Our team of ‘roving reporters’ reviews some of the events they’ve taken part in. Each reporter analyses the event and tells us if they’d do it again. They did it; maybe you will too?
Marlow Half Marathon
Location: Marlow, Buckinghamshire When: 1 November 2015 Club: Marlow Striders
Name: Harriet Angell
Occupation: Pilates instructor; Leader in Running Fitnes
Running ability: Experienced
Tell us about the event
The Marlow half marathon, organised by Marlow Striders, is a popular, challenging event with 1,000 entrants. Marlow Striders have also added a new 7 mile race which promises to become just as popular as the half marathon.
The race started in Higginson Park, and immediately headed up the High Street towards a one and a half mile climb towards Marlow Common where we were thankfully treated to our first big descent.
Surrounded by fields and copper-coloured autumn trees, a steeper incline suddenly appeared out of the mist ahead.
But it’s not all hills – there were stretches of flat winding lanes that took us through beech woodlands and farmland, giving me time to recover ready for another ascent.
The last two miles are completely down hill though, which was a wonderful and welcome way to finish the race.
How was the route?
The route is well-marked and marshalled – some of the main roads were closed. There was excellent organisation from Marlow Striders, with lots of water stops along the way, St John Ambulance peppered along the route and wellwishers standing outside their houses. It’s a great community event.
The route took us along stunningly beautiful country lanes that wind and climb through picturesque Chiltern hamlets. It was a perfect autumnal day with low-lying mists in the valleys but at the top of the hills, the sun broke through and it was glorious.
However, I have run this race when I’ve been knee deep in water in places and soaked to the skin, so we were lucky this year.
The terrain was all tarmac. Obviously, being rural, there is some mud on the road and leaves had fallen, so in places it was slippery. But the terrain was even and good on the whole. However, given the hills, it’s not exactly PB territory.
How did you get on?
This is the fourth time I have run this race and my time was not as good as I had hoped for (2.15) faster than some previous attempts but slower than others! None of that really matters to me though, the atmosphere and route are very special, and it’s a life-enhancing race, which I would highly recommend to anyone who fancies a challenge.
It’s an autumnal, hilly half in beautiful surroundings with great organisation.
What did others think?
Helen Kennedy 1.59 (firsttimer): “Running alongside other really determined people spurs you on and it feels as though you are all in it together, everyone struggles on the hills and it is ok to do so! The sense of achievement at the end is incredible.”
Sarah Buckle 2.16 (first-timer): “I’d toyed with the idea of running the Marlow half but the hill profile filled me with fear. I’m so glad I went for it though.”