20 Nov 2016 – Clowne Half Marathon

Just north of Chesterfield the annual Clowne half Marathon, a very hilly and most often windy and cold half marathon with a ton of crippling hills, sorry not really selling it am I? Still a road half Marathon for just £18 and an absolute superb goodie bag might help get a few up to this next year.

Running my first road half marathon in two years and I’m absolutely full of cold, the weather driving up the M1 was enough for myself and fellow Strider John Hudson to keep mentioning warm fire and going home. I did Clowne probably four years ago it was bitterly cold and windy yet somehow I did my first sub 1:40hm, If I got anywhere near that today given how yucky I was feeling (I even packed a base layer and considered longs!).

Like many we didn’t leave the warmth of the leisure centre until the last minute to head to the start it was cold, very wet and windy all day, In the end I plump for shorts and vest, be quite rude not to. Getting underway I don’t feel too bad, although early progress is hampered by my shoelaces coming undone twice in the first two miles and playing catch up. My mile four I`m not feeling too bad and passing people throughout, the hills don’t worry me too much and I’m quite surprised when I clock mile five at 6:21. From 10k on I`m running with a guy from Matlock and one from Grantham a.c, pretty much egging each other on silently and we all seem to be making progress passing people as we go past 2nd lady at mile 9. Most of the course is nice rural lanes, there is one village you go through which utterly says `old mining town`, about mile 9 there is more pavement which isn’t great especially one section which is on a right camber.

There’s` a very unwelcome hill at mile 10 up to the church, I recall having done this previously a marshal saying “It’s all downhill from here” , it certainly is not, the fibber!

Legs start to welt at mile 11, although I continue to pass people up to the last mile and never get passed myself, hopefully that means I`m doing something right. Last hill into Clowne feels like a 15min mile and the last 400m feels never-ending, cross the line way ahead of what I’d have been happy with.

So the wet, cold, windy and hilly course may not appeal but under £20.00 for a road half including not just Banana, flapjack and water after but probably the best goodie bag I’ve ever seen at a road race! Hoodie, Tech T-shirt amongst a bag full of things.

Good result by John Hudson also, bit of a disappointment not many Leics club`s ventured over as have done in the past-It`s well worth a look. The biggest downside is the distance between the race car park, start/finish and the race village (changing rooms, bag store etc) logistics need improving there.  [Rob]