This is it, an easy week on the running front has brought me to the start line rested and confident. 'The battle would probably all be in my head today', I thought as the event got underway.
As it turned out I had a great day and banished any tormenting demons along the way. Not as fast a time as previous years as we steadied our pace along the way as Mark wasn't having his best day. But, we both got on with it and Mark got through it - with a few belts of water and ditching of energy drink and was running well again towards the end.
I just felt pretty good all the way, into Osmotherley only slightly off last years 10-min/mile pace for the first 22m but feeling a lot fresher, through the hills before Kildale in section 2 with energy to spare and I felt I could have run every step from Kildale to the end. Enjoyed it so much we even took a wrong turn at Bloworth crossing to add an extra mile and a half.
The event was good as always. The brilliant Cleveland way route speaks for itself and will offer the same varied and interesting journey for eternity I'd hope. Jon Steele and team handled an increased field despite quite small starting facility at Helmsley and off on time. Marshalls were friendly, obliging and pretty much all went the extra mile to look after us as we tired - at Kildale we were waited on hand and foot as usual. Some of the remote marshalls such as on the rock stack at Wainstones and on top of Roseberry Topping had lugged some drinks and plenty of snacks up to these point - massively appreciated! And even at lower level remote points there was water before needed on what was a not-too-cool-not-too-hot kind of day for March. Seacadets place was also good at end with hot food for a quid, tea and coffee and beer (well actually we brought our own beer, but nobody seemed to mind).
Now I just need to straddle the line between good training and overdoing it now and there's no reason not to have more string days like this in 2012! The next big event is something peculiar called a "Road Marathon", think I've done these before in the dim and distant past and they may have something to do with my preference for the long, slow, off-road and scenic. But I couldn't resist the challenge when laid out in front of me, of the first - for a long time - Hull Marathon.