Carsington Water Half Marathon 2024 report

Four runners posing before a race

Race date: 17 February 2024

Race distance: half marathon

Race report by Matt Broadhead

  1. I went to this with some of the regular runners from Run Talk Run, which is a weekly 5k (there are two groups in Sheffield) focused on mental health, with nobody left behind. I run with them occasionally and it’s a nice chilled atmosphere with a lovely bunch of people.
  2. This is the only race I’ve ever been to where the start line was so muddy they asked you not to start running straight away.

I’d never run Carsington before, nor did I have much idea where it was, and given how foggy the journey there was I’m still not sure. Somewhere past Bakewell will have to do, with race HQ at one of Severn Trent’s lovely well-toileted visitor centres. We turned up, parked, got a free sample of CBD-based heat rub and lined up ready to go. Elin Reeves and I decided to run it as a team, which is good practice for our Round Sheffield Run pair entry and is kind of in the spirit of RTR.

The course is a flattish trail round the Carsington Water reservoir, including a section across the dam wall which must be lovely when the weather’s better. The trail round the reservoir is less than 21k and more than 10k, which means the half marathon has an out-and-back section at the start, and the 10k start is a bit of a walk from race HQ. The good thing about the out-and-back section is that you get to high five the marshal with the giant foam hand and the sound system three times. Also, it means by the time you get back to the start and begin your lap, you’ve knocked a decent chunk off the distance so psychologically it’s a shorter race. At the moment, this kind of thing is very useful to me.

The course is relatively unundulating, as you’d expect from a track round a reservoir, and the trails were in good nick. Our team effort went well (we finished less than 10 seconds from our informal target time!), though the pace got a bit choppy towards the end, as we repeatedly overtook and were overtaken by the runner with the steadiest cadence I have ever seen. Just metres from the finish line we were about to overtake him, but at the last second we independently decided that wasn’t fair, since by pacing off him we’d saved a load of time. Then it was time for the hardest part of the race, which was getting from the finish line to the free biscuits table, which was rendered almost impossible by the mud. However, determination won out and we retrieved our snacks.

This is a nice race, I did it with a lovely bunch of people, and most importantly I got to eat a big pie in a pub in Bakewell on the way home. What’s not to like?

Striders results

P Name Cat Time Cat P Gen P
254 Elin Reeves FV40 2:14:53 12 77
255 Matt Broadhead V45 2:14:54 25 178
345 Gill Candlish FV35 2:41:19 15 134


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