In Which I Get Hot And Run Upwards More Than I Was Expecting
With the hours I work, it’s hard to find a running club to join. The earliest I finish work is 6pm, and so the earliest I can get home is around 6:30. Most running clubs are already out by this time so I joined a group on Facebook for motivation instead.
The group is called “Did You Run Today?” (DYRT for short) and is full of a load of nice people who run. (Or walk, or jog, or probably skip every now and then.) I mentioned on the group that I was doing Leeds 1/2, and a few people replied saying they were too so I said I’d look out for them.
Couple days before the run, my hoodie and tech tshirt that I’d ordered from the group arrived.
I’d heard Leeds 1/2 was quite a fast, flat-ish course, slightly uphill for the first half then downhill for the second.
Whoever told me that lied, the wazzock.
Ironman Tony was doing the run too, so along with Susan (Sarah’s mum and Mrs Ironman Tony) we got the train into Leeds. (Sarah had finished work at 3am so stayed asleep.) Made our way from the station up to the race start, then split off as we were in different start areas. Katie from the DYRT group mentioned she was in the same start as me, but with 12’000+ people entered I doubted I’d run into her.
After I tripped over a dog I walked to the massive queue for the toilets and recognised Katie! We did the whole ‘glancing-at-each-other-then-looking-away-a-few-times-because-is-it-you-or-not’ thing, then said hello.
We chatted easily as we queued because it turns out shes also entered into the UK Ironman in July. Her strength (my weakness) is swimming and she’s aiming to be one of the first women out of the water at IMUK! (Which will be about the same time I’m halfway round my swim.)
She had a friend to meet (or was that an excuse to get away?!) so we wished each other luck and I made my way to the start line. The first few colour groups had set off, then before long we were off too, then the clouds were off too so it started getting warm…
First mile or so went by quick enough, ran by a guy dressed as a bunch of carrots, then around mile 2-3 someone shouted my name, and it was Katie from the group again. It was getting hot so we were happy to see a car wash place spraying all the runners with a hose. We chatted for a few minutes on an incline, and then I carried on.
Then I saw a big chuffing hill.
Nevermind, I thought, I run up a big chuffing hill quite often, I’ll give it a go. And you know what? It was bigger than I thought. I almost got to the top running all the way but walked a bit towards the top of it. Still a long way to go and didn’t want to do myself in just yet! Plenty of support at the sidelines!
I took on a gel after running for 40 minutes, and sipped on the free water that they were giving out, then came to a lovely downhill stretch. I got to 10km in pretty much bang on an hour.
Another long uphill stretch followed by plenty of clapping crowds giving out sweets and oranges. Another hosepipe was a welcome site and the sun stayed sunning up until around 10 miles when I was near Kirkstall Abbey. I’ve done a couple of runs in Leeds that goto the abbey and back so it felt I was almost finished.
Again, brilliant support all the way back into Leeds. The heat seemed to get to a few runners as I went by at least half a dozen at the side of the road being attended to by paramedics and hopefully every made a full recovery and got to the end.
I saw the finish line so I sped up but it turned out to be a fake finish line saying ‘almost there’ then I saw Tony and Susan on the corner so I waved, then I carried on uphill (stop putting finishing lines uphill people!!) carried on speeding up and I was done. Collected my bling then went to meet up.
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