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Brass Monkey Half Marathon Review 2018

Following on from the round up of races I ran in 2017 post a lot of people asked for more race reviews so I thought I'd start as I mean to go on. 

Yesterday I ran my first race of the year, Brass Monkey half marathon for the second year in a row. Brass Monkey is the annual half marathon that York Knavesmire hold in January from York racecourse. 

Getting To The Start Line 

As the race starts at 10am it meant a fairly early start from Durham for me, with little over 5 hours sleep under my belt and my alarm going off at 5:55 am my breakfast was forced down and the journey to the start line begun. The roads were clear as you imagine to be on a Sunday morning before 9am so we had a pretty straight forward journey. 

There is ample parking at York racecourse so no need to stress about where to park your car. There are lots of toilets for pre race use and to get changed after. The baggage area (in the Ebor stand) is set out into sections according to your race number (there are labels and pens left out so you can write your number on and attach it to your bag). 

Pre Race 

I got changed in the racecourse, on the day of the race participants have access to the Ebor stand where there is plenty of room for the 1,700 runners and spectators. There is also a lot of excitement in the room and it gives you a chance to chat and talk about your race plan with other people too. 

The Course

Brass Monkey is known for its flat route. You run out for around 4 miles then at the end of the road turn left, do a big loop then run back the 4 miles. 

There is a very slight hill at mile 12, it only seems so big because the rest of the course is flat. I felt like I was struggling to get up it but when I look back at my splits mile 12 was actually my quickest. 

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There are plenty of water stations on route, every 3 miles or so. I took on water at every station as my throat felt so dry and it gives me a change to walk for a few seconds while I drink it. The water is handed out in cup form (don't try running and drinking from a cup it will end up looking like you're in a wet t-shirt competition). 

On route there aren't many people supporting, you do run through a few villages and a few residents do come out to cheer on but don't expect a turn out like the Great North Run. All marshals are really friendly and very supportive which when you're flagging and you just want to hear a bit of encouragement is just what you need. 

Brass Monkey is the perfect PB course in 2016 when I ran I managed 2 hours 07 minutes and 58 seconds and this year was 2 hours 8 minutes and 8 seconds (this is my Garmin time). 

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Post Race

After I collected my finishers t-shirt, bottle of water and banana I went back in to the Ebor stand, collected my bag and changed my clothes. It was freezing so it was nice to get into warm dry clothes again. 

During the race I was famished, so I went straight to the little make shift cafe area and got a sandwich and a kitkat which cost £2 and demolished them while catching up with my friends and talking through our race. The cafe area is also available to any spectators who may want a coffee while waiting for the runners to finish. The awards had just begun by the time I got settled so it was amazing to hear just how quick the faster people finished. 

When leaving the racecourse a few of us had booked a table at Toby Cavery which was around a 10 minute car ride away but it was the perfect way to get over the half marathon hunger. 

Enteries for next year open in October and usually sell out pretty fast. If you're looking for a half marathon PB this is the race for you. I'll 100% will be getting a number next year (permitting I can) to try and crack my time. 

My next planned race is the Night Run at Gibside National Trust 5k on February 3rd. Better get my head torch out. 

Brass Monkey Half Marathon Review 2018 

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