Race Report: Oundle 20m


During marathon training, a 20m race can help break up the monotony of those long runs and on 4 previous occasions I have made the short journey to Lydd. Lydd is a very well organised race but being straight out & back, flat as pancake and exposed to coastal gusts I wasn’t sure I could face it again. So my attention was drawn to another Nice Work 20 miler in the historic market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire which was advertised as a single lap course on gently undulating and quiet country lanes taking in the villages of Fotheringay, Nassington, Yarwell & King’s Cliffe.

The course didn’t disappoint and was significantly more interesting than Lydd! That said, weather was very wet although we were spared the coastal gusts often experienced in Lydd. Race HQ was set up at Oundle Primary School although unfortunately there was no access inside. Runners were therefore forced to shelter in bike racks and under the sole gazebo pre-race. This also meant that some runners returned to very wet bags.

As this was a training run, I wasn’t too bothered about my time although I did manage an age group PB. During the run, I incorporated some marathon paced efforts and fast miles mid-course to help break up the distance and was feeling strong towards the end which hopefully bodes well for Manchester in 5 weeks’ time.

A few people recognised the deckchair on course, and it was nice to see many club colours other than the usual South-East suspects. Results as follows:

1st Male 01:57:33 James Fisher Long Eaton Running Club
1st Female 02:09:03 Claire Frankland West End Runners
137 02:46:46 Colin Ricketts Tunbridge Wells Harriers

There were 382 finishers. There was also a 5k (33 finishers) & 10k (92finishers) taking place.

Despite the 240-mile round trip, I would do it again as the run was very enjoyable despite the weather. Louise and I went up on Saturday and stayed overnight in the Talbot Hotel which is a very nice 16th Century Coaching Inn less than a mile from the race start area. Word of warning – just don’t expect there to be too much to do in Oundle itself. One shopkeeper bemoaned being ‘rushed off her feet’ with 3 people in the shop!