You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it

My Yorkshire Cakeathon by Jo Ingram

Jo after completing the Yorkshire Cakeathon

Having run my first 2 full marathons in April and May 2019, I decided to set myself the challenge of completing my third marathon 364 days after my first and to raise money for charity in the process. I entered The Great Welsh Marathon for April 2020, however COVID rudely put a stop to that. A kick in the teeth after you’ve spent all winter training. I also had Snowdon Marathon lined up for October, and when that was cancelled I decided to run The Great Welsh Marathon as a virtual event on the day that Snowdon should have been (24th October).

Who said running was tough…?

Training throughout a pandemic was very different to what I’ve been used to. I’m used to my training being a social event, grabbing numerous friends together, having a laugh and finishing our long runs in a café or pub. Nevertheless I got it done and did my last long training run (or so I thought) on 2nd October. Hello taper madness!

All you need is friends…

Cue The Yorkshire Cakeathon on 10th October; a multi-lapped event where essentially you complete as many laps as you can within the time limit (6 hours to the start of your last lap). Laps were 6.55 miles, so I planned on doing 2 laps to give me a half marathon. With just 2 weeks before my full virtual marathon this fitted in perfectly. I attended the race with fellow RRC member Amy (first mistake) who is a keen marathoner.

I then started thinking ‘how amazing would I feel if I did a marathon today? It would mean I do 2 in 2 weeks! Also it would give me something to do while Amy is still running her ultra’ (second mistake). Lap 1 was ok, although I thought ‘how on earth will I manage 2 laps of this, let alone 4?!’ It was a mind numbingly boring out and back route. You had to come off the course and go up a ramp (that hurt after 3 laps!) at the end of each lap to check in, grab some fuel and refill drinks. Despite the boring route the support from other runners was great! One benefit of an out and back lapped route is that you see the same happy/tired faces multiple times and can spur each other on. On Amy’s advice I pretty much jeffed the whole race, walking most of the last lap so as not to completely ruin myself for my full virtual marathon in 2 weeks. I can honestly say it was one of my favourite races!

Jo looking pleased with her medal

There was such a good atmosphere and everyone was really friendly. I completed the full 4 laps and got a pretty epic medal and goody bag to show for it! Along with some seriously achy muscles the next day! Marathon number 3 done!

Moral of the story: silly ideas can be the best when influenced by another inspirational (if not slightly crazy) running club member and friend!

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