I participated in my first race of 2020 last Sunday – the Snake Lane 10, a beloved 10-mile race set in the scenic landscapes of East Yorkshire. This event has become a staple on my racing calendar, and this year’s edition proved its enduring popularity by selling out within a mere hour. It’s a testament to the race’s exceptional organisation and value for money. Interestingly, the event’s name incorporates my greatest fear, but I was relieved to encounter no slithery creatures during the race. Had there been any, I might have been on track to break a course record!

Pre-Race Preparations

This year, the race had a fresh start time of 9 am, and runners gathered at the Pocklington Rugby Club, conveniently located a short walk from the start line. I headed straight to the coffee shop for my usaul pre-race caffeine fix. The weather was perfect for running, and it seemed that whatever storm was brewing had received the memo about the Pocklington road race!

The Scenic Route

True to its name, the course meanders through the picturesque East Yorkshire countryside, nestled at the base of the Yorkshire Wolds. The race commences in Pocklington, and takes runners through Meltonby and Bishop Wilton, before circling back to Pocklington, culminating in an exhilarating sprint finish in the Market Place. There is a challenging incline around the 4-mile mark, and miles 7-10 presents some undulating terrain. Nonetheless, it’s certainly a course with potential for a personal best!

Snake Lane: Race Day Experience

As always, the start and finish areas boasted a sizeable crowd of enthusiastic spectators, with a scattering of supporters along the course. Given that roads remained open to traffic, there was a strict ban on headphones, although sadly there were a few who flouted this rule.

Currently training for the London Marathon, I had set my sights on finishing in under 85 minutes for this race. I was unsure if my ambition was realistic, but I was fortunate to have my friend Nick find me at the start and generously offer to pace me. Could we maintain a pace of under 8 minutes and 30 seconds per mile for 10 miles? We were about to find out!

Just before the 3-mile mark, we overtook the 85-minute pacer, hoping we wouldn’t encounter her until the finish line. My intention is all in good spirits, Georgina! Around this point, Stacey, (it was her first 10-mile race), joined our group. Together, we hit the 10k mark in just under 50 minutes. I suggested to Nick that we could take the last 4 miles at an easier pace, but he was having none of it, and the three of us maintained our pace all the way to the finish line.

The Achievement

Our goal was to finish in under 85 minutes, and we exceeded expectations with a remarkable time of 82.16 – a personal achievement I had never envisioned. A huge thank you goes out to Nick and Stacey; I couldn’t have done it without you two!

As always, Snake Lane was exceptionally well-organised, with outstanding support from pacers, marshalls, and volunteers. And, of course, a delightful goody bag awaited us at the finish line! This is precisely why I keep returning year after year. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Entries for next year will open in October – stay tuned for the date announcement. To stay informed, follow Pocklington Runners on Facebook ; they’ll be the first to share any Snake Lane updates.

Race Breakdown:
Entry Cost: £19.50 affiliated £21.50 unaffiliated
Water stations: 2 (cups). Around 5.5 and 7.5 miles. Water at the finish.
Parking: Plenty – just arrive early
Photos: Yes
Post-Race Goodies: Goody-bag / chocolate / T-shirt / buff / medal

Highlights: Fab day for running, great course and a new PB.
Low points: For once I can’t think of one. Even the weather played ball.