Geth and I hadn’t done any races put on by the North East Marathon Club before, but having heard good things about the Town Moor Half Marathon, we decided to give it a go this year – even though it did mean (a) running a half marathon the night after a gig and (b) stretching our race season into November, which is when we’re usually curled up at home for our winter running slump!
The North East Marathon Club’s aim is to put on affordable marathons for people in the north-east of England. Most of their events are lapped courses, so you can choose what distance you do – the Town Moor Marathon is seven laps of the Town Moor, and if you choose to do the half, you do a special half distance lap first before doing three laps of the main course.
I’m glad I did it for the experience, but boy, doing a lapped half marathon is tough. You have to run past the finish funnel three times before finally being able to run into it on the fourth occasion, and every time you pass it, your legs beg you to call it a day and your brain screams ‘do we really have to run that full lap AGAIN?’ I was better trained for this one than I was for the Great North Run, and I did end up running it about three minutes faster (so I got a PB, somehow!) but it felt much, much harder.
Also, that gravel. It hurts your feet and gets in the way when you’re running a 5k parkrun. It hurts much, much worse when you’re ten miles into a half marathon.
Great goodie bag though. Gloves instead of a t-shirt! Gorgeous medal! And I really, really needed that chocolate bar. Good stuff.