Race Date: March 10 2019
Report by Hal Roberts:
I entered this on a bit of a whim, and on the recommendation of Mr Halloway. I’d not raced over a 20 mile distance before and went into it with a bit of trepidation: four weeks out from Manchester marathon the legs should tolerate a hard 2+ hour run, but how hard to run it? I’m sure 90% of the entrants would have been using the race as marathon prep (does anyone target a 20 mile race?), so resolved to do the same rather than get drawn into racing it.
The race itself was pretty straightforward: three 6-and-a-bit mile laps starting and finishing at a sports and social club in the middle of the Staffordshire countryside. First half of the lap downhill, second half net uphill, with a few undulations in between. Over the course of the three laps this did add up a bit to just shy of 600m elevation gain. Biggest challenge was the wind (40+ mph gusts on the exposed sections) and the two extremely large puddles to negotiate on each lap. Pleasant enough temperatures on the day despite there being concerning amounts of snow on the ground when I left Sheffield.
I was very pleased to be able to pace the run evenly across each lap at around goal marathon pace, with my last lap being the quickest to finish in just under my target time of 2.15. I wasn’t too worried about the finishing position but was happy enough with 24th overall.
Highly recommend the race in a marathon buildup, as it’s low-key and the entry fee comes in within the magic formula of being less than a pound per mile.
The race was won by Nicholas Barry of Sale Harriers in 1:53:39, first lady home was Tracey Truman of Lawley Running Club in 2:22:29 2.
Full results are here: