Sunday April 7th, 2019
First staged in 1985 by Duke Street Running Club, this race was originally based in the centre of Norwich - hence its name. Then in 1993 it moved to the Norfolk Showground on the western outskirts of the city and it's been there ever since.
As the race is now based at the Norfolk Showground there is plenty of free parking. Once parked up there was a bit of a walk around the showground to the main start/finish area. Being at the showground though the good news is that there are plenty of toilets around. There was also a very good bag drop and even better changing and shower facilities once finished.
The race starts and finishes near the Arena inside the showground. It’s a single lap which takes you through the parishes of Easton, Honingham, Colton, Barnham Broom, Marlingford and close to Easton College. The first half of the course is pretty flat. The second half though has a couple of uphill sections to get through but is not too bad, mile 11 was tough as on tired legs by that point. It didn’t start till 10:30 though, which for me is quite late I prefer to get up and out as early as possible.
Lots of people take part in this one, it’s very popular and means that the first few miles can get quite congested, especially some of the narrower country lanes. It was also absolutely pouring down with rain and a lot people were trying to avoid the very large puddles that had formed making it difficult to get past at times.
Once back into the showground, it’s not straight to the finish and you do have to do a couple of loops around the grounds before finally coming just past the arena again and over the finish line. The finish is very well organised with finishers being funnelled through one of the span buildings; medal collected, t-shirt collection (this is an extra cost to the entry fee), small goody bag, banana and water. As it had been so wet, I was very pleased with the fact that they had hot working showers available. There were also quite a number of food and drink stands around so could get a hot drink.
Almost straight away after I crossed the finish line I had received a text from the race organisers with my official result which was a nice touch. There were photographers on route and the low resolution copies of these are free, makes a change as they normally charge quite a bit for photos.
Not so good Points
Having done this course a couple of years ago as part of the Club Champs I knew what I had let myself in for, although the weather was a lot different on that day!! It’s pretty well organised and quite an enjoyable race. I’ll probably do it again.