Last Sunday I was supposed to run 17 miles as part of my marathon training plan – but I’d heard such good things about the Snake Lane 10 I couldn’t resist going a bit off-piste and entering it! Organised by Pocklington Runners, it’s really convenient for me, being only about half an hour from York. And I figured I could always do my 17 mile run the following Sunday, when I was supposed to be having a cut-back week and only had eight miles on the plan – so basically just swapping the two Sundays around.
Race HQ was Pocklington Rugby Club, which had plenty of parking and portaloos – and also a very tempting bacon butty stall! The event starts at a very civilised 11am, and after assembling at the Rugby Club for 10.45 we were all walked out to the start in a nearby residential area. Never having done a ten mile race before I wasn’t 100% sure how to approach the Snake. I guessed I should probably aim at somewhere between 10K and half marathon pace and see what happened, so that’s what I did.
After a mile or so somebody said hello to me and I was delighted to see Katie Holmes – no, not the Hollywood star, but my fellow Tweeter @RunYoung50! We’d never met in real life before, so it was great to see her. We chatted for a couple of minutes and trotted along at around the same pace. The Snake course is billed as flat, but I’d say it’s more gently undulating. I guess how you perceive it depends on what the terrain is like where you come from! It’s a fairly straightforward out and back course, turning around at the village of Bishop Wilton – you can see the route here. That’s when we all realised that the wind had been behind us for the first half and we’d have to fight it all the way back! It was challenging, but I felt quite good and fairly strong – I suppose the marathon training must be paying off a bit. My finishing time was 1:24, but I felt afterwards I’d been a bit cautious in the first half and would have gone a bit faster if I’d realised I’d been wind-assisted. Lesson for next time: check on the wind direction!
The best thing about the whole event was the ‘prize’ at the end – a lovely hand-made pottery mug. It made a refreshing change from the usual t-shirt or medal. Oh, and I got a Snickers bar too – bonus!
I’d really recommend the Snake Lane 10. It’s well-organised, a great course and a fab bit of marathon threshold training. Thank you Pocklington Runners, I’ll definitely be back next year!
So that’s my last event now until the Manchester Marathon on 19th April. Only seven and a half weeks away now – hello Monster Month!