Headcorn Half Marathon Race Report

Whilst certain Harriers were competing internationally, and making history, two lone Harriers made the somewhat shorter trip to Headcorn for the 5th running of the Headcorn Half Marathon. I think a number of Harriers have completed this race before as several people commented that it was a good/nice race. For those of you who haven’t done it before the route is an out and back loop through the beautiful Kent countryside on quiet country roads.  There are a couple of small hills on the route but nothing too troubling.

I was concerned given the weather forecast as to how cold it was going to be, but my fears were unfounded and it was in fact perfect running conditions.  I opted for the Craig Chapman tried and tested formula of white T-shirt under deckchair which kept me at the perfect temperature.

My plan was to run a calculated race as I was testing out my pace for the Brighton Marathon.  This is unusual for me as I usually race on feel which means that I go out too fast and die at the end.  I was therefore really pleased that I was able to sustain the same pace throughout the race and even better achieve not only a PB by almost 4 minutes, but to run under 1:45 for the first time. Fellow Harrier John Baldock, who after running the Tunbridge Wells Half last week, took almost 5 minutes off his time at Headcorn. Detailed results below. There were 368 finishers.

My feelings about the race organisation are a little mixed.  On the plus side, it was a nice, small, low key affair.  The marshals were great. The route was flat so lots of PB potential. The countryside was stunning.  The toilets were posh portaloos with soap and hand lotion! On the minus side the pre-race administration was quite disorganised – there was only one person handing out pre-registered race numbers and with over 400 entrants and none being posted this meant for quite a lengthy queue.  You actually got your number quicker if you registered on the day! The start was delayed, but it was not announced by how much so anyone wanting to do a warm up had to do it round a very small field to ensure they didn’t miss the start and also meant a lot of runners were just hanging around getting cold.  The course isn’t UKA certified so it won’t come up on Power of 10/RunBritain if you’re bothered about that.  There was no official timing clock displayed at the finish.  Although the event was chip timed I do like to be able to see my official finish times as I cross the line. Having said all that I would still probably do it again in the future.

Pos Name Club Cat Gen Pos Cat Pos Chip Time
1 Niall Stewart Medway and Maidstone AC SM 1 1 1:12:27
7 Liz Weeks Sittingbourne Striders FV 1 1 1:24:23
25 John Baldock Tunbridge Wells Harrier SM 22 8 1:31:46
104 Sonja King Tunbridge Wells Harriers FV 14 4 1:44:43

 Sonja