Run Northumberland Castles Half Marathon and Marathon Report 2017
By Richard Slack
One of the Run Northumberland series saw a few Sky Blues converge on Bamburgh on a blustery and cool Autumn Sunday morning. Registration was at the cricket pavilion between 8am to 9am for a 9.15am start (marathon) and 9.30am start (half marathon). The cricket pitch is directly in front of Bamburgh Castle; a fantastic setting for the race HQ and finish area. On the way to registration (for the half marathon I hasten to add) I met Nina who had registered for the two lap marathon (of course!), being twice round the half marathon course. The mental strength that must be needed at the half way point on the marathon must be considerable as after 13 miles those fortunate to be doing the half turn right into Bamburgh village and downhill to the cricket ground and the finish line (joyous). The poor people doing the marathon route, seeing the finish, turn left at that junction and run a second lap of 13 miles. Maybe a marathon one day for me (haha) but certainly not today.
So Nina flew the Claremont flag on the marathon and myself, Marie and Mungai similarly for the half marathon. Each race started up by the Castle with fantastic views out to sea although in a strongish wind – but no sign of rain. Indeed as the morning wore on, the sky turned blue (pun intended) with pleasant sunny spells. After the the start, we enjoyed a downhill into the village before gannin ‘ along the Lucker road (not quite the same as the Scotswood Road) and away into rural north Northumberland. The full route was along minor roads and was well marshalled throughout with drinks every three miles. As most of the roads were well enclosed by hedges we had good shelter from the wind and the miles ticked by. Miles 8 and 9 were more of a test into the wind (that also being miles 21 and 22 on the two lapper!). Although not a vast entry (maybe around 500 in total) there was always runners round and about you. Effectively the route was a large triangle being 5 miles south, three miles east towards the sea (with marvellous views of there Farnes) and then five miles north back towards Bamburgh and the welcoming site of the castle. As with many rural runs it was gently undulating throughout, with no horror uphills and some welcoming long downhills especially welcome between mile 11 and 12.
A grand morning out.
4:23:57 Nina Jensen 3rd F40
1:35:42 Mungai Wairia 1st M60
1:49:31 Richard Slack
2:14:59 Marie Slack