Clennell Hall is a large house in Northumberland, near Alnwick. It is now used as a bunk house, and also has loads of room for camping. The race was an early start at 9.30, so our original plan was to camp, but the weather had other ideas, so we stayed in a nearby hotel. There was a marathon as well as the 10 mile.
We all set off together, just as the pelting rain stopped, which was nice. The first mile was on the flat, followed by about 3.5 miles of a steepish and steady climb uphill. At 4.5 miles there was a really well stocked water point, with flapjacks, popcorn and bananas. At this point, the marathon veered off, and we continued downhill and onto the flat, through forest. !t was easy going, with a few streams to cross. Another well stocked water station at mile 8, and as we reached mile 9, I was thinking how well it was going and was reckoning on a not bad time. However, on the left was a sign saying ” Did you really think that was it?” with a sign pointing up a hill. It was proper off road for about a mile, very tough going on boggy high grass and nettles, traversing a burn, and generally avoiding injuring myself. It was totally energy sapping, and seemed never ending. When we finally came off that part, we had another uphill climb, then a steep downhill descent to the finish.
After I had finished, I was a bit disapointed with my time, ’til it was pointed out to me that it had actually been 11.5 miles, not 10.
All in all it was pretty tough going, but enjoyable. Plus points were the water stations, cheap entry (£16), friendly staff and competitors. Minus points were, there was no marshall at the 9 mile turning point, so some people missed out the last section, which seemed a bit of a shame for them (or not, as the case may be).
Goody bag was a tshirt (not a running one), a medal and a banana, so not very exciting. Not a cake to be seen either!! Poor show. Anyhoos, it’s only a 2 hour drive away, and well worth checking out next year.
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