Retford Half Marathon – 6th March 2022

Race report by Malcolm Baggaley.

Was my first time at Retford, but a promise of a fast, flat, well organised half marathon was too good to turn down. After the battering everyone had take from the weather over the previous few weekends, it was good to see that the wind had dropped, and the sun was out. It was also great to see Striders out in force representing the green and gold.

After a 10 minute delay due to the toilet queue encroaching on the route, we were off, a short double back round the roundabout and out of the academy.

A not very scenic first 2km was broken up by a driver driving around a marshal and straight out of a junction on to the closed road as we were streaming past. It was enough to give more than one of us a jolt of adrenaline, that’s for sure.

After bonding over tales of our near-death experience, I settled in with a runner from Lincoln also aiming for around 90 minutes. As notoriously bad as I am with running a consistent pace, it was exactly what I needed.

The route is mainly along rural roads, through a village or two, with an out and back on the main road before heading back to Retford. A ‘fun’ addition to the race was a couple of water hazards between 8-9km. As everyone was tiptoeing around the muddy, slippery verges, I ploughed straight through (as I believe did most Striders) and found out that it was no where near as deep as it looked.

Along the out and back I saw that Sam Brown was right in the mix at the front of the race, with Caroline Brock among the leaders in the Women’s too. As usual there were Striders dotted from front to back, making for a lot of encouragement.

It’s true there isn’t much elevation gain at Retford half, but it’s also apparent that all of it is in the last quarter of the race. Getting to 15km on target felt good, the last 5km felt anything but good as the wheels fell off. Everything felt so tough for that last section, as I watched my companion from Lincoln dance away up the road while to me, every little rise felt like Blake Street. A lot of Striders came past, all offering encouragement, or gels, when what I really needed was new legs, but nobody had any.

Finally, there was a nice gentle downhill last 1km, sweeping around to finish back in the academy grounds, a finish I was so glad to see. Catching up with others after, it wasn’t just me who struggled in the last 5km or so, which is reassuring.

There were some great performances from Striders most notably, Sam Brown finishing 5th overall (in a brilliant 72:28), and Caroline Brock 7th in the women’s race (83:21). There were also PBs (according to Powerof10) for; Paul Middlemas 76:17, Adrian Fisher 79:30, James Fulcher 80:41, Daniel Cubitt 85:54, and Yasmine Chaffer 97:33.

Overall, the men’s race was won by Kristian Watson (Mansfield) in 69:01, and the women’s race by Nicola Devine (Rotherham Harriers) 78:05.


Pos Name Cat CatPos Cat 2 ChipTime GunTime
5 Sam Brown MS (005/181) MS 01:12:28 01:12:29
21 Paul Middlemas M40 (007/167) M35 01:16:17 01:16:19
47 Adrian Fisher M40 (015/167) M45 01:19:30 01:19:36
49 Stephen Schubeler M40 (016/167) M35 01:19:28 01:19:45
57 James Fulcher MS (030/181) M35 01:20:41 01:20:45
77 Tom Bassindale M40 (022/167) M45 01:23:17 01:23:24
78 Caroline Brock F35 (002/075) F35 01:23:21 01:23:24
83 Louis Wood M40 (025/167) M35 01:23:43 01:23:47
100 Daniel Cubitt MS (044/181) M35 01:25:54 01:26:03
160 Matt Rimmer M40 (054/167) M45 01:29:54 01:30:10
176 Alex Shepherd M50 (028/109) M45 01:31:33 01:31:52
199 Malcolm Baggaley M40 (066/167) M35 01:33:00 01:33:21
258 Yasmine Chaffer FS (014/053) FS 01:37:33 01:37:53
270 Paddy Treehowes M50 (039/109) M45 01:39:08 01:39:18
326 Peter Brown M60 (011/041) M55 01:43:06 01:43:33
372 Desmond Ryan M50 (055/109) M55 01:46:20 01:46:36
504 Dean Harding MS (154/181) M35 01:56:23 01:57:22

Full results are here


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