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The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon

12/10/2014

Dumfries Running Club's Jo Zakrzewski and Joyce Hamilton joined the field of some 7,000 for the 2nd running of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. Jo is steadily building up her running towards her main goal of the 100k World Championships in November and since the invite to take part the race came at an ideal time to fit in with her training, she jumped at the opportunity to run with others and experience another mass start...

Jo tried to focus on running a steady pace and staying comfortable so that she could pick it up later if feeling good. The cold weather (4 degrees) and less than 50m visibility (meaning it was hard to keep people in sight on the country roads) meant that her pace was a bit quicker than planned, but as she was feeling strong she managed to pick it up and run a negative split (a faster second half).

There is a nasty sting in the tail to the race for runners with tired legs, as the initial downhill must be reascended, but with the ongoing fog, it was hard to see where the crest was. Jo thought that there was a clear road in front of her for the final kilometre but as she turned into the finishing straight she spied a fading Ethiopian runner. Unfortunately a 50m sprint was not quite enough to close the gap, though there were seconds in it. Shona Fletcher took the ladies' race in 15th place overall in a new PB of 2:43:38 with Jo finishing 17th overall and 3rd lady in 2:45:05.

The men's race was won by  Boniface Kongin of Kenya in 2:13:59.

Joyce had less lofty ambitions in the race and knew that covering 26 miles was challenge enough. She started carefully and was encouraged by the large crowd of spectators who offered sweets and biscuits and plenty of support in the final stages. She was thoroughly delighted to cross the line with a chip time of 4:56:57 and in doing so managed to raise a substantial sum for Macmillan Cancer.

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