Rugby Half Marathon 12.07.15

Following the “steady paced” run with Leon round the Northbrook 10k course last Wednesday night in training I felt justified in leaving the big WRRL fixture of the day behind to try something new. Of course I am not troubling the score sheet on the WRRL points table, but in our position of hosting the 1st event this year it felt a touch naughty going off piste. Until we got to the start line and saw a number of Northbrook vests! Aha that’s OK then, no need to feel bad about it!
The new event started and finished in 2 different places in Rugby town centre, which needed a Saturday recce to fetch the number and suss out the parking / logistics. Thundering down the A45 on the morning (THIS NEVER HAPPENS MIDWEEK !!), we discussed how by getting the number and race t-shirt the day before at least you got the size you wanted, & saved extra time on race day morning especially with the split start / finish.
The bonus of free parking was soon dampened when we had to take shelter under a tree near the start line as the rain offered a refreshing wake up call with 20 mins to go. The obligatory team photo was taken with our two supporters Anne-Marie and Emma, who already had one eye on the cake and coffee. I have heard supporting is difficult. I might try it one day!
The start was a bit of a shocker as the 1000 or so runners were all let off at the same time to then be walking 30 metres in as we all had to get through a small gate at the entrance of Caldecotte Park. A bit like grains of sand in an egg timer we squeezed through the pinch point and off we went through the town centre before turning off after less than a mile to go through the grounds of Rugby School.
Unlike William Webb Ellis, we stuck to the rules and used our feet to get us through the first few miles before the HILL over the M45 and up into Barby village at around 5 miles. The temperature changed again and the sunglasses came back out as you could see the town away to the left.
Turning through Kilsby and back on the home straight past halfway I could see that I was tracking for about a 2.03 / 2.04 finish, which on reflection was good for the conditions and hills. I don’t like hills or heat. I even convinced myself at this point that maybe the Northbrook 10k might have been easier!
A slightly irritating switchback followed as you went about 400m into Rugby Town FC’s grounds to a drink station and then back out, before emerging on the main Ashlawn Road back into the town. The marshals were pretty sparse around the course and those that were there at the drink stations seemed a touch overwhelmed. Crossing the road (that did have some traffic controls on) seemed slightly strange and most people were running on pavements, but with a lack of course marshals it had to be intuitive which way to go rather than being directed.
Mile 11-12 was a bit boring through some houses excepted for the random ladies giving out freeze pops “oh yes thanks” before you emerged at the Rugby & Northampton AC track to do one bouncy lap the wrong way round. At this point we all saw a few people in distress at the side of the road, which with the lack of marshals they seemed exposed. Hope the guys got back OK.
Last turn into the field and a woop woop from Anne-Marie and Emma and all done. I just couldn’t catch Cristina Semple who was away in the distance for the last few miles. The rain turned biblical while we cheered the other Massey Runners home & with no PBs reported we made a hasty power walk in soaking clothes to the pub to change and rehydrate. Typical of the changeable day, by the time we left the pub the sunglasses came out again!

Times below
Andy Cutting – 01:59:00
Cristina Semple – 02:01:56
David Goodwin – 02:02:33
Cathy Keay – 02:03:50
Rachel Brock – 02:06:29
Ruth Mahon – 02:08:33
Anita Sharma – 02:15:43
Natalie Deven – 02:15:43
Clare Weston – 02:17:15
Lee Hill – 02:21:12
Nicola Ellis – 02:31:24
Tiffannie Slatford – 02:35:47
Marie O’Connor – 02:38:27

Race report by Dave Goodwin