GY Half This was my first time running the Great Yarmouth Half Marathon. It was a very well organised event with good facilities available at the Ormiston Venture Academy school prior to the start of the race – lots of room in the sports hall, food available in the canteen and toilets available within the school. With the race taking place in mid-August the temperature was warm as expected, what was less expected was the strong winds which made the conditions very challenging for running! Six Jaguars took part with everyone achieving great times in the conditions and Emma Penfold completing her first half marathon. The race was very well marshalled with a nice section running past Somerleyton Hall and it is certainly a race I would like to do again in the future.
RN19 – race report
It was the fifth year of RN19 and its grown again, 7500 spaces up for grabs this year and they sold out fast.
On the morning of 21st July the sun was shining on Chapelfield gardens, by 8.45 the gardens were packed full of runners and our gazebo stood out like an orange beacon, giving us a brilliant meeting place amongst the crowds. The gardens were buzzing, some excited, some nervous, with the occasional whiff of deep heat permeating the air.
After, as many Jags as possible, had gathered for the group photo. It was time to head off to the start pens, the toilet queues were long, but then that’s to be expected in a race of this size and allowing some time to wait in queue, but sharing some banter with those around you, keeping an eye out for friends in the crowds, soon helped the time pass quickly.
I was in blue start and true to Run Norwich organisation, the race was underway on time, moving 6200 runners through a start line cannot be an easy task, but the organisers have ensured the start went smoothly and soon we were underway.
Prepared for a very hot run, it was pleasantly cool and breezy at half nine in the morning. After the climb towards Chapelfield gardens, it is mainly flat or downhill as you make your way onto Carrow Road. The first few kilometres sailed by, with lots of support from the crowds and Jag crews along the way. The choir singing ‘I’m still standing’ at Riverside put a smile on my face as did many of the signs and excellent marshals along the way.
The first main challenge of the race is Rose lane, yes it is steep, but not too long and once over and around the top, you can enjoy a nice downhill to recover from the climb. By now though, it was getting very warm and a few runners were starting to walk or ease off the pace.
A good flat stretch is then had, between Prince of Wales road and around the cathedral. Between kilometres 8 & 9 its tough, you are nearly there, but you turn off away from the direction of the finish, and can see runners the other side of the road, they would be a kilometre ahead of you.
They are climbing up through Tombland, and I think, that section is harder than Rose Lane, you are tired, very hot by then, and it is time to dig in and get that last kilometre done, (giving Gaynor’s son a high five at kilometre 9, if you can get near him as he had a queue of people waiting to high five him when I was there!).
Turning the corner towards Castle Meadow, was the biggest shout out from the jag support crew, it was perfect and very much needed!
Home stretch now, right turn at Debenhams (I apologise to anyone running near me, but I swore loudly, as I had forgotten about that last hill). One final climb and a sprint to the finish if your legs can handle it!
What an event, it was well organised – I hear some people were left without a goody bag, but they are being sorted, brilliantly supported and everywhere you looked there was a member of the Coltishall Jags. My first Run Norwich as a Jag and will definitely not be my last