If you were to ask me what my favourite race is I’d probably say the York 10K. Maybe I’m biased as it was the first-ever race I took part in back in 2013. The course takes in the city sights of the city including York Minster, the city walls and the River Ouse. It is a little pricey for a 10K (especially as I live here and could run the route for free) but the atmosphere is incredible and will always take part if I can. This year it was even more special as I had been asked to pace. I know this course like the back of my hand so I was very grateful to be asked and obviously, I jumped at the chance!
Before the Race
The organisers put a one-way system into place for getting into the racecourse. Being local, I know how bad the traffic can be on race-day so I arrived early to avoid this. The event village was buzzing with thousands of runners. I met up with the other volunteer pacers to collect our flags and have a team photo in the sponsors’ t-shirts before the race. Shortly after 9am, we headed to the pens for the mass warm-up and to calm some last-minute race nerves.
I was pacing 80 minutes and seemed to have a lot of first-time runners with me. Many of them were raising money for charity so I was determined to get them around the course – but most of all make sure they enjoyed the day.
The feedback I’ve had from other participants – the pre-race toilet queues were crazily huge.
During the race
The gun went off at 9.30am and we crossed the line shortly after. The start area and Bishy Road were lined with cheering spectators. Normally in a race, I go off a little quicker so I can find my own little space. When pacing I can’t do that, as I was aiming to be consistent pace throughout. It was quite a warm day. I spent the race chatting to other runners. Around halfway you run by York Minster, this is my favourite bit of the race. They had the bells ringing or us as we passed. As I approached the 8K mark my group got bigger. People who had been following had finally joined me and now it was just a case of getting them to hang on to the finish.
Top tip: Don’t go all out as you approach the Racecourse on the way back – you still have about another mile to go there are two out and backs before you cross the finish!
I crossed the line in 1:19.40. I had a great day and I loved every minute of it. Well done to everyone that took part – it was an absolute pleasure helping to round the course.
If you fancy stepping up the distance there are still paces for the Yorkshire 10 mile.
The one downside to this event is the parking / traffic queues. It took me almost as long to get out of the racecourse as it did to pace the race.
Entry Cost: £26.00 affiliated, £28.00 unaffiliated (plus £2 processing fee)
Water stations: 2
Parking: Plenty, nearby
Photos: Yes, marathon-photos.com
Baggage Facilities: Yes, but didn’t use as onsite parking
Post Race Goodies: T-shirt / medal / water / goody bag
Highlight: Atmosphere, support from the crowd, fantastic route
Low point: Parking (and on other peoples feedback the toilet queues)
*My race entry was kindly gifted as I paced the race.