Race Date: Sunday 3rd September 2017
Race Report by Luke Prest
Roll back a few months. The Sheffield Half Marathon. A sea of green and gold plodding relentlessly up Ringinglow Road, smirking knowingly at the out-of-towners who are encountering the worst of what our seven hills have to offer for the first time. It’s your first Half Marathon and you roll in with a respectable time of 02:09:58. After The Neveragains have subsided your focus starts to shift towards the next challenge and in a momentary leave of your senses, a marathon is signed up to. York, to be precise, 8th October is the date. Training plans are devised and a seasons race calendar is carefully scripted to suit the gradual mileage increases. There’s a big gap in September and you set about hunting down a suitable candidate. The Great North Run. Perfect. I’ve seen that on the Telly and Mo has run it and… waitaminute… OWMUCH!?
Instead, you plump for the inaugural ABP Humber Coastal Half Marathon which is an absolute snip at £18. The added bonus is there’ll be no issues securing a pass for this one – she may even come along to watch, just bride her with fish and chips, ice cream and penny slots.
And so, there we were. Pleasantries are exchanged with the half a dozen or so Striders encountered at the start line and a field of 1200ish are off along the promenade.
This course is flat. Pan flat. That’s why you chose it. We head out along the prom and sea front pathways for a couple of miles and wade across a section of path that has been reclaimed by the beach. Then we take a right and snake through Thorpe Park caravan park and inland. Hilly courses obviously offer their own challenges, but this is where flat courses start to test you. 7ish miles of flat, relentless, open road and lanes. It’s pancake like farmland either side, bookended with a line of trees. It is pretty enough but there is little on the horizon to aim at or for the mind to explore. A couple of villages and a scattering of spectators alongside the ever supportive and friendly marshals serve to break up the tedium and before long you’re working your way back through the caravan parks and onto the path from which you started.
The last mile or so is back along the seafront and promenade at Cleethorpes and is well lined with enthusiastic spectators to make for an heroic sprint finish.
A finish of 01:58:31. The potential for a huge PB is one of the reasons you entered – and you’ve not let yourself down in that respect – but it wasn’t the primary motivation as you seek out the free ice cream and head off for fish and chips.
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside…
1208 people took part including 7 Striders. Well done to all! The race was won by Shane Robinson of Lincoln Wellington AC in 1.11.39 and the first lady home was Nicola Jayne Curtis (unattached) in 1.28.15.
Full results available here.