Vale of York Half Marathon

Vale of York Half Marathon - 9 September 2018

By Matthew Rose

It was to be an early departure for the quintet of Holmfirth Harriers heading over to York for this, the fifth Vale of York Half Marathon.  The course for this race is fast and flat, ideal for testing speed and fitness and for the three of us (Damian, Matthew and Brandon), an essential gauge of how we’re progressing towards our marathon goals in October.

In 2015 this event was part of the club's road championships and I remember, whilst flat, there's also the possibility of wind with the course being so exposed.  Thankfully, as we arrived at Sherburn Aero Club, the sky was clear and the conditions near perfect.

Brandon, Damo and Matthew

Brandon, Damian and Matthew ready for action!

This year the arrangements were to be a little different as property developers managing the neighbouring land had withdrawn permission for its use, leaving the organisers in a situation with no car park or race start. Thankfully, at the last moment the aero club had offered to close for the morning (a decision not taken lightly or cheaply) to allow the race to go ahead.  Despite this set back, the parking was well managed, registration swift, facilities more than adequate and a bonus, we were able to warmup and start the race on working runways!

The race started slightly later than scheduled at 9:40.  We'd wished each other good luck and the discussion between Damo and I was to keep an eye on that first mile - don't go too fast.  An out and back loop along the runway gave us the opportunity to see all the athletes and I clocked the other two Harriers taking part.  After a cautious, well-paced first mile we were out on the open road, each with our own motivations and goals to achieve.  Well marshalled and sufficient drinks, the only criticism would be for the headwind over the last couple of miles which was a bit of a challenge.


Damo sussing out the competition for his PB

Our trio were reunited at the end and headed out for a long cool down to make up our marathon miles. Trotting along we reflected on the race and were all generally pleased with our performances,  and for Damo it had been a significant half marathon PB.  We stopped for a drink and bumped into Paul Winn who himself had had a great race.

Finishing times were Brandon Holroyd 01:23:06(SB), Damian McQueen 01:28:18(PB), Matthew Rose 01:34:31, Robert Dickinson 01:44:37 and Paul Winn 01:57:52(PB).

In summary, it was a great event, great to hear how the local aero club had enabled the event to take place and there were lots of local running clubs present.  The flat race provides great PB potential and the timing in the year is perfect for anyone doing autumn marathons; certainly one to consider.

The race winner was Kev Jeffress (Sunderland Harriers & AC) in 1:11:49 and Lucy Biddlestone (Lavendar Coaching) 1:21:58.

Results: https://racebest.com/results/qtuy4

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