18 Nov 2015 – Newark Festival of Running

It doesn’t feel good to have to give a negative review given the effort when people put on running events,   I have since found out the usually very good `How hard can it be events` put this on under their name for someone else.So the initial festival of running, I’d signed up for the Marathon distance but both 10k and Half Marathon were also there. Things didn’t start good in the week or so preceding knowing the course was a double loop how actually monotonous the course was I didn’t find out until the day.  The strangest thing of all was that at 5k we weren’t allowed to run due to an issue with the council, thus had a 200 metre strip every runner had to walk or face being disqualified! Yeah Running in a Marathon, who’d have thought it!

Race day and its very cold with the wind chill really crippling, very icy down near the River Trent where race HQ is and sadly no real cover from the elements, that I actually ran in my Striders jacket the first 7.5 miles tells you how much the cold bit in. The first of two sold out days of the Festival of running begins with the 10k setting off 15 mins late and the half/full 10 mins late, really very glad to get underway however the path markings start with a mix up just after the first mile. Just starting to warm up and then we get to the 5k section where we have to walk, was it some major junction or busy street? Not at all, something on par with perhaps Elmhurst Avenue or Oxford Drive, oh well I walked it, better carry on.

Once out of Newark centre we head around a few more offroad bits, the organisers has told everyone that Road Shoes would be fine, I’ve gone for trail shoes but to be honest given the course it would’ve easily been run better in X-Talons, some old boy has racing flats on! The Nature reserve is the best bit of the course, however a good dozen of the field have gone wrong somewhere due to poor signage, and it’s not great with you coming back on yourself a little too much. The offroad sections were ok but the course wasn’t great with many repeats and would have been better called the River Trent Marathon as we were along the towpaths almost constantly, got attacked by a Dog also-certainly not my day!

Head back towards Newark and 10.5 miles again were at that place and forced to walk 200m, so do I have to do this twice more running a Marathon? Absolutely preposterous!

I decide by this time forget the expense I’ve had enough, I call time at Half Marathon and had to signal like Maximus in Gladiator to say I’d finished the race/gone over the line with another minute spent writing down my time. I`m then given a rather awesome medal (which the company always do) and that’s it no word of thanks, no hot drink, no goodie bag which given the entry cost would’ve been nice. Y`know some things were out of the organisers hands and some were not a pretty awful event for many reasons, my worst experience ever of a running event.

So an easy 1:41 for my Half Marathon (Clocked at 1:42 due to organiser faffing) , 3rd place in the half Marathon, if I’d had carried on would easily have been a Marathon PB and on an offroad course was running well, and chatting away so gutted on one level but very happy about current form.  [Rob]