BRASS MONKEY HALF MARATHON 13TH JANUARY 2019

Report by Zaheer

Registration for this HM was way back in October, where the event sold out within an hour. I think the reason why it’s so popular is that there is a shortage of long distance races in the Yorkshire area in January, and with so many runners eager to get out and blow the Christmas cobwebs away, this is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

The start/finish is at York Racecourse. The parking was straight forward and there is plenty of room when we arrived. After a bit of milling around in the reception area, and using the toilets, it was time to line up at the start.

My plan was to just run as close as I could to 10 min miles, and just finish in one piece! The first mile was pretty fast, at well under 9 min miles, but from there onward the pace slowed down every mile, up until i reached my slowest pace of just over 10 min miles.

I was concerned at how I would fare past the halfway point, but luckily, the gel I took at around 6.5 miles really helped in boosting my energy, and my pace began to speed up once again.

The route takes us on a tour of some very scenic villages on the outskirts of York, and there are plenty of enthusiastic locals who come out to cheer the runners at various vantage points. There was definitely no shortage of marshals, who provided the extra encouragement needed during the quiet countryside roads.

It was a very windy morning, at times running directly into the headwind. Nevertheless, I could sense a good time was on the cards when my watch beeped at mile 10 and the time showed at around 1h35m. Encouraged by this, I began to speed up once again, and despite the short hill just past the mile 12 marker, i finished in a very respectable 2:06:40, making this one of my fastest HM times.

There were around 200 volunteers, plus the pupils from a local school were out in force cheering us on. I don’t recall running more than a couple of hundred metres without passing an enthusiastic marshal, and gave me a big smile, clap, or shouted ‘GO SHEFFIELD’. It seems the whole of York Knavemesmire Harriers had turned out in force to volunteer! What a brilliant example to set for other race organisers.

The overall organisation and the general enthusiasm of the marshals, along with a very decent time, means I will almost definitely be doing this event again next year – as long as I can get my entry in on time! I can still hear those marshals and the school kids ringing in my ears 3 days later!

Finally, a massive well done to the following club runners who ran this today:

Chris Tighe 1:21:05

Steve Cox 1:27:53

Neal Matthews 2:00:51

Zaheer Mahmood 2:06:40

Brass Monkey Half Marathon 2019