I had originally planned to do the Sunderland half but when my wife suggested a bank holiday weekend in the Lakes I was very glad to have found this race as an alternative. Even better we were able to do it together as we arranged babysitters for the weekend!
I thought I would be the only runner in a Claremont vest until I met Luke Woodend at the start which was a nice surprise. There was great representation from the North East with 18 from Blackhill Bounders amongst many others. Harry Coates from Wallsend Harriers came in first with an outstanding time of 01:14:17 more than two minutes ahead of the field and not far off the course record.
It is billed as a ‘challenging’ course and it did not disappoint in that respect. I had been suffering with an achilles injury for a few weeks and thought I could use the excuse of a hilly route as an explanation of a time some way off my PB! The first 8 miles were very undulating with a few serious 15%-20% climbs. Fortunately they were short and sharp and what goes up must come down – miles 5 & 8 were pretty much downhill all the way. The last 5 miles were a mostly flat run in by the lake and we managed run the second half 4 minutes faster that the first.
I had read a few mixed reports about the marshalling but honestly could not fault the organisation on the day. The race had a very friendly and relaxed feel and the local support was fantastic. If I had to pick one gripe it would be the start time – 11.30am is a bit late for my liking.
In short this is a very friendly, no frills & challenging race with the most unbelievable scenery (Just don’t forget to do plenty of hill training!) I would strongly recommend it and hope to return next year.
If you fancy having a look at the route and profile I have recorded it on GPS here: http://www.strava.com/activities/137836427