Old School Running: Buxton Half Marathon 2022

Race date: Sunday 29th May 2022

When I first saw Buxton Half Marathon on the Road Championships menu for this year I knew it was one I had to sign up for. For two reasons: having never done it before and Buxton being my hometown.

Organised by Buxton AC, the event was relatively small compared to Sheffield Half with 334 finishers. It included chip timing, attended bag drop, T-shirt and medal.

Registration was quick, collecting my race number and T-shirt from the HQ inside the Pavilion Gardens building. There was time for a Striders team photo in the bandstand, before dropping off my bag, then a little warm up jog around the Pavilion Gardens. It is a beautiful park and lovely to walk around, however the invasion of dinosaurs (!) this weekend meant the warm up jog was a loop around the perimeter instead.

A sample of the twenty eight Striders who finished the race. Little did they know what awaited them. (ed.)

Runners gathered at the start line on the road behind the Opera House. Some announcements were made, however I couldn’t hear what was said! As the church clock across the road struck 10am the race began! It started with a steady 180m/590ft climb over 4.5km/2.8 miles taking runners to the highest point of the course along the main road out of Buxton towards Leek. Note: the course is run on open roads so runners had to stay on the left to allow cars to overtake.

Once at the top the rewards were the spectacular views of the countryside and a much needed appreciation of what goes up must come down! The next 7km/4.3 miles was my favourite part of the route covering a 220m/721ft descent to the lowest point of the course. This section took runners off the main road onto a single track road, complete with cattle grids and cows! Whilst giving back the ability to breathe, the lack of traffic was also welcome. Running through the Derbyshire countryside, the scenery was beautiful and did distract a little from the aching legs. Although this section was mostly downhill, there was the odd cheeky climb thrown in for good measure.

Now past the halfway mark, a second climb awaited. Much steeper than the initial climb (but not as far), on fatigued legs this felt much more of a task. However, as some say, pain is temporary and it did end. This was followed by another smooth downhill section and a turn back towards Buxton. The road from Brierlow Bar towards Harpur Hill turned out not to be as flat as I remembered when I found we were gradually climbing up again! It was along here I started using parkrun as a unit of measurement. Just over a parkrun to go… less than a parkrun to go now… three quarters of a parkrun to go… This got me up the incline to Harpur Hill. Then it was back down into Buxton, including passing my old primary school, which brought back a few memories! One last short hill before a gradual descent around side streets and back in to the Pavilion Gardens park for the final push across the finish line.

Finishers were rewarded with a medal and big bottle of Buxton water!

Some Striders (myself included) treated themselves to a well earned massage afterwards with a donation to the Mountain Rescue service, who had been located in some of the more remote points of the course.

I was just in time to catch the last of the prize presentations, including Striders placing 1st in the following categories:

Female team (Gillian Allen, Sarah Allcard & Alison Barrett)

Male team (Adrian Fisher, James Storey, Nick Booker, William Hitchmough)

SF (Gillian Allen)

MV50 (Nick Booker)

Posn Name Cat Chip Gun
12 Adrian Fisher M45 01:25:23 01:25:25
18 James Storey M45 01:26:47 01:26:49
20 (1) Nick Booker M50 01:28:36 01:28:37
27 William Hitchmough MSEN 01:29:59 01:30:04
37 Darren Barnett M45 01:32:14 01:32:18
46 (1) Gillian Allen FSEN 01:34:12 01:34:15
73 Malcolm Baggaley M40 01:39:04 01:39:08
90 Sarah Allcard F45 01:42:25 01:42:28
99 Joe Dunne MSEN 01:43:26 01:43:30
100 Alison Barrett F45 01:43:27 01:43:42
102 Steve Gourlay M40 01:43:56 01:44:09
111 Kathryn Liddiard F35 01:45:22 01:45:27
113 Neal Pates M55 01:45:36 01:45:41
133 Steve Blake M45 01:48:17 01:48:33
161 Kate Scott F55 01:53:27 01:53:31
162 Tessa Bainbridge F35 01:53:23 01:53:39
164 Peter Brown M60 01:53:56 01:54:08
174 Abigail Hickinbottom F40 01:55:15 01:55:31
176 Sarah Percival F40 01:55:39 01:55:46
186 Karen Clark F55 01:57:22 01:57:32
187 Kevin Haighton M60 01:57:28 01:57:43
198 Brian Jenkins M45 01:58:11 01:58:26
232 Christopher Smith M45 02:03:17 02:03:38
245 Kevin Wong M45 02:07:19 02:07:40
254 Christine Booth F45 02:09:33 02:09:57
262 Nada Ross F55 02:11:20 02:11:40
271 Kimberley Macpherson FSEN 02:13:08 02:13:25
333 David Bownes M65 02:55:07 02:55:29

Full results Buxton Half Marathon 2022 Results

Race reporter Kathryn Liddiard with Neal Pates reduced to a mere blur in the distance. (ed.)

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