Kenilworth Half Marathon 4th October 2009
Kenilworth Runners Website
I'd raced the Great North Run a couple of weeks before this race so there could hardly have been a greater contrast but for me it's these friendly and well-run local races that make the sport, not the marketing behemoths the major races have now become.
There were around 700 entrants for the race which starts close to the centre of the town and then loops round a rural circuit with the last few miles a repeat of the first. In fact only the first and last halfmile or so were through a residential area with the remainder through some glorious countryside, set off by some fabulous early Autumn sunshine
It's an undulating course and while there are no long, difficult ascents you do face a constantly changing gradient and a steady climb to 8 miles which makes it great training but if you produce a PB here then you could certainly go faster on a flatter course.
Kenilworth Runners did a great job of organising this race - water stations every 4 miles, decent facilities at the start/finish and a huge selection of homemade cakes and tea on offer at the end which they have a deserved reputation for.
It was very good value too with finishers picking up a T-shirt and a medal plus a goody bag of food and drink for just £12 if you're an affiliated runner, with the usual £2 levy if you're not.
I'd highly recommend the race - a very friendly atmosphere, it was suitable for all abilities (the winner finished in just under 74 minutes; the back marker in 2hrs 31), and one of the most scenic courses I've run yetAndrew Cooney