Weedon, or as I call it f$%^ing weedon! A beautiful but evil "undulating" course with two hideous hills (one that goes on forever and one that pops into view when you're most hoping it's all downhill from here!).
As with all the emgp races it's simple to sign up for and has a good atmosphere, and as with most of them little support out on the road but to be expected given they're small races not big expensive events.
Do it, I dare you
Posted on 03.07.18
So, having been brought up just down the road, as soon as a Leamington Half was announced I had to sign up.
The day itself was absolutely scorching, but getting to the start line and bag drop was an easy task (including finding a group of lovely #visorclub members).
The not so good first- a 40 minute delay wasn't ideal in the heat (I don't think it was the organisers fault but wasn't helpful). There was no segregation in the start pen for predicted finish times so I found myself almost running into people in the first few hundred yards, equally I was passed by a lot of much quicker people myself. Finally, I timed my finish poorly as they'd run out of water.
However, the good far outweighs the bad. The organisation was exceptional throughout, the course was challenging but attractive, the additional water stations (laid on due to the heat) were great and impressive that they got on at such short notice. The medal and t shirt are great and I had a text with my time and position by the time I got back to the car. But arguably the best thing about the day was the support! Wow. For a mostly rural route the amount of people offering up jelly babies, water, encouragement, and water jets, was incredible! Thank you leamingtonians, you were awesome!
Back next year for sure, hopefully in cooler weather!
Posted on 01.07.18
We moved to Brackley last year and did this race in utterly sweltering heat. Came back for more this year as it's such a well organised and pleasant race. I'm amazed that more don't take part (280 finishers this year), £15 (otd) gets you race entry, a good quality event t shirt, well marshalled "undulating" course, water and banana at the finish. Oh and free photos uploaded the day after.
Well worth it if you live anywhere near or fancy a challenging 10k next year.
Posted on 22.06.18
The 2nd of the midweek evening "east Midlands grand prix" series, and arguably the prettiest. Cheap to enter (although no medal or t shirt) and well organised. Takes in two lovely villages (blisworth and gayton) and the country roads in between. A couple of challenging ish hills to ascend but a brilliant half mile or so downhill to the finish.
Posted on 13.06.18
Cheap (£12 otd unaffiliated), well organised 5 mile race with some attractive scenery. No medal but who cares? Nothing particularly unique though.
Posted on 12.06.18
I first ran this race in 2017 but came back for more in 2018. Much busier this year, but there were still "on the day" entries available. Organisation and parking is excellent, compared to a lot of races these days entry is dirt cheap and you get a nice medal (this years is particularly nice), bottle of water and soreen bar at the end, in addition to a water station on course. They have local school kids stood on the "bend of noise" shouting encouragement and offering up high fives which is a nice touch.
Great course for a pb, and if you have any interest in motorsport it's something special to run round it!
Posted on 11.05.18
I've completed this race twice now, and will definitely be back. In runners world top 50 races a few years back and so it should be.
Reviewing this in 2017 so you can ignore the fact it was cheap (£20) and there was no medal (nice goody bag and a good quality t shirt though), the medal -introduced this year -looks great, sadly has increased the cost and ensured an early sell out, hence I didn't complete it in 2017.
The start at Castle farm is well organised and welcoming, and doubles as the finish which is always well supported. The course is beautiful rolling Warwickshire countryside with excellent marshaling and water stations. It's an out and back with a few hills, most of which are gentle but lengthy, there are a couple of short sharp hills thrown in for good measure.
There's not much support out of town, simply due to the rural nature of the course, but it generally doesn't matter as the scenery is lovely.
Definitely WORTH doing (see what I did there!?)
Posted on 16.10.17
Terrible weather preceded the start of this race, but starting at Warwick racecourse was a nice touch. The course is undulating but not too difficult, it takes in local country lanes in quiet countryside so there aren't huge amounts of support (probably exacerbated by the weather!). Medal is naff and only the ribbon alludes to what race you've actually completed.
The course is nice without doubt. However at least 9 miles of it is part of the two castles run (warwick-kenilworth 10k) and/or the Kenilworth half marathon, so if you've completed either or both of these it'll be somewhat boring (and personally I recommend both over this race).
In short- nice course, naff medal, relatively small event worth doing, but do Kenilworth ahead of this.
Posted on 16.10.17
I paid for the shuttle bus that picked up on Moor Street queensway (outside a station that didn't have its first train arrive until the minute the marathon was due to start 4 miles away), got to the station to see a load of confused looking runners and no bus, signage, or Marshalls. We wandered up to find the bus stop (still no signs or Marshalls and on priory queensway not Moor st), again a lot of confused looking runners as the only bus that had arrived thus far didn't have much room. Anyway, got on a bus a little before the 8:30 time advertised and got to the start (Alexander stadium) in good time.
After the start from the stadium comes a soul destroying 4 miles into the city along the a34, no support (time of day) and grey concrete surroundings. Once in the city (and going past the finish line-cruel!) the support got much better and by the end it was all that got me to the finish! The course is pretty tough in places (once on the lap section there are two tough hills which you need to climb twice each). Aside running past Cadbury world (no free choccies!!), Edgbaston and through the park, it's a fairly grim trip through a city centre and estates.
I found the water stations plenty and well spread out, though the gels were not to my taste.
As previously alluded to- after the 5 mile mark the support was awesome, and the set up at the end was spot on. They managed the half marathon well (it started as the 4 hour plus marathoners started finishing- From the same place we finished) and although there was arguably the worst Hill of the course at 25 miles, by that point the support dragged you to the end.
The medal and finishers pack is decent, but it irks me that all the great run events stick the medal in the bag, in a little bag of its own, rather than having people on hand to put it round your neck. Probably me being picky though.
Aside from appalling organisation of the shuttle buses and a less than inspiring course I would recommend this as an event to do. Just don't expect a Pb (the winning time was 2:33 so not a quick course).
Posted on 15.10.17
When your only slight complaint about an event is about the title on a bus you know there's very little to criticise! I loved this event, the course is pleasant and has a reasonable potential for pb hunters. The information, signage and Marshalls were great, and the shuttle buses handy. My one small gripe is that the buses were entitled "bmf courtesy bus service". This suggests to me it's free, which it was not (£5 for runners), however I'm sure if I'd read my race pack properly I would've known that!
Really nice medal and t shirt, presented in a funky box. There's a nice grippy running bottle too, but it won't hold much (at a guess about 150ml!) so I doubt I'll ever use it!
Good value if you get the Early bird offer and a really well organised event.
Nb I did the half marathon.
Posted on 08.10.17
So, my first multi sport event and I chose London Duathlon, and I don't regret it at all. The price, at £70 early bird rate, seemed a bit steep at first (I'm used to paying a max of £30-40 for halfs and marathons), however once you've received your excellent Descente cycling jersey and arrived at Richmond Park on the day it suddenly seems quite reasonable. The information provided in advance was pretty thorough, though being a first timer I wasn't sure about what to do with the various stickers for the bike leg.
Upon arrival at the park it's quite clear, through both signage and the pa what you need to do and there are plenty of toilets and places to grab drinks etc. The "pulsed" start works well, although is a little strange for someone so used to mass starts.
The 10k course is a slightly undulating trip around the park, taking in the sights of deer and parrots! It's nothing particularly spectacular but perfectly pleasant, and doesn't take too much out of your legs ahead of what is (for me at least) the toughest leg- the bike.
Now I'm not a cyclist in any way so take my words with a pinch of salt!- the bike leg (44k) is 4 laps around the park. About a mile and a half into each lap is a pretty evil ascent, luckily the steepest part is only 200 yards long, but you have to get up it 4 times so get used to it! The rest of the course, bar one slight Hill, is mostly flat or downhill. Personally by lap 4 I was dying for the 5k run, but that says more about my cycling ability than it does about the course!
The final leg (which I was definitely on at this point!) starts out on the same route as the 10k but veers off just before 1k and up a steep hill- not welcome at this point- but once you're other that it's more or less downhill all the way and takes in a few parts of the park you've not yet covered.
At the finish you get a medal, banana, water and energy bar. If I was to have a slight gripe- the medal is quite plain and you get the same medal whether you complete just the 10k, half duathlon, duathlon, ultra or relay, but this is nit picking really.
Well organised, decent value given everything you get, and great fun in an attractive Park. Give it a go, you won't regret it.
Posted on 18.09.17