Sunday 14th July was the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k. The Jane Tomlinson events are always well organised and well attended, the entrance fees are steep but the atmosphere and the goodie bag are usually worth it 🙂
Leeds isn’t too far from York so we had a leisurely breakfast (wholemeal bagels and honey, banana) and left the house at 7.45. Traffic getting into Leeds isn’t bad and there is lots of parking, just make sure you read up on the road closures. It was cloudy when we left York, but as we drove towards Leeds the sun really started to blaze.
There are lots of car parks in the centre of Leeds, and if you can find an on street space it’s free on a Sunday.
My pre-race wee is always a concern for me – will I have to queue, how grotty will the toilets be? There were lots of portaloos but the queues there were quite big. What most runners don’t know is that there are public toilets in the corner of Millenium Square where the runners assemble, and the queue there wasn’t too bad. It’s a little thing, but a clean toilet and toilet paper make for a great start to the day.
My only real quibble with this race is how early they want the runners to assemble. The race started at 9.30, but we were supposed to be assembled by 8.30 to be walked to the start at 8.50. There was a lot of hanging around listening to the DJ rambling and most people just wanted to get going. We found a little patch of shade which was much better than 45 minutes standing in full sun.
The route was new this year – fast and flat, and similar to the Abbey Dash route (another Leeds 10k). It’s an ‘out and back’ route, so the road was split in two for the faster runners to return while I plodded on. I know some people don’t like this type of route, but I love being able to see the elite athletes zoom by, and when I’m on my way back I like to see if there are still people behind me.
There was a little bit of congestion in places but overall it was okay.
Slightly uphill! Just like every finish in Leeds seems to be 🙂 The 200 meters to go sign was very welcome, and I crossed the line in 57.32, a new personal best (PB) for me. I was targeting sub-60, so I was very happy. The husband got sub-50 so he was delighted too.
Jane Tomlinson events always provide a great technical t-shirt. There was water, Lucozade Sport and a couple of little chocolate bars which I devoured in the car on the way home. There was lots of water and sponges on the route, which were very welcome in the heat.
57.32. It’s York 10k next month, now I have a new target to beat! I really feel like my training is making me stronger and more consistent. I’m a bit faster too, but strength is my goal with an eye on the marathon…it’s getting closer!