White Horse Half Marathon Report by Nick Hardwick

After a lot of uncertainty about how the race season would be affected due to the omicron strain at the end of 2021 it was the case of just enter anything and see what happens.

Thankfully it looked like the White Horse half road race was a goer and we wouldn’t have to endure another trail run alternative in the full heat of July!

A favourite event for local clubs especially so as it’s a grand prix fixture. The weather was race perfect with the sun shining and a light breeze. After the shortest walk from where the car was parked to the race HQ thanks to Graham, bags checked in and there was a wonder if we were the only three entries from the club as there wasn’t the usual blue and white huddle in the school hall. On the way back to the start line I managed to miscalculate my warm up procedure properly and required some help from the paramedics at the start line to patch me up (for which I am eternally grateful). We were quickly assured that plenty more club runners were taking part as the blue vests became more prominent. We were set off promptly and on leaving Grove we could see how even more extensive the new house building was changing the view from the route.

As this was the first longish race since October, I placed myself in the middle of the starting pack and very quickly realised that moving through the slower runners was essential to settle into a good pace. We left the urban sprawl and ran parallel to the railway, crossed over it and headed out for the main loop of the race via the area’s multitude of country lanes.

As I’ve experienced before the first 6 miles seem to fly past as the field shakes itself out. Keeping the motivation pace up I had Nick S just in sight and tried to keep him there, I was quite surprised when at around mile 7 managed to overtake him, but by mile 10 realised I was tiring and had to be overtaken myself. The last 3 miles felt pretty hard going and when the railway bridge came into view you know its not far to the end. There’s only that last mile to go, which can feel pretty drawn out after the last 12, so next minute the green is coming up and with it the finish line. A brand new shiny blue mug with a well appreciated bottle of water included.

Well done to Tom B who was our first runner back in at a respectful 1:22 and for a strong finish by the main field of members coming in on average two minutes apart. Marvellous work to Kate A and Kate W for once again collecting medals in their age categories, a very well done to you.