London Marathon? Pah, come to Yorkshire!

The starters at the back see the front runners.
The starters at the back see the front runners.

Why go all the way to That There London to run 26.2 miles when you can stay in Yorkshire, where the air is cleaner, the beer is better and the goodie bag could include a Betty’s Yorkshire Fat Rascal?

Today was the inaugural Yorkshire Marathon in York, one of the flattest places in the county. So that meant a fast and furious run for the elite athletes and a jolly sprint, jog or amble for the rest of the 6000 runners. And what a marathon it was, Yorkshire through and through, right down to the warm welcome from the crowds. The sun even came out, you see, we do have good weather up north!

Noel and I, preferring trail over road and half to full marathons, as well as being just too bloomin’ lazy to put in the training, threw our (flat) caps into the ring as volunteers. The 5am start on a cool, damp Sunday morning, was a bit of a jolt to the system, and I was ready for my second breakfast at 7am and my third at 9am, though there wasn’t a mucky fat sandwich in sight.

We had the important task of pointing and shouting in the park and ride to make sure everyone had a place. I’m good at pointing and shouting, Noel less so, though he can give a stern glare if necessary. It wasn’t really necessary, the waves of runners heading for the bus were ready for the run, some more than others, but there was a great air of anticipation of excitement, as well as the whiff of Deep Heat.

We cut dashing figures in our bright pink high vis jackets, the corporate colour of the Plusnet sponsors. They gave us carte blanche to go pretty much anywhere (I had a sneaky run across the finish line and did a victory dance as we walked up the empty road after the runners had set off). It also meant we were asked plenty of random questions from spectators, so the pointing and shouting came in handy.

Edwin Korir, the first past the post took just 2 hours 13 and looked like he could go on for a few miles yet, he was  seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival. By this time we felt like we’d run a marathon ourselves and were ready for our fourth breakfast which, form’s sake, I renamed lunch.

Great event, great atmosphere and a reet good Yorkshire day, if they could persuade Betty’s to bake a few thousand extra Fat Rascals for the goodie bag and hand out mugs of Yorkshire tea, I could be tempted……Looking forward to next year!

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