Beverley said : This was my second time doing Stonehaven and I must say that it’s one of my favourite half marathons. As someone who absolutely LOVES running hills, the challenging course is exactly my cup of tea. The route runs through the stunning Aberdeenshire countryside, so even if you’re not a fan of hills, it’s completely worth it for the beautiful views. This was my first race with the club and I really enjoyed meeting a couple more members and cheering everyone on at the finish line. The race was really well organised – loads of water stations and plenty of helpful, friendly volunteers (and delicious looking cakes as well, although, sadly, I didn’t have time to try any). The first four miles were pretty much all uphill, which I loved (although I didn’t like the downhill bits that came afterwards nearly as much). All the miles in the middle were lovely too, especially the nice forested bits. I’ve had some problems with injuries lately, so I was absolutely gleeful that nothing seemed to be playing up (probably thanks to a few days in the swimming pool rather than on the road). The last few miles were pretty tough – perhaps I had been a bit overenthusiastic with the hills. But never mind, I’m happy that I got to spend 1:37:02 running through some gorgeous scenery. An amazing day overall – I highly recommend that more runners from ERN get involved next year!
David said : I made a very late decision to enter the Stonehaven Half Marathon 2 days before the event and just a few hours before the online entry deadline. I caught the train up to Stonehaven with Beverley on the morning of the race and we met up with Anne and Maureen at the Race HQ. Hanging about in Minarelwell Park before the start the weather was warm and sunny (a pleasant change from most of my recent runs).
The first couple of miles were uphill through residential and industrial areas of Stonehaven before heading into the countryside for another two miles of steady climbing on quiet single track roads. We were welcomed at the top of the climb by a young lad playing the bagpipes. The route then flattened out a bit and even dropped downhill a bit before another uphill section from mile six to seven. At one point there was a fine, light, misty shower of rain but it didn’t last much more than 5 minutes.
Around about the half way point the route moved onto a slightly busier main road for the return to Stonehaven. The road dropped downhill until about 10.5 miles before rising up again over the next three quarters of a mile. After that we were back into the outskirts of Stonehaven and I couldn’t help smiling when a marshall said “well done loon” to me. The last mile was downhill and back into the park again for the finish across the grass.
I didn’t have the best of races as I was hampered by a stitch for pretty much the whole way and I felt really lethargic. I never really got going at any point and wasn’t even able to pick up much pace on the easier downhill sections. Maybe I’m just in need of a little rest after my 16th race of the year.
The marshalling was very good, there were 5 water stations and there were people handing out jelly babies. I believe the after race refreshments were pretty good too but I wasn’t really feeling like eating and I had to go catch my train.
A bad day at the office for me but I enjoyed the scenic route and I’m pleased I made the decision to enter. Now I’ll need to go back to try it again and maybe enter a little earlier next time! It was a good day out and certainly one I would recommend for other ERN runners to consider doing next year as it’s only 2 hours away on the train.
Well done to the ERN ladies for their excellent times and placings.