Race Report – Rutland Spring Half Marathon – 14/04/2019
By Andy Keir
Picturesque but challenging half marathon.
The race was well organised with parking a short pre-warm up walk away from the main area. The number collection, bag drop, toilets and coral area were all close together so I was not worried about being in the wrong place.
The weather was quite fresh but dry. I tried to keep my tracksuit on for as long as possible. It was just a little cold between shedding tracksuit and starting.
There was a modest Werrington Joggers turnout – 3 people who were down as Werrington Joggers on the results.
The race was chip timed and set off by estimated finish time but not staggered, which seemed to work well. The hold before the start always seems like a long time but I don’t think it was longer than necessary.
We started at Barnsdale, Rutland water, setting off towards Oakham along the
North shore of Rutland water. I started steadily due to the cold and the steep uphill and downhill as I did not want to pull anything. They did stop traffic here, which made it easier.
At the site exit we turned left towards the lake and followed the road to the bottom of the
Hill and onto the rougher paths. Turning
right we ran on well-worn paths through farm land adjacent to Barnsdale hall.
After approximately one mile, the path to Oakham was undulating but good with Burley on the right and Rutland Water on the left.
Just before three miles we turned left towards Hambleton and the peninsular. After a couple of miles there is another uphill section. Half way up the hill we turned left onto the cycle path. This bit was a bit rougher or more interesting depending on your inclination. The next four miles were a single track around Hambleton peninsula. There was farmland on the right and the wetlands to the left with the best views on the course. The first mile of this section was the most technical and changeable section anywhere on the route. After mile six the it flattened and opened up.
After the peninsular we emerged back on the Hambleton road. I had to stop here for traffic and I’m sure many other runners did as well. However this was the only road crossing on the course. After turning left back towards the A606 and Oakham, we followed our tracks back towards the main road before turning right back to Barnsdale. This lead along the familiar footpath, ending with a tougher slightly hillier section entering Barnsdale.
The 804 ft elevation demands respect both on the way up and the way down. Every cattle grid was either boarded to run over or blocked off if you had to run around it, which I am quite sure saved a few broken ankles. There were 5 feeding stations so you were never very far from the next one.
I always find the inflatable arch quite satisfying to run under and the announcer reading everyone’s name out. At the end was a medal, technical tee shirt, cake, bananas, sports massage and bag pickup.
Overall it was an enjoyable and well organised local half marathon.