Cotswold Trails Half Marathon

So, less than two weeks after returning from three weeks in America, legs still full of pancakes, off I went (having walked the dog first) to collect Kate and Liz from Stroud….nearly collected Val too…(long story).  We arrived bright and early at Sudeley, so early that we were able to park in the lane just outside and were able to save the additional £5 parking fee – result.  This was welcome as it was a bug bear, as along with the added surprise of the parking fee on top of the £37.50 entry fee, plus online entry fee of a couple of quid (cheek) they also emailed to ask if we wanted to “skip the registration queues” and get your pack in the post for another £3. We didn’t.  There were no queues.  Having said that there soon were, so it was worth getting there early.  There was also a 10k race which was due to start half an hour after us.

First things first, loo trip.  Pink and grey loos! And lovely and clean as were we early. “That one on the end is free Liz”….Liz burst in on Kate because she didn’t lock the door….could have been much worse Kate!

Toilet antics dealt with we registered and walked back towards the car to bump into Liz’s husband on his bike, who had come to wish us luck, having casually cycled the 20 miles over.

We then wandered about, bumped into Val and then Richard, took pics and started to think about loo trips again so Kate went off for her safety wee, but by then the queues were so big she was unable to get in before the start, which was delayed by a very selfish tractor preventing people getting to the start.

Anyway, pre race briefing delivered we finally set of at 11:20…..and stopped at the first stile.  Then the second, then the third.  It took 22 mins to “run” 1.4m.  Big queues through the fields but everyone was amiable about it (outwardly), and some nutter in front was doing burpees while he waited.  Turns out he was on a burpee challenge and was doing 28 burpees every mile.  Ok!

Once we were able to find our legs I have to say this race was absolutely beautiful.  Stunning Cotswold scenery (more refined in the North Cotswolds isn’t it) and the weather couldn’t have been nicer, sunny, fresh with a breeze as you climbed – and we did climb, around 2000ft over 5 hills.

Needless to say there were no records broken by me, though Liz skipped off after about 4 miles and Kate hung about with me as she was treating this one as miles in the bank ahead of Bristol half which she and Aimee have been training hard for.  I was so grateful for the company as I was regretting the volume of pancakes consumed and finding it hard going at around mile 10.  We did meet a lovely girl called Elle who we had been passing backwards and forwards for a big chunk of the race, and that too really helped those last few miles as we chatted and did our best to recruit a new club member.

The finish line was a welcome sight, though as ever it does seem to take a while to get there, with lots of support and cheers, water and a nice medal (no T).

So would I do it again?  Definitely.  With a staggered start (& I would prefer earlier) this is probably the most picturesque half marathon I’ve ever run, and no complaints at all with the organisation or ease of getting in and out of the venue.  Big tick from me!

Thank you Jo Creed, for a very amusing race report. If you want to find out more go to Cotswold Trails Half

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