An early rise for this one traveling down for a 9am start wasn’t the best beginning to a Sunday race day and it was a bit fresh in the race village before hand also. However looking at the weather forecast for later in the morning it was always going to be vest and shorts unlike some that were proper layered up!
The race village had a great pre race atmosphere with all the facilities and stalls you could expect for this 3000+ mainly road race. Just the 3 Red and whites doing this one and it was nice to link up with Dave and Lee before the race. The race itself took in a lot of the sights of central Cheltenham including the college campuses, football ground, pump rooms and the scenic views looking up into the surrounding hills. The hard part for me was the horse racing course on mile 9. This went on for 3 miles and had some leg sapping hills, one which brought back memories / nightmares of the Kenilworth 10k ! There were several musical bands dotted round the race course and a set of pipers on the 12 mile mark playing you out the main gates for the final mile which helped a little. The 500 yard finish stretch was amazingly well supported with spectators packed on both sides of the road clapping you home. It was a real pleasure to see my family and some friends who live local at the finish line and also very rewarding to see on my watch a PB of 1:40:08 , taking 4 minutes off my Coventry half time in March. Overall a really nice course run on a summer like day. Hope to give it a go again next year.
race report by Dave James