Race Date: Sunday 17th September 2017
Last Sunday I returned to my home town of Warrington in Cheshire for the 9th “English Half Marathon”, a race that doesn’t really deserve such a grand title.
The race starts and finishes in what the race organisers describe as “the historic centre of Warrington”. I can honestly say that my home town is not crowded full of tourists, open-topped tour buses showing the sights are conspicuous by their absence. The race starts and finishes at the Town Hall, a 10km and half marathon start together. At 2.5 miles a 6.5 mile loop of country lanes starts, a lot of this loop was on old training routes from when I last lived in Warrington. There is a climb 3-5 miles but for someone now living in Sheffield this wasn’t any problem. After the loop we ran back to the town centre, there is a detour through the Warrington Wolves Rugby League stadium at 12 miles before returning to the Town Hall.
I did the whole race with my brother Mark (see picture), I did think of speeding up and leaving him at 9.5 miles but my sore calves made me change my mind. We finished in 1h46.47, Mark wanted to break 1h50 so he was happy with his time and grateful for the pacing. I was happy to get round in one piece without getting injured. Conditions were good to run, cool, cloudy and damp with only a gentle breeze.
I wasn’t that impressed with the race organisation, with over 4000 finishers in the half marathon and 10km there appeared to be too many runners for the organisation to cope with. We had to stop just before the finish as there were runners queuing up to cross the line. The post-finish area was a bit of a mess. It was nice to return home for a race but I wouldn’t recommend this race unless you have a Warrington connection of some kind.
1st Matthew Lalor (Barlick Fell Runners) 1h13.14 66th (1st lady) Jenny Fox (Sale Harriers) 1h25.39 737th Tony Bell (Steel City Striders) 1h46.47 738th Mark Bell (Warrington Running Club) 1h46.48 1949th Jane Wright Saunders (Steel City Striders) 2h08.07
I didn’t see Jane but I did see some old Warrington running friends at the race.