Race report by Dave Phillips.
How things have changed over the years. There were a few thousand at Victoria Park lining up for today’s double event –a half and a full. Bit of a delay with the start but eventually we were off through Leicester on mainly closed roads heading out of town.
The pace was fast but with so many “halfers” on foot that was as per usual. Then at 6 miles the half went left and the “fullers” went right but what a shock. From being surrounded by hundreds of runners, at the turn off there were about 5 of us and a few behind. So the loneliness of the long distance runner became a reality again. I think only about 200 did the full whereas in the past when there was no half, more like 500+ did the full.
So we plodded on along now open roads (not too pleasant) and don’t let anyone tell you Leicestershire is flat. Well it might be but not on our course. Not severe hills but many slopes, uphill drags and long windy climbs all the time.
The scenery was delightful and the small villages we ran through were friendly. Add to this the superb marshals, drink stations and gels etc. made this a really superbly organised event.
Finally after 19 miles we were back at the split point where the halfers turned off and the last 7 were spectacular. We ran round the trails and paths following lakes, reservoirs, canals, rivers and never on the road. This carried on ‘till we were back in town and we ran right through all the major shopping precincts (all taped off for the runners) which was a unique experience and of course loads of support from the cafes, shops and pubs.
Finally the 25 mile mark but then it was all uphill through the university roads to the finish, which when I got there was very quiet except for Daniel Connolly waiting on his own to see me in. Thanks Dan.
The good thing about being towards the back was that there was a huge surplus of medals, t shirts, goodie bags, sweets, bananas, drinks, crisps, cakes etc. So we literally were told to take as many and as much of everything as we could handle. No problems there for Daniel and me.
Marie Connolly cried off but transferred her number to me so thanks a lot and of course I got her a t shirt along with my 3!
Daniel Connolly 5.45
Dave Phillips 6.09