Newark Half Marathon 2022 Results and Report

Report By: Kate Waddicor

Race Date: 14th August 2022

Advertised as – The Newark Half Marathon is a flat, fast and scenic summer race. It has a fun run and entertainment for all the family.  Seems you can teach an old dog (runner!) new tricks!

Setting the Scene
You may have heard mention recently that we have been having some rather hot weather. To cope with this I have started getting up early and leaving the house at either 7.00 am or 7.30 am and heading for a shady route through Endcliffe Park. Clearly I am not alone in doing this as there are always lots of runners out that early.

I decided to enter Newark Half Marathon for a race experience in the build up to Chester Marathon. I ran in Newark in 2009 and remembered it as a good race to do and for some reason did not enter again and then I think it may have not taken place for a while.

A couple of days before
It seemed that every time I listened to a weather forecast or looked at facebook I was getting the same message – Sunday would be hot, super hot, weather warnings were being issued. After a lot of thought I decided to still go to Newark. To be fair this is in part due to the fact that if I had not gone I would have spent the whole day wishing that I had and I would have driven my other half round the bend! He did not seem the least surprised when I said Newark was happening.

Communication from the Race Director
The Facebook page and emails on Friday and Saturday were helpful and reassuring. The race would go ahead, there would be plenty of water and there would be a lot of St John’s Ambulance crews on hand. There was good advice for running in hot weather too.

The day
It was hot even when I left home but by then my mind was made up. I could always walk if it was too hot or withdraw. I would be fine and I would probably carry on to the finish line and get a time regardless of the conditions.

Parking was plentiful in Sconce and Devon Park (which my head insists on thinking of as Devon Scone Park – there were no scones though!). Short walk to the race village with some shade to warm up and get ready. I saw Heather, who I had run with at Oulton the previous week – she had found my headphones in her car! I never listen to music in races but had taken them to Oulton Park thinking running round a race track might require music, but did not in the end wear them – I digress that was a different Sunday, a different race). We had a discussion about sun cream, clothing, water etc etc. We warmed up – slightly half heartedly I must admit as we were saving every ounce of energy we had. I applied plenty of sun cream – I don’t usually bother but it seemed sensible.

We were walked to the start and people were already saying how hot they felt. I have never seen so many runners wearing caps and sunglasses – I had both with me.

We set off at 9.30 am. There are only so many times I will say that it was hot – I think you know that by now. What I want to share is what I learned about running in the heat.

Lessons Learned
Wear light coloured, loose clothes the information said – hurrah for the Battenburg vest! I had collected mine the week before and thought it was possibly too big and was pondering what to do about that. I am so pleased that I had it, it is loose on me but it was THE PERFECT vest for the day and it looked great! I still got plenty of shouts for Striders/Sheffield so it is clearly still a recognised race vest.

Wearing a cap – sometimes I think of a cap as winter gear as I do tend too over heat if my head is covered. I was glad of it. I did remove it before water stations so that I could wet my hair. We were all offered a sponge at the start, very useful. I don’t normally take on a lot of water in a race but was glad to grab a bottle at each station (2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 miles). I only drank a limited amount but was happy to pour water over myself.

Best piece of kit – my Steel City Striders buff. I soaked it and tried wearing it round my neck but that was too hot, so I just squeezed the water onto my shoulders then put the buff down the back of my shorts – don’t laugh until you’ve tried it! Cool shorts and that lovely feeling of coolish water on the back of the legs, nice!

Sunglasses, as there was no shade (just the odd shadow from a tree) and it was all on tarmac the light seemed to really glare. Needed to protect my eyes for sure. Mine are good glasses and I can recommend them, they are light and do not move around, you pretty much forget about them.

I do not normally carry my own water in a race but decided I would take a bottle of High 5 Electrolyte sports drink – which I was glad of during and after the race. Water on its own did not seem enough. I also used a High 5 Energy Gel Aqua before the race and had one half way through (I am still very much experimenting with Gels so add this info mainly for me!) Be mindful about the heat and adjust your pace accordingly – makes sense really. I did not start too quickly. I got to 10k at 55 minutes and thought I would be pleased with that if I was running a 10K on the day! I did not think I could keep up the pace so eased off a little.

The power of the brain – a lot of people were walking (which is understandable and fine) but I wanted to get finished as soon as I could. I just kept telling myself I could carry on – much as I always have to do in any event. I began to think if I had entered Askern 10k (my original plan) I would be finished. This was negative thinking and I am sure running at Askern was just as hot. So, instead of negative thoughts I began to appreciate the course in Newark and think that I would love to be running it in the autumn or on a cooler summer day. I kept telling myself I was doing well and would make it.

I mainly learned that I can run in heat – I might not choose to but I can do it and I felt proud of that!

I learned on Monday and Tuesday that it is not enough to hydrate well on the Saturday before and on race day. I still needed plenty of fluids on Monday and Tuesday. Recovery was different – I did not get the usual ‘just raced’ feeling in my legs the day after, I just felt very drained.

The Finish
In any race the bit I really don’t like is when you come round the corner and everyone says “the finish is just round the corner”, then you see the park you have to run round! The grass was so dry from the heat, the surface was really challenging, rock hard mud. But I could see the finish and just got on with it – no sprint finish from me, just getting there was enough.

There was plenty of water and fresh fruit. No medals – I know the volunteers were given a hard time by some runners about this but I seem to remember that it was explained in the entry information. We received technical t shirts. A lot of runners complained about the use of plastic bottles which the RD assured us would be recycled – RDs seem to be unable to please all of the people these days. I was grateful for the water provided. All of the volunteers – who were out in the sun way longer than most of us – were cheerful and friendly and very much in evidence throughout.

The Results
I finished in 2:03:57 – chip time. I was very surprised to be first FV65 (out of 4 this race!). 93rd female out of 232, 330th finisher out of 601. It appears that for many runners it was a fast race – first male was David Bishop in 1:08 first female was Sonia Samuels in 1:14 (Team GB Olympic athlete).

The prizes are generous – prizes for the first 5 male and first 5 female runners (starting at £80:00), also spot prizes, prizes for local runners depending on post code and 1st and 2nd place prizes for Age Group Categories. I had an email on Monday to say I had won £40:00 – thank you very much! Also a running club team prize – £100 for each of the 4 runners in the team.

The results do not show club names and I have been unable to find the Strider who had a chat with me at about 9 miles. But, thank you for your very kind words!  Ed: Now identified as Philip Swirles!

I looked back on my race number from 2009 and on the back I had written “Very hot and sunny with no shade, enjoyed it though.
8 miles in 1:04 but knew I had to pace it with the heat.”
Finished in 1:49

Would I do it again? Yes as the course and organisation are both great. I might prefer a cooler day next time!

Link to results here.


Pos Name Cat Time Cat pos
330 Kate Waddicor FV65 2:03:57 1
359 Philip Swirles MV45 2:07:20 47


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