Tag Archives: Yorkshire Marathon

Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon, York, Sunday, October 14, 2018

Corrine Whaling

Our journey to York began the day before the marathon with a playlist of rain-related songs following on from Jonathon’s Facebook suggestion that we all learn “Singing in the rain” – turns out there are a surprising number of alternatives out there (Travis: Why does it always rain on me, Garbage: I’m only happy when it rains, and Rhianna: Umbrella were our favourites!). Suffice to say we were preparing ourselves for a wet soggy run….

On the morning of the race, we got a lift to the station from family and joined the long queue of people waiting for the shuttle bus from the railway station to the University campus. I couldn’t fault the organization for the rest of the day, however, this aspect could have done with some thinking through! Pay as you board meant that getting on the bus took an age, the organisers’ assurance that runners would be prioritized wasn’t followed, and all the while we were getting wetter and wetter. Our Poundland ponchos were undoubtedly the best purchase of the weekend! Rory tried to keep me distracted by making numerous suggestions about ways in which the bus system could have been remedied, but at that point anxiety was building (I was late for the GNR one year having queued in vain for the portable loos and missed getting into the starting pen resulting in a vault over the barriers – I am now absolutely obsessed about getting to the start of races early and so this bus wait was no good for me at all!). Eventually, we boarded and started the short journey to the campus.

On arrival, Rory and I dropped bags (super efficient system), and then decided to do our own thing and meet afterwards– which was probably for the best with regards to maintaining marital harmony given how snappy I was with him at that stage! Luckily I bumped into fellow Striders, Karen and Lesley, and had a lovely chat, which helped to calm my nerves.

The start was fabulous – lovely chatty people in the pen, all bonding over the atrocious weather conditions, which had, in a lovely way, taken the pressure off with regards expectations of the race. We set off on time, all still wrapped in jumpers/ponchos/bin liners.

The first mile flew by, and I set off far faster than I had intended. The route heads into York, and by the first mile-marker I had warmed up sufficiently to ditch my charity shop purchased fleece but was still holding on firmly to the poncho! As we approached mile 2 we passed York Minster with its fabulous bells, which was an amazing sight and sound on a Sunday morning.

We then headed out into the suburbs and towards the countryside – at around mile 3 I felt like a boil-in-the-bag runner, and finally had to ditch the poncho! I had planned to slow down at this point but felt good so kept the pace up. Mile 5 took us into Stockton on the Forest, which was, without a doubt, one of the high points of the marathon for me. On our way into the village a group of girls from the group I used to run with before we moved to Durham were cheering – I had a lovely hug from one of the girls I had run Manchester with, which gave me the lift I needed. Then onto the high-fiving vicar and the congregation who were all out supporting!

After that, the route was through country lanes, with long stretches without any crowds. Normally I quite like that, but I think the rain took its toll on my spirits, and I really enjoyed the villages and cheering. I particularly loved the pipe band at mile 7, being Scottish this was absolutely amazing – hands in the air clapping moment! Unfortunately, that also heralded the moments the heavens opened…It had been raining solidly prior to that but with little force, after that point, it rained heavily with no let-up or stop (until we were in the car journey home!). This meant that for much for the rest of the run lots of time was spent looking at the ground trying to dodge puddles, or trying to dodge the relay runners – I guess when you are doing 6 miles it doesn’t matter too much if you get wet feet, but I was very keen to avoid getting wetter than I needed to! Again I planned to slow down at mile 10 but felt good, so kept the pace up….

Entering Sand Hutton approaching mile 11 there was a stretch of road that was totally flooded with horrible sandy water – I guess there must be a lot of sand in the ground in Sand Hutton, an aptly named village!

Between mile 13 and 15 came the first loopback, I planned to slow down after the half but felt good, so kept going, and the same story at mile 15! The loopback allowed me a couple of shouts of “Go Strider” as Elaine and Anna passed going the other way in super speedy time.

Then another loopback at miles 16-20 gave me a glimpse of Rory, who looked strong despite having just finished the uphill part of the loopback. If I had one real criticism of the race it would be that the loopback there was just nasty! A gradual decline on the way out, whilst all the time looking at the people struggling with the gradual incline on the 2-mile stretch back up again – mean! Thankfully my water bottle needed refilling and Tailwind adding, all of which I hadn’t practised whilst running – the fiddling on with all of this totally distracted me from the climb, which was done before I’d realized!

Thereafter I did purposefully slow down my pace, realising that I needed to reign it in to avoid being in a whole world of trouble later on. I found mile 22 really tough, but then the mantras of “Only a Parkrun to go” and “Just jog it home now” kept me going (I’d run my first marathon using The Non-Runners Marathon Training Guide, which is big on getting you to practice and repeat your own mantras/phrases throughout the marathon, and I have found that this really helps me)

The last mile contains a sharp uphill stretch, although living in Durham, it was nothing compared to what we are used to! What goes up must come down, with the result that the finishing straight is downhill – the atmosphere here was incredible, supporters aplenty and brilliant tunes. I ended with a song and a sprint and finished well within my sub-4 goal with a time of 3:52:02, representing a 21-minute PB for me.

I enjoyed a nice chat with Anna at the baggage reclaim (system slightly less efficient at this point!), and then back home for the nicest cup of tea I have ever had!

Pos.Bib No.NameGenderCat.Chip TimeGender Pos.Cat. Pos.Chip Pos.
2781206Allan RenwickMaleM4503:11:3526550270
3331201Rory WhalingMaleM4503:15:3131560338
4351200Elaine BissonFemaleF4003:21:452810441
5161202Mark GriffithsMaleM4003:25:1647987539
5851203James GarlandMaleM4003:26:30541105576
12551209Anna SeeleyFemaleF3503:51:00188311329
19381211Lesley HamillFemaleF4504:09:13378381971
20511212Karen ByngFemaleF4504:12:39416412069
26811220Jane DowsettFemaleF5004:27:06681572568
28451056kirsty nelsonFemaleF4504:36:37751932840
33821061Sue JenningsFemaleF5004:55:101012863392
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Yorkshire Marathon, Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dave Robson

Neither Melanie nor I was expecting to do well at this event. We only did the Kielder marathon seven days earlier and two weeks before that we had done the very hilly Great Langdale, so the best we hoped for was to be able to get round between 4.30 and 5.00.

I did the event last year and enjoyed it more I expected and recommended it to Melanie. She wanted to do it as she loves York and she studies part-time there. We also knew there were quite a few Striders there, including three who were doing their first marathon. There were also some Striders supporting and it was good to see them around the course.

Flip (supporting) drove us down with Anna (running). There had been fog warnings and they turned out to be accurate. The fog lasted most of the morning and it only burnt off after 1.00. But this was great for running, cool and no wind. We made our way to the baggage area, which last year had been inside and there were long queues. This year there were no queues but it consisted of tents in a car park. It was a bit chilly getting ready as the tents were just for the bags. We moved on quickly to a College bar (the race started and finished at the University of York) to keep warm.

Then off to the pens which like last year weren’t crowded and soon we were off with Matt Dawson talking on the PA while high fiving runners. We went through the city centre and past the minister with the bells tolling in the mist. There was lots of support which was great.

On and out of York, through a few small villages and again the vicar in his full white regalia was out high fiving runners and saying bless you. I had thought the first half was flat, but my memory wasn’t accurate, it started to undulate a bit at 8m. Melanie and I started a bit quick, but we slowed it down to about 9min 30sec which was still way ahead of what we had planned. But it felt comfortable.

We made it to halfway in 2hr 6min and neither of us thought we could keep that up. The first out and back at Stamford Bridge was fine and we pulled ourselves up to the next one. The second out and back seemed longer than last year and at the turn around point (18m) Melanie started to speed up. I managed to keep running up the drag and out of the out and back and at 20m I saw Melanie about 50 meters ahead. I was happy to get to 20m in 3hr 10min. Sub 4.30 was looking good and even a performance better than last year (4hr 25min) looked a good possibility. Last year I walked a fair amount after 20m, so this year I tried to walk much less and it worked, though I was slowing. When I passed Flip at 25 and half miles, I knew that even sub 4hr 15min might be feasible. This turned out to be a bit too ambitious. I did manage to run the final hill this year and flew down to the finish, but it wasn’t quite enough 4hr 15min 20sec. I was very happy with that. Later I worked out it was my 5th fastest marathon/ultra out of 110 I have completed and I haven’t run faster since May 2010 at Windermere which was 90 marathons/ultras ago !

Meanwhile Melanie had not slowed at all and speeded up slightly, so in the last six miles she had been closer to 9min 15sec. She came in with 4h 7min, a great negative split and she beat her PB from Vienna by about 13min ! A fantastic run.

This is definitely an event for PBs, quite a few Striders got one. I still prefer off road events, but I still find doing the odd road event fun. It was good to see so many of my clubmates (both Striders and 100 marathoners). The first timers from the Striders, Kerry, Kirsty and Lucy all finished well and Lucy turned in an excellent 3hr 45min performance !

Maybe our preparation hadn’t been too bad for this event. Maybe we both would have done better if we had tapered. Who knows …


Pos Name Cat Time
1 Boniface Kongin (M) OPEN 2:14:00
Jonathan Steed (M) 45-49 3:24:01
Lucy Cowton (F) OPEN 3:45:56
Kathryn Sygrove (F) 45-49 4:03:08
Anna Seeley (F) OPEN 4:03:22
Melanie Hudson (F) 35-39 4:07:58
Paul Beal (M) 50-54 4:10:23
Dave Robson (M) 60-69 4:15:20
Brian Ford (M) 45-49 4:17:56
Kate Macpherson (F) 40-44 4:19:23
Sarah Fawcett (F) 50-54 4:26:10
Susan Jennings (F) 45-49 4:47:15
Kirsty Anderson (F) 35-39 5:11:56
Kerry Lister (F) 40-44 5:15:55
Margaret Thompson (F) 60-69 5:19:21

3685 finishers.

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Yorkshire Marathon, Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Graeme Walton

I entered this race during the training for the MOTN on a bit of a whim, little did I realise how popular it was going to become. I had a solid enough run at the MOTN following one or two niggles but wanted to give York a real good go. With this in mind I decided to have a crack at the GFA time of sub 3:15 for my age group (41+). Let the training commence.

I put together an 18 week training program which mainly consisted of 4-5 runs a week including a long run, a track session, a Parkrun and a couple of recovery runs. In amongst these runs I also entered quite a few races as I find racing really sharpens me up and gives me confidence. And so I arrived at York with recent PBs in at both 10k and half marathon distance.

My build during race week slightly altered from previous marathons as I decided to “carb up” more than usual. From the Wednesday onwards I tried to consume 600-700g of carbs per day, seriously who can eat that much food! I eased up slightly by the Saturday as I was completely stuffed!

So, with my usual support crew with me (Katy and Heidi) we headed down the A19 on a damp on blustery Sunday morning. We parked at the park and ride and got the bus to the university where the race was to start and finish. The organisation seemed to be very good, especially as this was York’s first attempt at a marathon. We met up with the rest of the Striders for a team picture before we headed off to our respective start pens. I was in pen A with the fast guys and the elites!

Graeme legging it in to the finish, slighly less full of carbs than at the start ...

After the mass warm up (they’re not for me) and a race briefing it was almost time for the off. Dickie Bird (former cricket umpire & one of my heroes) was one of the official starters getting a big cheer as was Danny Mills (former Leeds United footballer) getting a chorus of pantomime boos as we were in York after all! After a countdown from 10 we were off and running, I was over the start line fairly quickly.

Now I had a race plan! 7:15 per mile through the first 21 miles would give me a minute per mile buffer for the final 5 and a bit miles to achieve my sub 3:15 goal. I’d recently ran 7:15 at Redcar Half and felt relatively comfortable so I just had to continue that through to 21 mile and cruise home at 8 minute mile pace, how hard can it be! Fool! Fool! Fool!

The first mile was a doddle! As were the next 5 or 6 to be fair as we ran through the city to some fantastic support. We left the city behind as the route took us through lots of villages on the outskirts, again the support was amazing from supporters and marshals alike. The first real tough section for me was at 9 miles where a bit of an incline presented itself, not particularly steep but it was certainly steep and long enough to have me gasping for breath as I reaching the top of it. From there the route twisted and turned on country lanes for a few miles including a switch back in one of the villages giving me the opportunity to see some of the fast guys out in front. I also got a high 5 from Bob off Emmerdale who was behind me on the switch back.

I passed through the halfway point in 1:34, slightly ahead of schedule but not enough to worry me, I was however working a bit harder now. The next switch back came between miles 16-20 where I was snapped by Mark Preston (thanks Mark). As I passed Mark on the way back he made comment that I still looked strong however my race was starting to unravel. I got to 19 miles and my pace had dropped, I was struggling to keep it around 7:25-7:30, any slight incline was hurting me and the breeze suddenly felt a lot stronger. Time for a re-calculation to my plan, 7:30-7:40 from here would be adequate for my target time.

Oh dear, I was now hurting, each step felt hard. I was at the stage that every marathoner has been at, the “I’ll never run another marathon” stage! At the water station at 21 miles I stopped running and walked briskly whilst I took in some much needed hydration. I had a good talk to myself and came to the conclusion that I only had 5 miles to go at 8 minute mile pace which is nothing more than one of recent recovery training runs! Come on Graeme get a grip! I set off again with this positive mind-set as well as reminding myself how it would feel to cross the finishing line. Katy and Heidi were waiting for me, they would be looking at the clock expecting see me, lots of people were aware of my target, I couldn’t let them down, I couldn’t let myself down! The supporters were willing me on, I guess it was fairly obvious that I was struggling, I passed through miles 22,23,24,25 in pain but still moving forward.

Mile 26 was without doubt the hardest challenge of my life. My body was shutting down with my calf muscles threatening to cramp up, the hill just before the finish felt like a mountain! However the top of the hill my emotions changed with a shout from Katy and Heidi and the finish line in sight. 400m meters to go and miracle of miracles I found my legs again, well it was downhill after all. The cheering crowds were simply awesome as I crossed the finish line in 3:13:52, a 5 minute PB and a qualifying time for the GFA category in the London Marathon. I have to admit it was all a bit too much for me and I was quite emotional for a moment or two.

I picked up my goody bag and went to find Katy and Heidi getting a massive hug from them both. Wow what an amazing feeling it is to finish a marathon but my word it’s tough. Will I run another? Well London is a must, but following this experience my opinion is that more miles are needed in the training do yourself justice.

The organisation for the inaugural Yorkshire Marathon was brilliant and the supporters were truly magnificent, well done York!


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Edwin Korir (M) 17-34 02:13:35
11 Helen Koskei (F) 17-34 02:40:06
140 Graeme Walton (M) 35-44 03:13:52
1449 Megan Bell (F) 35-44 04:04:23
1491 Katherine Preston (F) 45-54 04:05:33
1788 Kate Thomas (F) 35-44 04:15:50
2061 Brian Ford (M) 45-54 04:24:52
2131 Dave Robson (M) 55+ 04:24:56
2161 Ian Spencer (M) 45-54 04:29:08
2735 Kathryn Sygrove (F) 45-54 04:43:47
2736 Kate Macpherson (F) 35-44 04:43:47

3881 finishers.

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