Hi all, me again!
Looking for a fast, flat half marathon that fit with my training plan and diary was proving difficult this year. After much searching I settled on the Lee Valley Run Fest half marathon at the white water centre near Waltham Abbey, my only reservation being the mention of an off road section.
Race HQ was well organised and was laid out such that people were encouraged to use all of the available “facilities”. There was a 10k race as well that set off 15 minutes ahead of us. Despite an eager crowd on the start line, the organisers wouldn’t let us start a second before 11 o’clock, saying that they’d calculated that the 15 minute gap between 10k and HM was optimal. From what I could tell, they weren’t wrong!
The course was 2 laps around the paths of the park. It was twisty and narrow in places which I imagine caused congestion for some, particularly as it was a nice day so there were lots of cyclist and walkers around as well! It was rather more “off-road” than I had pictured, with most of the course being stone chip not unlike Malling parkrun. The “off road” section was arguably the most pleasant as we ran on a nice smooth path across a field! The route was mostly flat, aside from a few inclines and bridges across the water, and quite scenic. I’m not sure it had as much PB potential as I’d hoped, but it was a nice race in a cool setting and I would do it again, perhaps in different shoes.
First man was Steve Norris of Watford Joggers in 1:16:45 and first lady was Jennifer Armson of Queens Park Harriers in 1:25:41
I finished in 1:38:33, 11th lady. There were 688 finishers (and 551 in the 10k).
As far as I can tell there weren’t any other Harriers there.