just for fun … and because you can’ – 15 March 2015
Rachel Gladdis reports from the inaugural Weymouth Half Marathon
Being the only
venture into the unknown and experience a new race I felt compelled to
do a ‘quickie’ race review.
Firstly it was an early start 8.30! We were
off along the promenade (873 runners + 27 relay teams) heading out from
the clock tower towards the Rivera Hotel for a quick shimmy round a cone
and back along the seafront. I always enjoy cheering the lead runners
and none more so than on this occasion, as unusually there were no
yellow club vests, or blue and white, or sadly red vests in the race to
be seen. (Incidentally, Egdon Heath were in full force, with at least
It was a race of ‘normal’ people who were
just out for fun, with a colourful smattering of charity vests, fancy
dress, joggers of all shapes and sizes out there giving it a go.
Needless to say there were people taking it seriously, but not with any
competitiveness on display.
So coming back into town, through the
centre, enjoying the aroma of fresh coffee and lots of cheering from
locals with their Costa’s keeping them warm, mixed with the tantalizing
fragrance of a full English! There were lots of distractions including
window shopping, but over the bridge we went, and into the old town. We
were faced with a mini hill before, ‘the hill’ and a bit of off road
past the Nothe, now at mile 5-6ish. Through some houses, round a few
I have never run the Portland 10, but knew
the wind was going to be something to contend with, the race continued,
out to Portland round the sailing club there was another occasion to
cheer on the lead runners (whilst thinking lucky sods have only got 3-4
miles to go)! This was the second trail section, where I could be heard
swearing, almost taken out by misjudging my footing on a stoney path.
This section seemed never ending, even with the seaview, but finally the
turn around point and back into a stronger wind, my paced had dropped
Finally back into
Weymouth and the wind dropped, we came back in along a park/trailway
section which was beautiful. I switched up a gear and got some pace back
on, hoping to get a time of 2h or just under, but alas it was not to be
.... 2h 1m, darn that wind!
And at the finish, lots of cheering crowds
and loud speaker calling out runners names, encouraging on the last few
steps – it’s all over .... time for cakes, sausage rolls, protein bars,
water, a lovely shiny medal and a new buff!
So all in all, a pleasant race, where any
strong club runner could achieve victory or top 10 (winning time 1h
17m). Excellent marshals, who had a bit of road rage to contend with on
the way back from Portland, superbly organised and well stocked water
and energy stations, with music.
There was support for
everyone whether in the lead or towards the back (last runner 3h 09m),
no one was packing up early and leaving the last runners to fend for
themselves – very well organised and worth the early start – perhaps
more red vests next time?