Leeds Half Marathon – 8th May 2016

On Sunday I took part it the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon 

This was the first time I had run this race, and yet again my training had been slightly lacking, however my overall fitness felt good enough to go the distance. I was not expecting to get a PB, and I didn’t. 

I lived in Leeds for a few years, despite that I still had no idea where the course went, even when looking at the course map. I put that down to the fact that the years I lived in Leeds I was in fact drunk for much of the time – student life of course!

So the run was to be a mystery tour, luckily I didn’t need any nav skills!

Sunday was promising to be a scorcher, so I delved deep into my sports drawer and dug out my running vest and shorter running tights. As this was of course a road race I ditched the fell running shoes and relied on my faithful Mizuno Wave Rider 9s. I finished compiling my running playlist on Spotify and I even charged up my running watch! I felt nicely prepared equipment wise. 

A last minute puppy poo crisis meant that phill had to stay at home just in case Bob exploded, so I had no cheering squad – I was on my own as I knew the girls from work would have mega hangovers and not make it into town, and I don’t blame them – spectating can be pretty boring! 

I got there in plenty of time so killed time taking selfies and warming up. 

It was a lovely sunny morning, a little too hot for running 13.1 miles, but better sunny than rainy any day. 

I started well, if a little fast as usual. There were a few sneaky hills, but all runable and nothing like running on the fells. At the halfway point I was feeling good, if a little warm. Support along the course was great, with a few people out with hoses to cool the runners down, which was appreciated. 

By mile 10 I was starting to tire and get very hot. Especially my feet – my socks were a little too thick.

At this point you hit Kirkstall Abbey and whilst this road seems flat it has a slight incline and is a bit of a drag, then for good measure you have an incline to get back into town, and the finish line was also on a slope – cheeky. 

Secretly I’d hoped I could get close to 2hrs, but I finished in 2hrs 7mins (Strava link here). Initially I was a little disappointed, but I hadn’t trained properly and this was actually my 3rd fastest half marathon, so in the end I’m pretty chuffed. 

Phill thinks with decent training I should be able to do a 1hr 50mins half – we’ll see. 

This was a very well organised race, plenty of water stations (I was worried they may run out in the heat), good staggered starts and nice medal and finishers t-shirt. I’d give this one another bash!

Recovery was fine, even managed a nice walk out in the afternoon with the dogs. And of course a few celebratory beers. 



Bupa Great Manchester 10km – A (late) review

As you probably know on May 26th I ran the Bupa Great Manchester 10k race, after winning a place from the lovely people at Women’s Running.

This was by far the biggest race I had run so far, in terms of runner numbers, and this only helped with the excitement.

We arrived into Manchester City Centre from North East Manchester in plenty of time, having use the new tram from Rochdale, it was very easy, not at all busy and got us into town in plenty of time.

As I mentioned in my previous post the information supplied for the event, and the organisation on the day was fantastic.

I was in the white wave, which was the 2nd wave to set off, so the family left me to get a spot along the route, whilst I did the warm up.

It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, crowd were in good spirits. It was moving as we had a silence for the Soldier murdered in Woolwich who was from Manchester originally. Fabrice Muamba started the men’s elite race, raising awareness for heart disease.

I spotted a 50 minute pacer early on as we assembled so edged closer trying to do the maths in my head as to how fast this would be, with my aim to get under 54 minutes, would this be a bit too fast?

As we approached the starting line I remembered we were being filmed live for the BBC, so had a bit of a wave at the cameras, and reminded myself to watch back later and see if I could spot myself.

Then we were off, so focused was I on staying with the 50minute pacer I missed the opportunity of a high five with Greg Rutherford as we passed the start – never mind!

I saw the family not long after the start and I waved and pointed enthusiastically at the pacer I was running near…yeah that didn’t last that long to be honest, it was a bit too fast for me!

The course was nice and easy, but the day was very hot. The supporting crowds along the route were fabulous.

I was feeling good throughout the run, up until the last kilometre when it was starting to get tough, I was conscious of my aim of beating my last PB of 54.31. I was grimacing, but as soon as I saw my family I attempted to put a better face on! As Manchester City Centre approached and I could hear the speakers at the finish so I decided to push on, almost too soon, it was starting to burn. As I crossed the line I check out the main timing clock, then looked at mine, WOO HOO – 52m 34s, a new PB!

I was so pleased, I welled up a bit as I grinned with happiness, then realised how thirsty I was! Everyone was walking through the finishing funnel so slowly and I just wanted a nice cold drink. I grabbed a water and the fantastic goody bag, which included my finishers medal & t-shirt!

My Finishers Medal & Race Number

My Finishers Medal & Race Number

I found my family easily in the meeting area outside the Radisson, with the Mother in Law running at me with a foil blanket! I wasn’t that bad! She had managed to also find every freebie being offered in the city, so we now have a garage load of Powerade! Bless here!

Once the results went up on their official site I thought I would see where I came out of all 40,000 odd runners – only position number 6614th! I think that pretty amazing! And even better for my Age & Gender I came in at 523! I was chuffed!

My Overall Position

My Overall Position

My Age & Gender combined Result - 523 GET IN!

My Age & Gender combined Result – 523 GET IN!

My Age Group Result

My Age Group Result













My Gender result

My Gender result












I felt great, the race was amazing, and the atmosphere was fantastic, really looking forward to doing the Great South Run in October!