Emily said : I really enjoyed this race despite some challenging weather conditions (20mph winds and sub zero temperatures!), it has a field of about 4000 runners (although I am not sure all of them had made it due to the wintery weather); but still had the feeling of a local running club organised half, starting and finishing at Wilmslow Rugby Club. My running buddy and my “support team” were all snowed in in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, so on the day I turned up to run on my own, but everyone was really friendly from the start, especially when they saw my ERN vest and clocked how far I had travelled.
I had been tipped off in advance that if it was cold you can hang around in the rugby club bar until you are called to the start line and this was great advice, it wasn’t even that busy and there were proper toilets and everything.
The route is pretty flat, but not completely, (steep hills at about eight and a half miles), all on country roads in the Cheshire countryside, away from the town centre, running through some little hamlets and villages; where there was good support from families sitting out on their front steps. The first three miles are repeated as miles 10-13 on the way back and then miles 4-10 are a loop. On the way out to halfway there was a fair bit of downhill, so I was running with the knowledge that I was going to have to go back up at some point but not sure when it was going to happen!
The marshalls and supporters were really great at cheering everyone on and were doing an amazing job bearing in mind the cold and wind; it was only when I stopped running that I realised really how cold they must have been. There were four water stations on route, but no energy drinks until the end, so if you need some powerade to keep you going you’d be best to bring your own. I would definately run this again, I really like the smaller races but because I’m slow often find I am left on my own if there aren’t that many runners (Gillian White will remember how pleased I was to see her in Haddington last year after running on my own for five miles!), so this had a great mix of a large enough field that I wasn’t scared of coming last, but still with the friendly local feel of a smaller race. Oh yes, and a chap called Alan who I met on the way round gave me a hug at the finish for getting a PB!