Tittesworth Water Half Marathon 2023 Report and Results

Race Date: Sunday 16th July 2023
Race Report by: Ash Mellors

Mint shower gel??? Yes please!

But before all that, let us start by covering what it says on the website. On a scale of Easy to Difficult, with Moderate and Challenging somewhere in between, it’s listed as Difficult. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I signed up.

Having never been to this part of the country before, I was surprised to see just how much the area had to offer. Water sports (kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding), fishing, bird watching, open air film night and for the kids, scavenger hunts, nature trails, education bus. I could go on, but this is a race report after all.

Breaking the run down it’s basically 3 miles up, 4 miles down, 4 miles up, 3 miles down, sprint finish (use the term sprint finish loosely). Yes, that measures 14 miles and it’s listed as a half, but what’s an extra mile when you’ve just done over 2500 feet of climbing?

The route starts right next to Tittesworth Water visitor centre where both the half marathon and 10k participants congregated. The 50k ultra runners were long gone out of the traps as they started at 07:00. The half went off at 09:00 and the 10k 09:30. The race briefing contained the standard info about marshals out on course, coloured flags to indicate the route you should be following (red ultra, blue half, yellow 10k), aid stations, required kit and so on. The weather at this point looked a little grim and overcast. No sign of rain, yet.

Bang on 9am, we were off and less than 500 metres in, came to a standstill. Cue a lot of disgruntled folks wondering what the heck was going on. Soon enough, we were go again, only to then come to another standstill about another 500 metres further along. A bottleneck in the route that was caused by a narrow path that couldn’t cope with any more than 3 runners side by side, nevermind 300 odd who were doing the race. The remainder of mile 1 included a number of stile crossings, dodging cow poo in fields and the opening and closing of gates.

Thankfully, I didn’t set myself a finish time knowing what was to come, good job really as it took me around 55 minutes to cover 5k. I’ve tailwalked Sheffield Castle parkrun quicker than that!

After covering 5k you’re then presented with some epic views at The Roaches. Then you’re 4 miles downhill. Lush! More stiles and more gates and by this time the sun was threatening to make an appearance. Something that did make an appearance just under mile 5 was the aid station. Stacked with haribo, water, coca-cola and other goodies I grabbed a handful of haribo and off I went.

Along with The Roaches, other notable places the route took in were Hen Cloud and Lud’s Church. By mile 7 you then pretty much follow the River Dane clockwise back to the aid station mentioned previously and you’re 10 miles deep into the race. With the haribo well and truly polished off by all runners I resorted to a small cup of full fat coca-cola, then off I went for the last leg.

After navigating a couple of tricky miles between 10 and 12, I was then able to “give it some beans” to the finish. Compared to the 20-11 minute miles that was my average for the previous 12 miles, hitting below 10 minute miles felt like I was putting the hammer down. Lots of people in and around the paths surrounding the water as you head back towards the finish offering words of encouragement and with every RunThrough event, your name is blasted out over the speaker system when you finish.

Upon finishing, the downpour came. With 100 metres or so to go, the heavens opened for about 20 minutes. I then hustled to the volunteers giving out finishers medals, protein bars, corn snacks and choice of one of the following Mancave products; face wash, moisturiser or mint shower gel. No brainer, mint shower gel all the time!

That’s now my second RunThrough event and they couldn’t have been more different from each other. A 10k city run compared to a 14 mile fell run. Equally, both very enjoyable and would highly recommend their events, which now seem to be popping up across all pockets of England.

Striders results:

Position Name Category Time
204 Ashley Mellors V40 03:25:45

Full results can be viewed here.

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