The Yorkshire Marathon is almost here! 15 weeks of training has been done and I’m officially in taper mode for the next 2 weeks so please approach me with caution. I’m becoming obsessed with the weather forecast and freaking out if anyone coughs or sneezes near me.

Last weekend saw the last of my ‘long’ Sunday runs with a 13 miler on my training plan. I really couldn’t face another week of running the same 3-mile loop over and over so, I decided to find a race to enter.

After a quick look online, I found the Bridlington Half Marathon and it fitted in perfectly. Entering this race was a no brainer, who doesn’t love a day at the seaside? Also, the Yorkshire Coast does have the best fish and chips!

Before the race

In all honesty, we didn’t get off to the best of starts. Blustery wind and pouring rain meant race conditions were far from ideal. Runners dressed in bin bags and rain ponchos gathered inside Bridlington Leisure Centre all thinking the same thing; ‘What are we doing?’ ‘We must be crazy.’ Rumours of a possible cancellation circulated but shortly before 10 am we were taken outside for the start. With a blow of the whistle and the sound of crashing waves along side us, we were off.

Photo – Dave Gowans
During the race

The course starts on the seafront and heads into the countryside through Sewerby, Flamborough and Bempton before returning to Bridlington.

The inclement weather meant areas of the course had flooded, making the first 4 miles more challenging. Around 4-5 miles the rain subsided and it became more enjoyable. The race takes place on open roads so it was a case of keeping tucked into the left (unfortunately where the puddles were) to avoid passing cars. It’s a good job a bit of rain doesn’t phase us Yorkshire folk!

The route is described as ‘undulating’ which I would say was right, although I would call it hilly if I were undertrained! It was quite a lonely course at times, with not a lot of crowd support, but the marshalls did a fantastic job of keeping morale high. As we came back into Bridlington the rain started again. We still had one more loop out to Sewerby, this time passing through Sewerby Hall Gardens.

Joining the seafront was where I came to life. Wet, cold and with a ‘let’s just get it done’ attitude I suddenly became very focussed. This is the strongest I’ve ever felt in the final mile of a race. I headed along the promenade to the finish line – with my fastest mile of the entire race (7mins 36). It’s amazing what the thought of warm, dry clothes and well-earned fish and chips can do for motivation!

The result

I crossed the line looking like I’d just emerged from the North Sea but I came away with a shiny new PB – 1.56.14. I couldn’t believe it. The bad weather really pushed me and kept me moving. I really enjoyed the course and the medal (which doubles up as a bottle opener) was great too! Bridlington Road Runners put on a fantastic, well-organised event. Once again, a huge thank you to the marshalls and volunteers for standing there in the rain!

Race Breakdown
Entry Cost:
£20.00 affiliated, £22.00 unaffiliated
Water stations: 3 – cups
Parking: Plenty, but you do have to pay.
Photos: No official ones
Baggage Facilities: None
Post Race Goodies: Medal
Highlight: Well organised, good course.
Low point: I should say the bad weather – but it kept me going and earned me a PB