The Yorkshire Marathon is just around the corner! After completing 15 weeks of rigorous training, I’m officially in taper mode for the next 2 weeks, so please approach me with caution. I find myself becoming obsessed with the weather forecast and feeling a bit paranoid when someone coughs or sneezes nearby.
Last weekend marked the culmination of my ‘long’ Sunday runs with a 13-mile session on my training plan. I couldn’t bear the thought of running the same 3-mile loop repeatedly for another week, so I decided to seek out a race to participate in.
With a quick online search, I stumbled upon the Bridlington Half Marathon, and it fit perfectly into my schedule. Joining this race was a no-brainer – who can resist a day at the seaside? Plus, the Yorkshire Coast is renowned for having the best fish and chips!
Before the race
In all honesty, we didn’t have the best start. Blustery winds and pouring rain created far-from-ideal race conditions. Runners, adorned in bin bags and rain ponchos, gathered inside Bridlington Leisure Centre, all sharing the same thoughts: “What are we doing?” “We must be crazy.” Rumors of a possible cancellation circulated, but shortly before 10 am, we were herded outside for the race start. With the whistle’s blow and the crashing waves as our backdrop, we were off!
During the race
The course begins along the picturesque seafront and winds its way through the countryside, passing through Sewerby, Flamborough, and Bempton before returning to Bridlington.
The inclement weather created flooded sections on the course, making the first 4 miles particularly challenging. However, around mile 4-5, the rain subsided, and the race became more enjoyable. Since the race takes place on open roads, we had to stay on the left side (unfortunately where the puddles were) to avoid passing cars. Good thing a bit of rain doesn’t deter us Yorkshire folks!
The route is described as ‘undulating,’ which I’d agree with, although I’d call it hilly if I were undertrained! At times, it felt quite solitary, with limited crowd support. However, the marshals did an exceptional job of keeping our spirits high. As we approached Bridlington again, the rain started again. We still had one more loop out to Sewerby, this time passing through Sewerby Hall Gardens.
My energy surged as I joined the seafront. Wet, cold, and with a ‘let’s just get it done’ attitude, I suddenly became intensely focused. This was the strongest I’d ever felt in the final mile of a race. I sprinted along the promenade towards the finish line, recording my fastest mile of the entire race (7 minutes and 36 seconds). It’s amazing what the promise of warm, dry clothes and well-earned fish and chips can do for motivation!
Crossing the finish line, I resembled someone who had just emerged from the North Sea. However, I walked away with a shiny new personal best – 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 14 seconds. I couldn’t believe it! The adverse weather conditions had pushed me and kept me going. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and the medal (which also doubles as a bottle opener) was a fantastic keepsake. Kudos to the Bridlington Road Runners for organising a well-executed event. Once again, a massive thank you to the dedicated marshalls and volunteers who stood out there in the rain!
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