Marathon Running and Race Support
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“I don’t do hills”

“I don’t do hills”

Well, apparently I do today, as the Harewood House Half Marathon featured a glorious 1,300ft of elevation gain.

I’d been worried about this one for a number of reasons - mainly the mud and hills, neither of which play to my strengths, and a couple of really grotty long runs which had knocked my confidence a bit.

That said, it was a perfect day for it. The sky was clear, the sun was bright and a few of my friends from work and my running club were also taking part, so I was pretty buoyant by the time we got to the start line. I was also completely and utterly in denial about what was coming next!

I’d been told that the first few miles were the easiest as there was the race’s only stretch of tarmac and not too much hill - but I always struggle with the first few miles of any race. Fortunately, I caught up with a running club buddy about a mile in and spent the next couple of miles chatting to her, which took my mind off it.

By mile 5, I really started to enjoy myself, wheeling down slopes with my arms out aeroplane-stylee. I put my headphones in - a rarity for me when racing - and bopped along to some upbeat tunes. Then I accidentally caught the 2:15 pacer at 6 miles and realised I was going too fast so slowed down a bit. Honestly, I zoned out after that and just enjoyed the fresh air and the spectacular views, all thought of pace and distance forgotten. Just after the 10-mile marker, a herd of deer crossed the path in front of me and I welled up, counting my blessings to be able to live a life which offers up such moments of perfection.

The last two miles were a slog though. The terrain was really uneven and had a horrible camber to it, which made my ankles feel like flimsy knicker elastic, and then the fastest of the 10K runners, who’d set off later than us, joined us at the final stretch and made me feel horribly slow and demotivated.

Still, all in all, a lovely race and one that I’ll do again. I finished in 2:20:03 - more than 13 minutes slower than my first HM - but given the terrain, I’m pretty chuffed with that.

Happy running, everybody, and thank you for your invaluable support and words of wisdom as always xxx

20 Replies
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Blimey Gabby, that looks an interesting route! Well done, and I think a really good time, certainly one I’d be well chuffed with! I did a trail HM last year and it made my legs and hips feel like one of those toys with elastic through the legs that you can make collapse and wobble about!

Go you! 👍🏅🏃‍♀️

Mx

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Thank you! It was definitely ‘interesting’ - especially when you caught sight across the slopes of people who were an hour in front of you - or an hour behind you!

Ha - that description perfectly sums up how my limbs feel right now! In danger of the elastic collapsing on the stairs 🙈

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That sounds beautiful, and that's a brilliant time with those hills! I went to Harewood house on a school trip in the 1980's remember it well! congratulations Gabby08 ! :)

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Thank you! It was stunning and gave me a new found appreciation for routes with ‘bumps’ in! Are you a Yorkshire lass then, aliboo? Despite living in York for 13 years, I’d never been to Harewood before.

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No we visited the Yorkshire Dales on a school trip in 1981! We had a day trip to Harewood while there! My Mum was from Yorkshire though, Wath-upon- Dearne :) I'm from the Isle of Wight :)

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Ach, they knew how to do proper school trips in the 80s! These days it’s all theme parks and continental city breaks. If we took them to the Dales now, we’d probably be inundated with complaints from parents about lack of 4G 😂

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I think you could be right there! 😊we had a great week!

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Wow that’s an amazing run, well done 👍🏻

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Thank you! It was certainly outside my comfort zone!

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Congratulations Gabby! It sounds like you really enjoyed this one in spite of the hills. That’s a quick time too! 👏👍🏼

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Thank you, Decker. Honestly, I hated the last mile and a half but I really loved the rest. I’d have liked to have been a little bit quicker but hills and mud are really not my things!

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Well you got through it. 👊🏃‍♀️Big respect for making it through all the mud and hills too

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This sounds amazing! Jolly well done!!!

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Thank you! It was pretty glorious and I don't feel too bad today; just a slightly sore left ankle due to that final stretch and a strange thumb injury, which I don't even remember doing (presumably because it was so cold, I was too numb to feel it!)

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Well done - glad you enjoyed it. That certainly looks like some tough hills.

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Thank you! For someone who usually runs in notoriously flat York, it felt practically mountainous!

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It looks as if it was!!

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Fortunately not snow-capped yesterday. Bet it is up there today ❄️

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What a great time with such a hilly race! Better you than me.

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Thank you! I was pretty pleased with my pace given the challenges of the course - only a minute per mile slower than my flat, road HM.

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