Jen said: An absolutely stunning day for running a Half Marathon!
I was really nervous because of some rather scant hill training, and it became apparent early on in the race that a run-walk-run strategy would have to be taken to get me round. Just when I thought I’d completed the ascent and could enjoy some downhill I turned another corner to be faced with another hill. However, knowing that this was never going to be about a PB, and more about enjoying a day in the countryside, it was just fab.
We were lucky in that the day was glorious, and it hadn’t been too wet in the run up to the race, so the ground was hard-packed rather than squelchy (for the most part). The sections in the woods were just beautiful, and it was such a pleasure to see the sun dappling the ground.
It was really friendly (maybe a hallmark of any race when you are near the back of the pack) and quite a lot of stopping for enjoying the view/taking a breather/photos/gels etc. Slightly galling that the winner and runner-up of the marathon event ran past me during my miles 10-11 (although it was a pleasure to watch them making such light work of the descents I was clunking down), but I remain super proud of my 3.15 minute half. An hour over my PB, but worth every minute. I would heartily recommend this race to anyone, and with options of 10k, half and full marathon to choose from, a good day out for all.
Photos courtesy of Jen Shepherd and Victoria Gibbs