Brass Monkey Half Marathon 2016

17th January 2016
By Alison Smith

Although I was greatly looking forward to this race it got off to a bad start, slipped on some ice on the previous night and an ageing bull terrier with vomitting and diarrhea until 4.00am is not the best preparation!  Anyway I got up, made my flask and power breakfast and off to Neiley to meet the others.

The journey over was much chatting about the day ahead, times expected, what to wear, gel strategy etc. and we all arrived safely at York Racecourse in plenty of time for toilet visits and warm up.


Debbie and Alison
enjoying their run!

Off to the start line, the usual nerves jangling – will it be OK? Will I get my time? Have I got enough layers on? Have I got too many layers on?... and then we were off.  It was a perfect day for running, nice, crisp and dry.  Thanks to York Knavesmire for gritting the route, without them, at times it would have been like a skating rink and as I could feel the bruising on my back from the previous evenings events I was very grateful for it!

At the start of the race I could feel my bruising on my back jostling about but this settled down at around two miles.  I was running with one of my fellow London Marathon friends, Debbie, who at this point started to experience a problem with her knee.  As we had started a little quicker than planned, we had the cushion to be able to slow down a bit so see if it went off.  As the miles went on it did not, I tried various methods to take her mind off this – the most effective being nipping her – until a very nice lady heard us discussing the knee situation and supplied pain relief.  This had the desired effect and off we went again just slightly faster than our planned pace, but feeling comfortable at this.

Holmfirth group photo

All keen to get going

It was a lovely course, very scenic and some very nice little villages, supporters very friendly and in good numbers given the temperature.  Marshalling and drinks stations plentiful and all really friendly and encouraging.

At around mile 10 I was feeling really good and could see another fellow Harrier just ahead of us, I checked in with Debbie and she confirmed she was going to get to the end and encouraged me to go if I felt like it – so off I went, towards the end there are a couple of inclines which I managed to overtake a number of people on, and then the last couple of miles (and a bit) I dug deep and kept up a great pace – I think some of the people around me were a little taken aback at the shouting, roaring and choice language used to get me along the last bit but it was all worth it as I managed to come in 5 minutes faster than my expected time!  I was ecstatic about this but there were still a couple of other Harriers out there to cheer in.  Once we were all in we had lovely cups of tea, flapjack, stretching, comparing times and experiences, birthday cake, more tea and back on the bus back to Neiley.

Thanks to Rob and Matthew for organising and driving the bus and thanks to everyone on the bus – the chat was diverse, bizarre at times but on the whole great.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and am now feeling really positive about my marathon training.

The race was won by Dan Kestral from Barnsley AC in 1:08:52, with Sharon Barlow of Darlington Harriers & AC first lady home in 1:18:33. 

20 Holmfirth Harriers made the trip over to York; John Levick was first home in 1:26:34 and super fast Vet Rob Kersey had a great run to finish 3rd M65 in 1:33:30.

The results for Holmfirth were as follows: John Levick 01:26:34; Seton Waddington 01:27:55; Rob Kersey 01:33:30 (3rd M65); Ian Goulding 01:37:07; Matthew Rose 01:38:00; Shaun Coggon 01:41:07; Emma Serjeant 01:46:00; Sue Jones 01:47:13; John Field 01:47:52; Jason Haigh 01:47:53; Mark Catney 01:48:52; Dinah Coggon 01:50:42; Lucy Thornton 01:53:32; Janet Foreman 01:54:18; Heidi King 01:54:28; Alison Smith 01:55:00; Debbie Beck 01:56:12; Diane Lee 01:56:55; Fay Dolphin 02:11:38; Kierston Knott 02:17:19.

Results: The Brass Monkey 2016

Photos available on York Knavesmire Flickr

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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