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Ashwell Half Marathon
Sunday 24th November 2013
JonA

Paul and I headed for the hills of North Hertfordshire for the second running of the Ashwell Half Marathon. Expectations were low as we’d both done the St Neots Half the previous weekend so were nursing the usual niggles; aches and pains.

Arrived ridiculously early as we had been bused in from Baldock. Race HQ was a collection of farm outbuildings seemingly in the middle of nowhere - It was freezing and we had the best part of an hour to kill. We downed some pre-race tea to keep warm and joined other runners huddled round a heater in one of the barns that doubled as the baggage area.

The course is a two lap undulating/hilly affair mainly on road. It reminded me of the Bedford Half course but with an off-road section along a muddy farm track at miles 1 and 7.

Finally set off at 10:00 and bizarrely, after a mile of slipping and sliding in the mud, I found myself at the sharp end of the race (it was a small field!) with only a group of half a dozen runners 20-30 metres ahead of me.

The gap remained fairly constant for the first lap but nobody had overtaken me so was feeling fairly confident. During the second lap I passed a couple or runners who were slowing and was closing in on 4th but ran out of road so had to settle for 5th place.

Paul had a good run too and said he enjoyed it more than the previous week’s effort at St Neots.

The marshalling was good as was the crowd support in Ashwell. If you’re looking for a low-key Half, this is certainly one to consider - we both agreed that we’d do it again – just don’t get there too early!

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