The Yeovil Marathon and Heron half review and results courtesy of Nikki C
The Yeovil Marathon organised by YTRC has now been well established for the last few years with this year seeing the inaugural Heron Half, named after HMS Heron (RNAS Yeovilton) where the run starts and finishes.
Ali Collier and I arrived super early for the Half (that’s what happens when you don’t challenge the registration times on your pre race email). Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an issue as our pre race prep generally involves shopping however, at this time most of the stalls involved cake and bacon rolls (not the best prep) rather than running clothes and accessories (much to Mr Colliers delight). It didn’t take long to get our numbers, get papped (see this weeks Western Gazette) and stumble across JD and his super marshal crew. Before we knew it the final call for the marathon runners beckoned over the tannoy…. I obviously had to hold Ali back as she was so keen to join! And they were off……
We still had an hour to wait for our start however, this was mainly taken up with “I’ll just pop to the loo one more time” ,last minute running kit alterations and finding other BHAM members with the look of “why are we doing this” etched across their faces. After a pre run photo call it was time to get rid of our bags and head to the start. And we were off……
I must admit I had my reservations about this race, knowing the area(ish) I had set myself up for a lonely run where the countryside would be unforgiving …. How wrong was I? It was a lovely route, we headed right out of the running track towards Ilchester, we were greeted with beeps and waves as we took on those first few miles until we turned off into country roads towards Limington where I ditched Ali.
At roughly 3 miles the front runner of the marathon came breezing past us but still able to congratulate and encourage everyone as he glided by. By about 4-5 miles Marathon runner number 2 came sailing past with a buggy, and not just any buggy a DOUBLE buggy (he went on to complete the race in 2:43:11 which once it’s been officially verified will be a new world record). As a buggy runner myself I have huge admiration for anyone who runs with a buggy and was very pleased to see a number of buggy runners taking part across both events. Although knowing this was a race that accepted buggies I decided I’m not quite buggy half marathon ready just yet! I caught up with Shelly and Jennie and up until mile 10 we generally ran together, discussed times, weight loss and spent some time not quite knowing where we were only to then be greeted by a “youhoo” behind us.
Ali was nowclipping at our heels and shortly after zoomed off (puffer in hand) into the distance. Mile 10 – 11 has always been a mental battle for me and it turned out I was not alone, Jennie and I took it in turns to stamp our feet and mutter (maybe shout) extremities and questioned why exactly we did these things to ourselves and made the pact to get each other to the finish line. By this time Shelly too has disappeared into the distance.
After being overcast and humid the sun broke though the cloud making the conditions that bit harder (oh joy). Mile 11 came and went and then there they were in the distance ….JD and crew!!! It certainly makes a difference seeing faces of people you know , this gave us a much needed boost and also meant that it wouldn’t be long until we were also seeing Lisa! All of a sudden we recognised where we were and we had joined a part of the Easter Bunny Route, we soon figured out that we would then be onto the main road heading back to the base….yipee!!
That last bit hurt and took everything to keep going (I’d made a pact with Jennie after allI couldn’t let her down now) we finally turned into the final stretch towards the running track, I’m pretty sure the Marshal saw the colour drain from our faces as we saw other runners running around the track and quickly said “half runners stay right”… Thank god for that! I mustered up the most pathetic sprint finish but we were done! Medals, t-shirts and goody bags collected and we found a spot to collapse on the floor.
The course description was “flat”…. Well I would agree in terms of Somerset it was indeed flat however, the first 7 miles were more along the lines of mildly undulating (deffo not hilly). The middle section was very flat ( I even remarked that I wanted a hill just to break it up a bit) and the final couple returned to being undulating. If you are looking for a pb course then this is certainly one for it! I can’t talk for the full as they had to do the route twice and then run past the finish line to go around the track but I thought it was a great route. There were plenty of water stations and amazing marshals on the course and the start/finish area was full of stalls (cider) and entertainment for the whole family.
Moment of the Day: As we relaxed sipping on our cider we saw a marathon runner being supported/carried along the track by none other than fellow BHAM runner Mark, he selflessly put his race to one side to aid another runner who without him would not have made it over the line. It was humbling to watch and just shows the spirit of BHAM in all its glory.
Chris Pinnock 1:38:00
Rob Gundry 1:38:10
Nicky Deady 2:17:29
Ali Collier 2:27:41 (pb)
Charmain White 2:28:48
Tracey Osmond 2:30:04
Shelly Romans 2:30:41
Nikki Channon 2:33:15
Jennie Whiting 2:33:45
Mark Romans 3:56:19
Kevin Burton 4:13:15