this year the show was cancelled because the field was too wet. But I can only imagine that it would add to the niceness of the event. I am definitely going to be persuading some more Strider’s to join me next year!