This morning I set out on my last long run before Poland. A few days ago I decided to make it a bit more enjoyable by catching a bus somewhere and running back home through some of the fantastic Yorkshire countryside that we have around here.
Limited only by where buses from the small town of Otley actually go to, I decided on Leeds. And from there I chose a 30.3 mile route (48.8 km) which would take me through Seacroft, Thorner, Collingham, Wetherby, Sicklinghall, Kirkby Overblow, Weeton, Castley and Pool.
Obviously I had a decent cup of coffee in Leeds before running but the only places I found open at 9.00am were Costa, Nero and Starbucks. I chose Costa.
The weather was lovely when I started running at 9.45am and it remained good all day. Mainly cloudy but dry with temperatures peaking at 19.8 C (67.6 F).
The running went well although the first 50 minutes or so were spent leaving Leeds to the east, after that though the route was almost entirely on country lanes and it was a joy to be out and enjoying the day. Passed through Thorner in 1h 10 mins and Collingham in 1h 45 before reaching Wetherby in 2 hours exactly. That's 13.8 miles (22.2 km) at, what I felt was a fairly slow pace ... so I ran a bit faster for the remaining 16.5 miles (26.6 km).
Between Sickinghall and Kirkby Overblow the 360 degree views were awe inspiring and in the distance I could see Otley even though I still had over 10 miles to run (16 km). The time from Wetherby to Otley was just under 2h 20 and the very last mile took just 7:54. Overall that was very pleasing because it seemed so easy. The times weren't spectacular but I did stop for a bit of food every hour which meant that the 'official' time of 4h 19:56 should probably be reduced by about 6 minutes. So that's quite easily under 8:30 per mile (5:17 per km) which is always a benchmark for me on long runs.
Feel very good at the moment - long may it continue.