The York 10k was the first organised race I ever took part in last year. I hated every second of it and shouted at Sarah that I would never take part in a race ever again as she dragged me across the finish line. 5 races later I didn't stick to those words and looking back I enjoyed it more than I realised.
Naturally I wanted to take part in the race again this year and had booked it during my broken ankle recovery at the beginning of the year as my goal to aim for.
I've been training pretty well over the past few months due to the Great North Run in September but was struck down last week with a bug for the entire week. With blocked sinuses and fatigue I thought it best to rest for the week. On the Friday night before the run I thought there was no way I would be racing on Sunday. However after 12 hours sleep I began to feel slightly better and decided to give it a shot.
If I ended up walking it then so be it, I'd still get my medal and winners tshirt.
Last year we missed the beginning of the race as the traffic getting into the racecourse was horrendous and the queues for the toilets were even worse. So this year we decided to skip the official parking and Matt dumped us by the side of the road at the racecourse before heading back into town with the car. We arrived at 8:45 so had 45 mins before the race started. Giving us plenty of time for toilet breaks and the warm up. Again, the toilet queues were huge so we're glad we got there in plenty of time.
At 9:15 we headed for the start and waited in the post 1:05hour segment where we took part in the warm up. To say I was feeling apprehensive about the race when at the start line was a understatement. The combination of a few wines the night before, no training for the week prior due to a sickness bug, the first time racing in my new Adidas Boost trainers and the need to go to the toilet again was leaving me with the jitters. However my friend told to me stop overthinking and just start running so that's what I did.
As with the last race I decided to stick to my 10 minutes of running and 5 minutes of walking. There was a great crowd all along the first mile of the course which is always fab to see. The heat hit me about half a mile in as did some pain in my shins but I powered through and kept my splits and completed the first mile easily in 13:01.
Mile 2 was much the same as mile 1. I managed to stick to my walk running splits easily and was enjoying the many fancy dress runners near me. My favourite was probably two dinosaurs who had difficultly at the drinks station opening their bottles. For a change I decided to skip the drinks stations as I wasn't too warm and realised I don't drink while running 10k at home so I don't necessarily need it during a race. Mile 2 was completed in 13:31.
I knew that Matt would be near the end of mile 3 as he said he'd be by the Minster which is about half way on the route. Running up to the Minster was amazing. The crowds again were huge and supportive and the bells were even playing as we ran by, this must have given me a well needed boost as mile 3 was completed in 12:41.
Mile 4 was the first time I started to feel a little tired but again managed to keep up my 10mins of running and 5 mins of walking. Matt even managed to walk at few minutes alongside me. It was nice to see him looking so proud and it gave me the push I needed as we headed back along the river to back to the racecourse, completing the mile in 12:27
Mile 5 was when I started to loose my concentration a little. I had tired a little so had walked more than the 5 minutes and spent too long trying to work out my estimated finish time rather than just concentrate on the mile ahead of me. As a consequence I slowed back down to 13:11
The last mile was my worst mile mentally. I'd forgotten about the course the previous year and thought that I would be finishing very soon. In my head we were running up the road to the race course and then I'd be done, however I forgot that you're sent off to the left to double back on yourself twice. So there I was thinking I was going to get a PB when all of a sudden I was told to run in the opposite direction to the finish line. This of course played with my head a little but I kept at it, however I'd lost all resemblance of my 10mins run 5mins walking. After two double backs I was finally running back in the direction of the finish line where the sound of the cheering crowd gave my legs a well needed boost.I crossed the line and even gave a little wave to the mayoress as I did. My last mile was completed in 13:34, leaving me with a chip finish time of 1:25:23 – 2 and a half minutes quicker than my last race.
Overall this years' York 10k was one of my most enjoyable races. It's a flat route that runs through some of the most gorgeous streets in the historic city and there are crowds of people supporting you at nearly every turn. I would recommend this one to anyone, whether you're looking to smash a PB or just want to raise some money or challenge yourself.