This local half has been running for the past couple of years, and each year the reviews have been getting better, so I thought I’d give it a go !
The website described the route as:- an undulating town and country route, giving runners a view of the stunning surrounding countryside. The general census of opinion at the end from the Massey Runners was that undulating should definitely been re-worded as “bloody hilly”.
The race started at the racecourse, which meant there was plenty of room to mill around, queue for the toilets, drop your bag off and pick up the red technical t-shirts that they wanted us all to wear, the Massey runners all opted to wear their MFRC vests !!! (such rebels !!)
We queued for the start on the actual horse racing part, but luckily the start was just off the course so there was no running on grass. The start was a shock to the system as straight away you were running up steep parts of Warwick town centre, so your breathing certainly got going quickly.
Then you started following the “old” 2 castles route, out towards the Saxon Mill, and under the A46 towards Leek Wootton Police HQ, if you were doing the 2 castles you would have turned right towards Kenilworth, but we turned left and now found ourselves on the Kenilworth half-marathon route ! All the hills and memories of Kenilworth came flooding back, and I did have to tell myself off for already signing up for Kenilworth in September.
After the 7-8 mile mark, we started on the part of the route I’d never run before, there were still some hills, but the part through Hatton was lovely and downhill, and I knew Warwick was straight in front of me – BUT, as we’d only got to 10 miles there was a sharp right-hand turn, over the canal and back out into the countryside. One more killer incline at Budbrooke at 11 miles seemed to sap everyone’s energy, but luckily the final mile was very flat, over the A46 and you could see the racecourse in the distance. The final 0.1 was a struggle, but great cheering from the crowds kept me going.
We were given a very flimsy medal, water and then we found a table with some cereal bars on, so had a handful each ! collected our bags and then wandered slowly towards the exit.
I thought the organisation of the race was very good, the marshals were encouraging (and there were lots of them), there were 4 waterstations which were manned by very helpful volunteers and lots of bins to throw your bottles into – I would do it again, but only if they steamroll out a couple of the hills !!