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Yorkshire Marathon

11/10/2016

Sunday 9th October saw the 4th edition of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. Having taken part in 2014, finishing 3rd, and then winning it in 2015, Jo Zakrzewski was invited back to run it again. 

Jo was unsure about whether to go, as she'd been struggling with a knee injury for 7 weeks and hadn't been able to put many miles in, but with the World Championships looming, she knew that she needed to find out where she was at.

Having not run more than 6 continuous miles in the 6 weeks up until the preceding weekend, she decided to ignore all the outside pressure and stick to her plan of running a 1:25 first half and then deciding whether she needed to back it off or stop there.

Running with a friend made it easier to ignore the other runners shooting off as the start is a fast downhill run, and after winding round the centre of York (with all the vocal support there) Jo went through the 10K split in about 8th place. Maintaining a steady pace saw her gradually move up the field so that she was in second position as she passed the halfway mark (in 1:24:55). Feeling OK (and not wanting to drop out at that point due to the crowds of supporters at the Stamford Bridge out and back section), she decided to then carry on and take it mile by mile.

A further out and back of 1.5miles in each direction lets runners see where they are in the field with just over 6 miles to go, so by this point she knew that she was going to be able to make the distance. Jo's thoughts then turned to whether she could hold onto the position that she had surprisingly found herself in.

On crossing the 40K timing mat, the clock was showing 2:40, so a quick calculation indicated that running sub 2:50 was not impossible despite the steep uphill at the end. Coming round the final corner and spotting the clock on the finish gantry, Jo couldn't believe her eyes. Having started the race unsure if she was going to finish it, she'd actually run 2:49:04 for second place so rounding off her podium plate collection, which gave her a huge confidence looking forward to the events coming up.

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