Race Reports - May 2019

11/05/2019 - Dulux London Revolution Trails

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Race Report by Sarah Watson

I had a rather early wake up call to drive to Windsor Racecourse to drop the car at the finish and catch the shuttle to the start of the inaugural Threshold Dulux Revolution Trail Ultra. Coastie on Tour, or Trail as it actually was about to be!

This event overall has been running a few years but just with the cycling event so when I heard Threshold (who run the “Race to the” series) were throwing in a new event it was rather tempting after having to pull out of SDW50 in April. There were three distance options- half marathon, marathon and ultra in which I’d debated dropping down after work had gone crazy again recently but decided to go for it and give the ultra distance a bash with no real time in mind.

Seeing the finish area bizarrely really helped. The festival atmosphere even at 7am was there so I boarded the shuttle with 30 other crazy peeps headed to the start at Marlow Rugby Club.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare (maybe a bit too early as I was in start wave C) to see others gathering around and hearing music blasting out across the field.  Fortunately Threshold are pretty good at this stuff and had lots of energetic helpful volunteers ushering us to the start area where we could drop our bags, any drinks we wanted to be taken to the aid stations on route and get breakfast at an ever so tempting cafe gazebo.

I spotted plenty of “famous” faces from the world of instagram, runners I’ve followed for years but never met in real life until today! They were equally as apprehensive but excited about this new ultra chatting and laughing getting tea and sharing advice. It was a great atmosphere.

The first wave started at 8:30 - the walkers (marathon and ultra distance) followed by the competitive wave at 9:15 (and believe me there was a guy who was doing this as a short training run ahead of starting a challenge running the length of Ireland the weekend after) and then the “non-competitive” wave C crew at 9:30!

Off we headed out of beautiful Marlow and out towards the Chilterns in glorious sunshine. Before long we were out in the countryside in woodlands still with beautiful bluebells in bloom and the sheep for company.

The first aid station soon arrived where there was a buffet of goodies and “bar” of drinks. Here was where the ultra folks would head off on an extra “loop” and the marathoners would head towards the finish (ok so over 20 miles away of course).

This loop was where it then went mega hilly and muddy!

And it was here my lungs didn’t want to play so I decided to take it easy (and had to make good use of my asthma meds big time) just as the weather closed in and we all got nice and soggy again. I started to Catch up with a bunch of the walkers (one amazing lady was doing this as a warm up for London to Brighton ultra two weeks later aged 75) and then I managed to lose the red arrow direction signs and go off course with a couple of other ladies before re-catching the sprightly 75yr old who thought she was losing the plot when we passed her again!

Somehow I then managed to go wrong again on my own before finding my way back to the aid station and stocked up with crisps and flat Coke to perk me up for another crazy hilly section.

After that we experienced some amazing scenery across fields, some crazy cambers and slopes, avoiding sheep poo but back to beautiful sunshine again heading out towards Taplow. I really enjoyed this next section, well, until I literally hit the deck - yes flat river path and I managed to trip at mile 17 over a small rock landing on my knees and rolling over on my shoulder cutting them on the stones and getting some fun nettle stings.

Had a few moments getting annoyed with myself (maybe a few f*#@ words!) and pulled myself together bleeding to aid station 3 where the excited medics (they’d had very few peeps to see to attend to!) cleaned me up, iced my hands and knees while I devoured watermelon!

The next leg I found really hard. My right knee was really swollen and my left was sore and kept bleeding so I was really happy when the next aid station arrived and I could top up my water bottles and have some paracetamol.

Before I knew it I was in Maidenhead where the locks and houses along the river are mahusive and I’ve run when I’ve been away there for work. People walking along the river were cheering us on and the signs were showing the kilometres were getting lower (15km to go!) and I was steadily catching and over taking more and more of the walk crew.

Now I was just craving coffee and the sight of the finish but to torment us we could hear the announcement of finishers and then see the cyclists and runners across the river with 3 miles still to go. (The cyclists can do up to a maximum of 300km over one long day or over a weekend!) Oh how I craved my bike!

Soon enough we were at the racecourse with stewards helping guide us to the beautiful multicoloured flags lining the finish. As I crossed the line I could hear someone shouting my name to be greeted by a smiling Kelly Noble who had done the half trail and gave me a big squeeze (thanks Kelly!!) before I headed to find my bag some snacks and my car for the long drive home!

Awesome event- pretty bling and T-shirt and definitely a good test ready for some crazy events in the summer.

Thanks Threshold for another great event to add to the series!

27/05/2019 - Vitality 10,000

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Race Report by Dave and Ros Davidge

Well where to start what a fantastic day, after the hour drive to Sidcup and train to Charing Cross it was a short walk to St. James’s park to meet the other Coasties.

Baggage drop was mental but lucky Kelly Murphy took mine, then it wasn’t long before the waves started and up first was men’s captain Darren followed closely by Frazer Marsh and Mathew Sayer. Myself, Ros, Ann-Marie and Maggie next set off from the Mall to hit the streets of London through Admiralty Arch and on to Trafalgar Square.

It wasn’t long before we were treated by some great bands on the corners and the crowds were awesome but the landmarks and sites were what made it a fantastic event. The finish line outside Buckingham palace was the icing on the cake, but to find Jessica Enis at the finish line was truly great.

Once we had been round the finish pen and medal and technical t-shirt finish, it was down to the finish straight to find Kelly and cheer on the rest of the Coasties, Kerry, Kate, Jenny, Mark, Becca , Lisa ,Lisa and Mollie. This was a truly a great day and worth the effort to get there I’d deffo do it again.

12/05/2019 - Gatwick Half Marathon

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Race Report by Frazer Marsh

The Race is in its 2nd year and is sponsored and organised by British Airways. It starts and finishes in Southgate Park in Crawley and more importantly it's a closed road race (no traffic) yuuusss..! Upon our arrival at 7:30am straight away I felt a great vibe about the day, it was sunny with a slight chill that soon passed by.

Just after 8am and the warm sun started to heat up nicely..! In the centre of the park was the main tent which was a big dome type affair with BA STAFF handing out big clappy sponge hands and jelly beans and banners and also loads of goodies for the kids and adults alike.

The remainder of the park had plenty of stalls and stands for food drinks and various running merchandise for us shopaholics. On running had a large stand selling trainers etc, loads of future event stalls.. not forgetting Toilets (loads of em). It also had a main stage with live bands throughout the day and also celebs such as Colin Jackson, Helen Skelton, and the current female 100mtr British champion Dina Asher-Smith, they got all the races underway.. The half marathon, 5k and family race..

Anyway, you can wake up now, because this bits about the course.. 😂 Bang and we’re off - 9am start, the course rolls through the outskirts of Crawley Town along the dual carriageway heading towards Gatwick airport, which is well supported along this part of the course. It takes you through part of the parking zones of Gatwick and out along the country road parallel to the runway.

The course rolls through some beautiful country side round the back of the airport to which 5 and a half miles in takes you under one of the worlds busiest flight paths.. it’s a must see.. no runs give you this.. you can almost see the whites of the pilots eyes..! 👀 it’s mad..!

There is one hill on the whole course which is at mile 9ish, half way up it leans to the left slightly and once at the top it’s time to open the legs up for the run down. The course then starts to loop back into town with just about a park run to do and your back in civilisation and running through the town.

The town came out and really support, bands, large female choir and loads of supporters for a good 3 and a half miles, after finally completing the full loop you're almost at the finish back at the park.. DONE.

All in all, this is probably one of best half Marathon events I’ve done. It won loads of awards last year on its debut.. free Tech T-shirt, drink, food at the finish, plus a great bit of BLING 🏅I cant recommend this course enough..! I hope that this review had been informative and useful for those thinking of giving it a go.. trust me you won’t regret it..! All the best and safe running, Frazer x

11/05/2019 - Bewl Water Half Marathon

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Race Report by Steve Gambrell

There were 4 distances to choose from. 10k, ½ marathon, Full Marathon and an Ultra.

Bewl is a very well organised event set in one of the beautiful parts of the South East and is organised by Centurion Running. The run follows the path around Bewl Water reservoir neat Lamberhurst. It is predominately a trail run with a very small section of the course on quiet roads.

The first 9k are relatively flat but then kicks up with over 200 meters of elevation over the half marathon distance, which is 1 loop of the reservoir. Whilst it is a trail run most of the paths seemed quite dry, with just a few small puddles, in places so I decided to run in road shoes.

The track is quite tight and twisty for the first half of the run. So probably not the best course for anyone looking for a fast time. It's more of a plod round and take in the stunning views.

The first 11k was fairly uneventful…. But then came the rain. This very quickly turned the track into a muddy skating rink making it particularly difficult on some of the downhill section. So I would probably recommend trail shoes, even in dry weather.

This is the second time I have run this event and it is probably one of my favourite venues. There is a nice visitors centre where hot drinks and food is available.