Barns Green Half Marathon: 30 October 2005
If you like some nice tough hills, a bit of off-road (about 0.5 mile) and running in beautiful autumn countryside on traffic-free roads and lanes, then this race is for you. Even better, it starts at 11am on the day the clocks go back, so you get plenty of time in bed. Of course Channel 4 fans will already be aware of the charms of the course, having seen an in-depth study of part of the race route (Christ's Hospital) every Friday evening at 9.30.
Don't expect a PB on this race: apart from the hills, the start area is very crowded, and most runners will take over a minute to reach the start line.
The start of last year's race was delayed because of the chaos of parking and traffic caused by a large jump in participants. As a result the organisers have made some changes, and this year the traffic and parking went very smoothly.
Unfortunately I felt a sharp pain in my R achilles bang on the 5 mile marker. I continued running for a short while, but it was obvious that I couldn't finish the race and I had to pull out, the first time I've ever had to do so during a race. Full marks to the St John ambulance service for their help.
Despite this problem, I still enjoyed the race. There was enough time to have a shower before meeting other Serpies at the finish, and the cakes are excellent, as is the village pub, the Queen's Head.
Report by Neil Hall
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