I signed up for another double marathon weekend right after the Enigma Running Week at the Knees marathon series in the UK. This was my first time to run with the It’s Grim Up North (IGUN) running group and was keen to get to know the people and the place.
We flew to Manchester on the late night Ryanair flight out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport on Friday evening, March 22, 2019. The train station at the airport had a direct trip to Leeds where we caught a cab to bring us to Benley City Stays near the Kirkstall bridge. The young owner waited for us to arrive after midnight to show us the serviced apartment.
We hit the sack soon after we arrived. The race the following morning was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM. We walked to the Leeds Postal Sports Association Club to pick up my bib.
The actual start line was at the towpath on the river paralleling River Aire.
Marathoners and ultra marathoners started at the same time. We headed to the left first for three miles and back to the race start area to complete six miles before continuing on to do 20 miles out and back.
It was cold for me and I was suitably bundled up. I must have been the only one thinking it was cold because I saw a lot of runners running in shorts and singlets! Oh well, to each her own.
The towpath was dry dirt and wide, enough space for runners, walkers, and strollers alike.
I took my time in the first race, coming in at 5:57:17. Richard met me at the finish line and walked me back to the apartment. Finishers each received two chocolate bars and a beer aside from the finisher’s medal.
I took a few minutes of rest after shower before venturing out again so that we could make our couples’ massage appointment at Rosa Thai which was a 10-minute walk away.
Our train back to Charleroi from Manchester was at 18:30. The organizers allowed me and a few other runners to do an early start so that we could finish before 15:00 PM. I knew I was going to be slower for my second marathon this weekend.
There were three aid stations in this race. One at the three mile turnaround point, another at the six mile marker, and the last at the ten mile marker.
Sure enough, I completed the race in 6:28.41.
We were already checked out of the apartment. I changed into traveling clothes at the pub next door.
I pre-arranged a cab to take us directly to Manchester Airport before I knew that I was allowed to do an early start. I decided to keep the booking to save the hassle. We flew home without a problem.