Carsington Water Half Marathon December 2022 Race Report and Results

Race Date: Sunday 11th December 2022

Race Report by: Hannah Wright

Race Terrain: Undulating Trail

Nice early start with a foggy head and a morning temperature of -1 degrees. Breakfast of champs was needed, a cuppa tea with choc digestives and a yoghurt. Then the usual debate of how many layers are too many for this temperature. Donned the Percy pud hat and then on our way to the race course. Picturesque views along the way as the frost had settled overnight.

The venue was easy to find and plenty of parking. The only downside was you had to pay for parking which was £5 for the day. The car park was next to the race village where you start and finish if you are running the half. If you are running the 10Km the start line is elsewhere and the finish is the same. There was also plenty of toilets which is always a bonus when you need that quick wee before heading to the start line.

At the race village there were a couple of stalls, bag drop and a coffee van. Race numbers were collected on the day at the race village. Everything was easily sign posted.

There was the usual pre race warm up by a very cold looking instructor before heading to the start line. Then we were off. This is where I should point out that this race report is being written by a ‘plodder’ who is usually at the back of the pack during half marathons. My watch was set to aid my pacing to work towards a PB… I realised very early on that looking at a watch which is under a glove is nearly impossible, so gave up with that notion.

The first section of the race is out and back. This took us around the nature reserve and back to the race village. For anyone who enjoys bird watching there are plenty of hides in this area. We went back the next day for some twitching. You also run past a RAF Quadrant Tower which dates from the early1940’s when it was used by the RAF to plot bomb drops in the Henmore Valley.

By the end of the out and back section, Lisa and myself where firmly in our usual position at the back of the pack. The path then loops past the visitor centre, past the waterspouts area to a flat section with a clear view across the reservoir. There was no protection from the elements at this section, with a chilly breeze and ice patches on the floor. At this point I felt glad I had my Park Run snood on.

To our surprise we were starting to gain on two runners ahead of us. Around the next bend there was a water station which allowed for a swift overtake. Overtaking is a new concept to myself and Lisa, the pressure was now on to maintain our new position.

The path became undulating again and remained like this throughout the rest of the race. Then out of nowhere came the hill. My plodding slowed and it was time to power walk up the hill. I found some comfort that I could see other participants ahead doing the same. Once we reached the top the plodding recommenced and a squishie (my running snack of choice) .

After the hill, the path takes you past some cottages on the right with the reservoir remaining on your left. We also ran past some large bails of hay in a field with a carved wooden chair. We found out later that this was part of the Carsington sculpture trail which we did the next day. The power of the squishie gave us the energy that was needed to further overtake some runners that where ahead.

Up ahead the 8 mile sign loomed. This is point where I usually start to suffer with my mental and physical fatigue during a half marathon. But today I plodded past the sign without the usual fatigue. At this point we are starting to reach the part of the route where the out and back section was which we ran at the start. Quick check of my watch at the 12 mile marker. Current race time was 2hrs 30… this is still within PB territory. One of my goals for next year is to complete a half marathon in 2hr 30, which now seems achievable.

With one mile to go we nimbly dodged the ice and dogs to make it to the last undulation and the finish line. Quick sprint down the hill and then across the line.

We had finished… and a new PB 2:46:40!

It was great to see that my friends had crawled out of bed to meet Lisa and myself at the finish line. And a huge shout out to everyone who volunteered and marshalled along the way, despite being stood in freezing temperatures. Thank you!

Only thing left to do is grab a hot shower and a pub lunch.

The race was won by James Bennet (unaffiliated) in a time of 01:20:59. The women’s race was won by Chloe Hawkins of Uttoxeter Road Runners in 01:40:00.

3 Striders took part. Here are their results:

Position Name Category Time
8 Darren Barnett V45 01:30:22
227 Abi Norman V45 02:32:37
248 Hannah Wright V35 02:46:40

The full results can be viewed by clicking here.

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