The second Nicholson’s (https://www.nicholsonslaw.com/) Lowestoft Half Marathon took place on Sunday 1st October, in what can only be described as ‘tricky’ conditions. Eight jags took off from the most easterly point in England, Ness Point to cover 13.1 miles as fast they could.
The course is two laps, starting with what on a sunny Sunday would be a gorgeous stroll along the seafront before turning up Links Road, which comes as a shock front the dead flat sea wall to what is a rather impressive hill. The course continues out to Corton, making the first 5km turn at The Corton Inn (https://www.thecortoninn.co.uk/) which is where the wind really started to bite. By the time you are running back down Links Road which should be a relief the wind had definitely decided it was going to make its presence felt.
The rain had also set in by this point, although was actually quite refreshing in places did mean that we knew were in for a treat when we back on the seafront. Reaching the starting point, knowing that you need to turn around and do the whole thing again is slightly daunting, but all eight jags managed this with some very successful results. Nicola Lambert-John was first Jag home and second lady earning herself a trophy with an impressive time of 1.37.29. Radley Fenn completed his very first half marathon in 1.38.43. Personal bests were also achieved by John Windham and Ivan Westley in 1.58. 14 and 1.58.35 respectively. There is nothing like Jags support and running with other team mates not only spurs us on but also giving others the encouragement, be it to the winner, middle of the pack or the last person over the line. Coltishall Jags make it known that we are there to support and it’s the love of running that is important not the time that you finish in!
Paul Taylor and Kerri Clarke made the journey up to Lincolnshire to take part in the second edition of the Lincoln Half Marathon. This race has something in common with the Norwich Half as it starts and finishes on the Lincolnshire show ground. Unlike Norwich, however, the route goes through the middle of Lincoln and hits almost all of the big tourist attractions heading through the University of Lincoln, Brayford Water, Lincoln Castle and in front of the Cathedral (last year runners also ran through the Cathedral grounds and it would have been nice to repeat that). The course thankfully avoids the infamous and aptly named Steep Hill but the short and very steep downhill into the village of Burton at just over two miles did a fine job of killing the quads and making the rest of the race challenging. Some fantastic race bling, featuring the cathedral, a goody bag and free pint of (sadly non-alcoholic) beer for all finishers. Mind you I am not sure I will get much use out of the Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo or Fudge Hair Shaper included in the goody bag!
Wow – this marathon lived up to all expectations. I was told it was one of the flattest marathons in the world and it certainly was that. I actually got to watch the start of the race and watched all the top famous athletes start the race. I then got myself into position way down the field. It was perfect weather conditions and you could feel the excitement all around.
Thousands of people cheered on as we ran through the streets of Berlin. Lots of bands and music around the course. The highlight for me was running through the Brandenburg Gate.
On 24th September several Jags ventured out of the county to race in a warm and sunny Nottingham at the Robin Hood marathon and half marathon.
James Lambert and David Platten had both signed up to tackle the marathon initially but injury prevented them from getting in sufficient training and so they wisely opted for the half marathon option. This meant it was just Rod Bye who ran the marathon for the club. Joining James and David in the half marathon distance was myself, Nicola Lambert-John and Jackie Bye. Those running the full and half all start together in allocated pens depending on your predicted time. I managed to find David in the pen we were in and it was good to have a chat before we headed off, 3 minutes after the pen in front. Now I mention this as I found out at mile 4 when I caught up with Rod as he wanted to stick with the 3:15 pacer who he saw at the start to then realise he was in the pen ahead and so the pacer had simply disappeared by the time we started! Rod and I ran together for a while but tough for those doing the marathon who are fed off onto the second half of their route right near the finish for those doing the half!
This was my target race for the year as it’s a race I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years in my home city. It was a tough course with some hills in the first half and the end seemed to stretch on forever! Normally target races don’t seem to go to plan for me and having had shin splints for the previous 4 weeks I was apprehensive that I could reach my goal. However I dug deep and hung on in there, giving myself a good talking to when I wanted to quit at mile 10 and was really pleased with my time, achieving my target.
James Lambert finished just ahead of me as he was in the previous pen and David Platten achieved his target for the race of sub 2 hours. Rod and Jackie both told me they found the course challenging and were disappointed with their times, but I feel they both did fantastic and achieved gold standards for their age categories.
The event was well organised and there was support along the closed streets, along with several bands playing. I particularly liked the water pouches provided as they meant you could create a small fountain of water to drink from/tip over you without the difficulty of trying to run and drink from a cup simultaneously! As well as the half and full marathon they offer a very popular children’s race.
No plans to give it another go next year, but wouldn’t rule it out for the future!
Sitting at home drinking my wine
Reflecting the weekend O’ what a time
The Round Norfolk Relay a top class event
Starting at Lynnsport where our hero’s we sent
Brave hardy runners ready to travel
Off down the road and on to the gravel
Heading for Hunstanton it’s starting to rain
It’s blowing a gale to add to our pain
No turning back our journey has begun
No rest for the runners till all miles are done
Reaching the lighthouse first leg nearly complete
Just passing the baton then time to eat
My teammate my friend has no time to chat
He’s off with the baton he’s going flat out
The weather gets worse he’s getting a soaking
He’s heading to where the rich do their boating
Third runners are waiting to take their turn
This leg is short and easy to learn
Off to the beach sand in their trainers
But runners are tough and not complainers
Baton safely delivered to the Wells runner
Off down the harbour wow she’s a stunner
The weather has abated the going is good
She’s flying along as fast as she could
Hand over at Cley he’s got a tough one to do
Four miles on the shingle it gives him the hump
Then up on the cliffs to do Beeston bump
Arriving at Cromer his job is over
The baton must continue it’s journey for many more miles
Each runner will carry it with grimaces and smiles
We run as a team together we are strong
Bound by our colours what could go wrong
Runners take the glory in their bright orange vests
But without our support crew we’d be in a mess
They are the heart of our Club this is so true
Just one thing to say we love you
Through the night it continues everyone plays their part
Till it comes full circle and they are back to the start
The runners are weary they have given their all
But so proud of their Club as they chat in the hall
They will return next year to do the same
Stronger and faster and hopefully not lame
Together forever the wind in their hair
Running with friends we hold so dear
On Sunday 10th September six Jags were amongst the 43,127 finishers of the world’s largest Half Marathon, The Great North Run.
The extremely large crowd of runners had gathered at the mass start in the middle of Newcastle on the central motorway, ready to begin their 13.1 mile journey to the finish on The Leas in South Shields. After the Elite athletes including Sir Mo Farah were introduced to the crowds via several large screens, Brendan Foster fired the starting gun to get the event under way. Shortly after the race start, runners were treated to a fly-by from the famous Red Arrows, a long standing tradition of the Great North Run.
Just before mile two, runners made their way over the main landmark, the Tyne Bridge, and on into Gateshead where they found many people lining the roads cheering on family, friends, and other passing runners. The route continued out of Gateshead, and wound its way on to Heworth and South Tyneside.
Along the route runners were treated to numerous bands and singers as entertainment at almost every mile marker. Numerous water stations and Lucozade stops were split over the length of the course to keep runners hydrated, and unless my eyes deceived me, a cheeky beer stop had been created around mile 10 with beer being served by the side of the road (possibly by the local community!) in plastic cups.
The route eventually wound towards South Shields where after a steep downhill you entered on to the seafront road – a long, straight, last mile which on the day was rather blustery. Large crowds helped draw the runners towards the finish, where they were rewarded with a great medal & goodie bag.
Depending on your starting point, it may not be a PB course due to the sheer amount of runners sharing the same stretches of road – unless of course you are Neil Button who recorded a new PB of 1:34:02. Well done to all who took part!
The Wissey Half Marathon is an undulating rural course, in the west of the county, starting and finishing next to the National Trust’s Oxborough Hall.
Just three Jags took part this year, as with chip timing being in place for the first time, the race sold out well in advance. It was near perfect weather conditions for running, and Lee Emmett ran a great first time race, finishing in 1:40:53 for a bronze standard. Scott Shrubsall was hard on his heels with a time of 1:45:29 and I finally managed to get under 2 hours (1:59:07) PB Silver. In fact I almost caught up with Second Claim Jag Keith Brighty (Norwich Road Runner) who limped home with a nasty blister in 1:52:04!
For those who had worked up a thirst there was real ale waiting on tap at the finish (Scott!), though I must admit an ice cream went down really well!
I have never been to Bedford before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised it only took 1 ½ hours to arrive from Norwich. The start was in a gorgeous park called Priory Park. It reminded me a bit of Whitlingham in Trowse. It was surrounded by woods and lakes. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning. 3000 entries started the course, it was all off road taking in a couple of laps of the woods before looping back to the park. It was flat too!
This was Bedford’s first half marathon so I was expecting them to have a few teething problems. On the contrary, it was so well organised and thought out. We received a really great t-shirt and medal plus goodie bag. It has got to be one of my favourite half marathons now and I have already signed up for 2018 which will take place on 2nd September. I can highly recommend this course.