Blanchland Show Half-Marathon & 10k, 28th August 2023

A report by Maria Dueñas from deep in rural Northumberland:

“On the Summer Bank Holiday Monday, four of us decided to venture to Blanchland for a trail half marathon. The Blanchland Show Half and 10K is a trail race that takes you “into the heart of the glorious landscapes, nature and heritage that we have here in the North East of England.”

The race begins at centre stage in the main show ring with a steep climb for the first 3 km, followed by a stretch through some moors and Slaley Forest (including another steep and muddy climb at kilometre 14), before a steep descent back to Blanchland. While the race was advertised as a 10 km and a half marathon, in reality, the race distance turned out to be close to 12 km and 23 km, respectively. We were given a warning about this during the briefing, so it didn’t catch us by surprise!

Originally, the four of us were registered for the half marathon. However, Izzy wasn’t feeling her best and decided to switch to the 10 km before the race (kudos to you Izzy, for even attempting the race while not feeling well!). Sarah missed the turning point for the half marathon (somehow, see the sign below…) and ended up running the 10 km route, finishing first among the ladies. Well done, Sarah!

Kimberley and I ran together until the steep downhill, where she surged ahead; I need to improve my downhill running, as I slow down more than necessary due to a fear of falling. I managed to keep her in sight for the rest of the race.

We ultimately secured the third and fourth positions among the female runners, although I believe the first woman should be disqualified as she was aided by her canine teammate throughout the entire race (since when did this become canicross?).

I thoroughly enjoyed the race. It felt more like a fell race rather than a traditional trail run, and I enjoyed the diverse landscape and terrain. This run carried a bittersweet note for me, as I’m aware that this is the last time, at least in the foreseeable future, that I’ll have the opportunity to run in this type of trail.

A big shout-out to Laurie for coming to spectate and capturing photos with his fancy camera!”

14Kimberley Metson (3rd Female)2:01:56
17Maria Dueñas2:04:12
7Sarah Kerr (1st Female)1:03:04
18Izzy Neatrour1:12:10
Laurie Johnson -