March 19th 2017
A very fast and flat course on closed roads, the Wilmslow Half Marathon attracts entrants from all over the UK and beyond. Despite being blustery at times and wet for lengthy parts, conditions were pretty good and with a runbritain difficulty rating of just 0.9 on the day, a number of our members managed to post best times for the distance. For a couple of us, it was opportunity to run the distance under race conditions for the first time (but most definitely not last, despite what might have been said after crossing the line!).
With such a large race (over 3,000 competing on the day) meeting up proved difficult and pre- and post-race photo opportunities were kept to a minimum. In fact so much so that I can’t find a single instance of one. So instead, here’s Richard Bullock’s video of an early part of the race:
The race was staffed with pacers running between 1:15 and 2:30 – bright yellow vests and signs held aloft for as long as the runners could manage. These proved useful for positioning before the start as the race doesn’t feature starting zones (despite a potential 5,000 runners taking part). It’s not uncommon to discover a number of very slow runners have parked themselves a few metres behind the elites, setting off at a shuffle as the gun is fired and forcing lots of dodging and pace stuttering for those more sensibly positioned behind. But wide, closed roads made for good running with little chance of bottlenecks beyond these first few minutes. After a brief trip North, the course took us away from Wilmslow towards Knutsford, looping through Mobberley and running a 2.5 mile section in both directions either side before a half mile stretch to the finish.
Support around the course was definitely good, one or two might have ceased applause upon reading our distinctive lettering, but at times the support for the vest was every bit as spectacular as seeing the planes take to the skies from nearby Manchester Airport. It’s always a pleasure to run in the black & green, but never more so than when people shout their support with genuine surprise – witnessing people reconsider their thinking in that moment is special stuff!
Most managed to meet up in Wilmslow’s Unico Lounge for a post-run chat and meal, and we have photographic evidence this time thanks to Jonna:
Well done to everyone who took part whether it was your first half; a race-day training run pre-Manchester, a rusty first race in a while, or an opportunity to claim a new PB.