Castles Half Marathon, Bamburgh Castle, Friday, September 25, 2015

Penny Browell

Bringing home the Bling. Another Sunday, another half marathon starting in a castle. Seems to be becoming a habit for me. This one was on the East coast and very beautiful the setting was too starting in Bamburgh Castle and with a very relaxed atmosphere. It is one of the Run Nation series – I’ve only done one of their races before and both this and the previous one were beautiful routes and very friendly but just a touch chaotic.

There was a good splash of purple for the half marathon and a lone purple vest for the marathon which was scheduled to start half an hour before the half. Due to various mishaps with the chip mats the marathon actually started about half an hour late and the half sometime after that. Elaine and I were shivering as we waited but finally we were off. Unlike my last half I had no particular goal for this race and just wanted to enjoy it which is exactly what I did. All on road it’s not a difficult race although there were a few climbs and descents to keep it interesting. I spent a good part of the race running alongside two men and chatted to them for a while – it was all very relaxed.

After winding through the villages the route turned back towards Bamburgh and we were greeted by a fabulous view of the sea and the castle. The final mile or so was an easy descent into the village, running past the pubs and teahouses where there were plenty of people cheering us in. The race finished in a field below the castle and in contrast to my previous half I was able to enjoy crossing the line without the stress of needing to get a specific time. Ironically, despite my different attitude my times were within 10 seconds of each other.

Elaine was just behind me and we were both proud to bring home prizes for the club (second and third lady). We also had time for a visit to a lovely tea-house with great carrot cake. All in all, a lovely morning out and one well worth remembering for the future.

I see half a castle - that must be where the race gets its name.

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