Well that was a tough course. Starting at the Robert Smyth Academy in the Centre of Market Harborough the route took us out and around through a housing estate before being greeted by thousands of onlookers lining the town centre. The Half Marathon had started 5 minutes after the 10k race, and I managed to catch Leona up running through the town. As we left the town centre the hill started, and it seemed to continue all the way until the end of the course. Climbing up out Market Harborough towards Great Bowden, here we waved goodbye to the 10k runners, and bared right up the lanes to Welham, this section felt very long, the view of high hedges did not change for mile after mile, with a gradual climb until just outside of Welham, here I was hoping that it was going to be downhill but it was short lived – now with a head wind, the course still appeared to be gaining height.
Running along the roads again the view which I had hoped to be pleasant still was just high hedges. On returning back into Great Bowden it was now not far to go, but twinges of cramp had started, those that had come alongside me and joined me and helped me for the last previous couple of miles were now off in the distance, and there was rumours of a killer hill to come. At about 12 miles the hill arrived, it was steep and went on and on and on and then for a bit more, the brow was a welcome sight, as I thought I was home and dry – cramp in both legs started as I tried to run downhill, stopping me on numerous occasions, entering Symingtons Recreation Ground to the finish could not come soon enough, with just a lap of the field to go I managed to finish 2hour 20 minutes.
The field was full of people all enjoying the carnival, I received my medal, and then Leona took me to pick up my t-shirt and received a much need massage.
A lovely town, which we will visit again. A well organised race with loads of cheering marshals and water stations, not a great deal of people out cheering apart from the town centre, but then it is very remote in places. A light confusion for everyone with the pen system they used. Not a course I will be returning to as I did not enjoy it.