Oldham Half Marathon


OldhamHalf Before

Before L-R
Michael, Phil, Naomi, Debbie, Heidi, Alison(me) and Paul

Oldham Half Marathon, 27th October 2019

Alison Smith reports...

Picture the scene – October 2018, a very, very cold Sunday morning in Oldham.  Myself and Michael Hall arrive in Oldham to run the Oldham half marathon.  In long sleeves and long-trousers we battle around the hilly course.  After completing I turn to Michael who finished just behind me and say – never again.

Fast forward to the unveiling of the 2019 road championship race calendar – there it is – 27th October 2019 – Oldham half marathon – bloody hell Clark!

In the days running up to the event the rain was never ending – my Met Office app has never been checked so much – it kept promising me that the rain would stop and the sun would come out on Sunday – I was not too sure but as Saturday wore on the rain slowed, then stopped and the skies cleared – I retired to bed hopeful the Met Office had got it right.This year there were a couple more – myself, Naomi Shields, Debbie Beck, Heidi King, Phil Hanson, Paul Girdlestone and Michael Sanderson (Michael Hall had wisely sloped off to New Zealand).

Race day dawned dry and cool.  I met with my race buddies to travel over to Lancashire together.  I tried to ensure everyone was aware of the task ahead – especially the end of the race – some listened, some didn’t – you know who you are!

We arrived and obtained our packs.  The girls retired to the female changing room and all kinds of hair braiding, ingesting of pain killers, wardrobe choices and anti-chafing measures took place.  Once ready we re-joined our male club mates, pre-race piccies and then made our way to the start line.  Again, I tried to advise pacing throughout.

9.30 am and the race started.  I stuck to my plan and stuck to a steady pace.  The first four miles of the race are uphill, as you climb the houses become more and more sparse and the scenery starts to open up.  On reaching the four-mile mark you start to make your way downhill and the scenery is stunning.  

For the next four miles follows various uphill and downhill and uphill and downhill, some through pretty villages and lanes, some industrial landscapes.  From mile eight to mile nine, I felt it was a difficult climb, but again at the top rewarded by fabulous view.  Again, it is downhill and through different areas, some prettier than others which I have to say as I found myself quite spread out from other runners helped me move a bit faster!

After mile ten there is a sharp uphill, I was struggling and was now having words with myself, another lovely long downhill – punctuated by a wonderful shopkeeper handing out water and motivation (apparently I was a wonderwoman) – at the bottom is the right hand turn and the bit I had been dreading – it is not that big a pull up but at this point in the race it felt like it – keep going Alice, keep going Alice – last left hand turn and the finish is in sight and I can hear my club mates shouting for me, one runner in front of me and from somewhere came what felt like a sprint finish (not sure if that is what it looked like) I passed him and crossed the finish line – done.

Few post-race piccies, some well received parkin from Heidi, then it was time to return back to Yorkshire.

I completed the course in 2:14:53, slower than last year, but all the points count towards the road champs…

OldhamHalf After

Road champ points to all.. well done!

<p style="text-align: center; font-size: 11px;"><img src="/assets/images/road/2019/BishopHalf/Before.jpg" alt="Before" /></p>
<p class="caption" style="text-align: center; font-size: 11px;">Before L-R<br />Phil Hanson, Rob Davies and Michael Watson</p>

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