I was excited to run in the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10km (6.25 miles) Run For All on Sunday, and delighted that my run went better than I’d hoped. I’d been aiming to finish in under an hour, after usually running 10-minute miles in the last five years, when I’ve only been training for marathons. 10-minute miles would have put me just over an hour.
I got into a good running rhythm from the start, inspired by the occasion, other runners and the wonderful crowd for an early Sunday morning race. At the half-way 5km stage my time was just under 25 minutes, so the thought that I might get under 50 minutes entered my mind, as I usually end quicker than I start at this distance, although I told myself that getting under an hour was still the main ambition.
I didn’t bother getting water at the 4km point from the many great volunteers at the race, and just took a few swigs at 7km, wetting my head with some of the rest of the bottle. Sprinklers later added more water. I don’t usually start drinking until the hour mark on my long runs, such as two hours plus.
Somewhere in the middle of the second half I felt myself losing concentration, so when a man who looked in my age group passed me, I tucked in behind him, like the top runners do in televised races, letting the leader do the work, just following the rhythm of his feet. My run was a mixture of hard slog looking down and trying to keep my legs moving rhythmically, and periods of free flowing rhythm.
As we entered the city centre a slight downhill provided the impetus for a sprint finish, hopefully entertaining the big crowd at the finish, who were very inspirational. The gun time was on about 51 something minutes, so I thought I might be under 50 for my real chip time, as I didn’t pass the start until a couple of minutes after the best runners. I was delighted to find out I’d made it by four seconds: 49:56.
It was a great way to end my last running season of my 12 years ambition after finishing my first marathon (Edinburgh) in 2004; although I started with the Leeds Abbey Dash in 2003.
Tromso (2007), Xenia (2010), Barcelona (2013) and Riga (2016) fulfilled my ambition to run a marathon every three years until 50; and I also added the Round Ripon 35 miles ultra-marathon in 2015. While I was happy with Riga and Ripon, I was a little disappointed with my times, so it was great to finish with a great run and time in the city where it all began, Leeds, and in a race dedicated to the main inspiration, Jane Tomlinson.
I’ve donated my target appeal myself, but if you’d like to add anything it’d be great; or just donate privately; or do your own event(s)… The original and still objective of the greenYgrey concept was to educate and inspire entertainingly…