So after a break from the challenge (due to the weather mainly) it was back to it with the 4th race of the challenge up in my favourite city of York. Having done this race twice before in the past, I was looking forward to it and based on my performances over 5k this summer was aiming/hoping for another sub 36 minute 10k. However again the weather played it’s part and showed what I can do in cooler conditions (aka Hull) and how the heat effects me (aka York).
Having arrived in plenty of time, the family and I enjoyed a sedate build up to the race and the tree line start line gave me a false sense of the conditions. This also marked my second race since joining Barnsley and I had my vest printed with my two charities on and my shorts with my challenge supporters on. This way I can compete for club and both charities all wearing just the one kit. It meant I didn’t get the agro I got at Hull. After getting in the start pen I spoken to fellow runners including Gary from my old club Penistone. Talking to others helps me to relax and after a fairly decent build up, I knew what I wanted. However I had kept it quiet on social media that I had felt under the weather past few days (I don’t like to use it as an excuse) and my resting heart rate was also elevated which showed something was not quite right.
I was still determined to run as hard and as fast as possible. I knew from 7k it got tough so I wanted a decent start and as the hooter sounded it was go time. I forgot how lumpy the first mile can feel as you run along and then up past the old Rowntrees factory. Before you run along Bishopthorpe Road, it felt very hard for first mile, I had to work really hard to get legs turning and never felt 100% relaxed and I think it didn’t help. The first mile for me was 5:35 now might seem “fast” but knowing the course and how I ran Hull it wasn’t the start I wanted. The next mile dropped us down to the river side for a short section then a uphill twisty section didn’t help the pace either, the 2nd mile was very twisty but where I could I picked up pace. Allowing me to post a decent 5:37 second mile split.
I felt a little more relaxed at this point as the route now headed into the city centre over the river (uphill) then left along the main shopping prescient. Here we had to avoid walkers, drunks and people going about their business. We then headed past the shops and right with the York Minster in front of us, Again a slight up hill before we turned right in front of it, then another tight right back along closed roads. By now you could feel the sun and there was no shade to escape from it. The halfway point was at cross roads near the York Chocolate Story and I posted another sub 18 5k split be it a slower one as 3rd mile due to the turns in 5:48. Now unlike Hull I was unable to hold a sub 6 minute pace. I was already down 14s on my Hull time after 3 miles.
The route continued to twist around the city centre, taking us past all the major attraction including Cliffords Tower before dropping us back down to the water front. At this point I wanted to open up and make up time instead I felt it a real struggle and the tight turn up and over a foot bridge didn’t help. The 4th mile was just over 6 minute pace. It was at this point the chasing pack that include the leading lady and Sean Barkes who I beat at Hull, caught me up and spat me out the other side. I just had nothing in the tank. The route continued along the embankment then up and over the river and back up Bishopthorpe Rd to the end of mile 5, again this was 2s over 6 minutes. I was trying to do the calculations and felt I still had chance of sub 36. So I tried to pick it up in last mile, however not one but two out and back sections was a real killer on the pace. I picked it up lost it and picked it up again. The fact it was also up hill between the two sections didn’t help. In the end the 6th mile was my slowest with a 6:10. I got onto the finishing straight and managed to out kick a Harrogate runner (he posted a quicker chip time) and I could see clock ticking over 36:00 minutes and I finally crossed line in 36:19. A course PB but not what I wanted. However looking back the course I felt was harder then Hull as it’s not flat and the turns are harder, the temperature was also 10’C hotter then Hull which played a part.
It will be interesting to see how I do when temperatures do drop back down to under 15’C. The main thing is it’s another race of the challenge done and only 14 more to go!!! Next up is Wetherby 10k. If I can get a time round York on that course I will be very happy with. However I do have a 10 day break coming up on 20/8 which I think is needed. Again I’m doing these to raise money for my charities so please if you can sponsor me via either one of these links: