“What a day that was! The multi-terrain coastal half and lovely flat 5k course proved a real success with runners who came from all over the country.
The tee shirts, medals and 99 ice cream proved a real hit, with a superb finish on Cleethorpes sea front.”
I’ll be honest with you, I’m still not entirely convinced this was the race I meant to enter when I saw it last year, which sold out before I could enter, but hey ho, I went, I did it, and here’s my musings..
I always forget what a mahoosive county Lincolnshire is! From Deeping it took about 1 hour 45 minutes to get there, but a very scenic route once you get past the Boston area. Easy to navigate into Cleethorpes too to reach the car parks.
Race HQ and parking
The plentiful emails and information provided by tape2tape gave lists of numerous car parks in the area. I parked a short walk from the start at the leisure centre, and about ½ from the finish. £5 for over 4 hours, as I had got there at around 8;30 for a 10:00 start. I didn’t hear anyone grumbling about parking so assumed it was plentiful and fairly close. A coach load arrived from another running club too, so a possible future club champs? Just a thought…
I have to admit that I have nothing but good experiences at tape2tape races, and this was no exception. Numbers had been posted out a few weeks before, literally a number in an envelope, but emails were aplenty and the website was very informative. The leisure centre provided changing facilities and toilets if required, and there were plenty of portaloos on the promenade.
There was also a secure baggage area in a gazebo that was supervised throughout the race. This was very close to the finish.
The course is flat, and starts out with a mile heading out of Cleethorpes in a southerly direction for a mile or so, then into a holiday park for another mile or so, Plenty of support from holiday makers here, but that may have been because they couldn’t get out even if they wanted to as the roads were closed! They were an enthusiastic captive audience though. There was a short track area, then out onto the roads, again flat and failry straight, up to about mile 8. We then went off road again along a track up towards the coast, and turned to run along a bank on the edge of a nature reserve, with amazing views of the sea, This went on for a couple of miles, with a very strong side wind (would have been fun with a head wind-very exposed) The track part was single file pretty much, but with grassy bits where you could overtake or where those who walked moved to one side. At 10 miles, we turned into another holiday/travellers park, where again there was great support, before heading up a little bit of a sand dune and turning onto a tarmac path for a couple of miles back to Cleethorpes.
There were 4 water stations and a jelly baby station. The course was very well marshalled with enthusiastic and encouraging volunteers along the way. There were also cyclists checking on us biking backwards and forwards with words of encouragement too, and ambulance bikes too. There were also pacers out in full force, and I tagged along for a bit on the 2:30’s to practice for the GER, and they were spot on at half way.
The last half a mile is run along the promenade to the finish. The race is chip timed, and when you cross the line, the all-important voucher for your 99 ice cream is handed out, plus a medal and a t-shirt too, orange this time. They even made sure that they had vouchers for different ice cream stalls so you didn’t even have to queue for that.
We were again lucky with the weather, apart from the wind, but I can imagine with a different wind direction and some rain, the multi terrain aspect may have been challenging for some
It’s always good to try somewhere different, and I certainly didn’t regret doing this one. It’s also interesting running “Oop North”, I don’t know about anyone else, but hearing people encouraging and pep talking their companions in a broad northern accent is a good motivator in its own right!! Now you know I’m not a lover of flat courses, but this was a corker, I think I was grinning most of the way round I enjoyed that much! Will definitely give it another bash sometime.