On Saturday 17th August I ran the Brechfa Trail Half Marathon, just a few miles from us in Wales. It is the first event I have run that even comes close to ‘The Eridge 10’. 100% off road, steep uphill and downhill sections, fabulous scenery. 458m of ascent over 10 miles (Eridge) average 45.8m per mile. 705m over 13.1 miles (Brechfa) average 53.8m per mile. The weather was fabulous; warm and sunny. The winning man finished in 1:32 and the winning woman in 1:40. I finished 99th out of 186 in 2:17:56, 2nd M60. Quite slow for a half, but considering the terrain, I was very pleased with my time.
Unfortunately, a couple of ‘downers’ though:
1. Organised by ‘Tough Runner’, being a commercial company one can understand that the entry fee was a bit on the high side (£32 including fees) but to then charge you £5 to park in a field half a mile from the start!
2. Having parked and walked and asking where the bag drop was, only to be told that there wasn’t one! Fortunately, Penny was with me and able to provide ‘bag duties’.
3. Insufficient number and poorly placed toilets, twos threes and fours in different positions meaning that queues were going everywhere.
Despite the glitzy presentation, this company should pay more attention to the needs of runners; possibly by contacting a club who lay on superb races for advice. Who could I possibly be thinking of?
Back to the event. If there is a criticism it is that possibly a little too much was on forest tracks; a bit more on narrow, technical paths would have made it even better, although the final mile was downhill on a track making for a fast finish. There was definitely no bog!
Overall a great race. If you love ‘Eridge’, you’ll love this.
We can even lay on accommodation for next year!