Race date: Sunday May 27th 2018
The single lap route starts at Buxton’s Opera House and takes in some of the stunning Peak District countryside before returning and finishing in Buxton’s beautiful Pavilion Gardens. Total ascent is around 1508ft/460m
Race Report by Charlotte Civico
My friend: “I’m thinking about entering the Buxton Half Marathon on 27th May to do purely as a ‘fun’ training run for RSR. Let me know if you fancy joining me for some torture.”
Me: “Hmm… Do you get a medal?”
My friend: “You do… I think it’s only £15.”
Me: “1,500ft ascent! I’ll do it.”
This is how I came to enter the Buxton Half. I’d previously taken one glance at it on the race calendar and thought “no way”. Turns out I’m easily persuaded by a bit of peer pressure, a medal, and a good price.
This year saw the 37th edition of the race, hosted by Buxton AC. The race is described as “one of the most scenic and challenging half marathon routes in the UK”. That it was.
The race started just outside the Buxton Opera House and it didn’t take long to start the first climb up Axe Edge. The first ascent spanned about 3 miles. Not too steep and feeling fairly fresh at the start of the race I didn’t find it so bad. After the first water station, there was an enjoyable downhill stretch with some beautiful views. After another short climb, it was downhill all the way to mile 7.
Then it was uphill again for about 1.5 miles. It probably wasn’t that steep, but it felt it and I had to start walking. The sun was blazing and there was no shade to be found.
The top of the hill was a welcome sight knowing, of course, that what goes up must come down. The route descended back down towards Buxton with a 1 mile downhill stretch. Nice to be able to catch my breath at this point and chat to a fellow Strider (hi Jo!) Until mile 10 – another climb! Thankfully only a short sharp one, but by this time, I didn’t have enough strength left to push up the hill, so it was another walk for me.
Thankfully, the last 2 miles were downhill and there was even some shade. Strangely though, I found this to be the toughest part. The route took us up and down a few residential streets and on the final stretch through the Pavillion Gardens, I felt like I was constantly twisting and turning, with no sense of where the finish line was. I heard from others that this was a change to the usual finishing route which used to be quite straight.
All in all, I really enjoyed the race and will definitely be back for more. Stunning views, well organised, and very friendly marshals. Also (and importantly for us in Yorkshire) a good value day out for the Bank Holiday!
The race was won by Chris Oddy of Serpentine AC in 1.15.36. First female home was Lisa Giampalma of Totley AC in 01.40.13. 303 people tackled the route, including 10 Striders – well done to all.
Full results and photos available here