White Horse Half Marathon, report by Nick Hardwick

White Horse Half, Sun 7th April 2019

Once more into the breach dear friends and we are off on the annual trip to Grove for the White Horse half. A favourite event for local clubs especially so as it’s a club championship and grand prix fixture. The weather, though a few weeks before had been glorious was due to be dull, grey, but dry at least, it did not disappoint. After the long walk from the official carpark to the race HQ, bags checked in and some light pre-race chit chat we headed off for the same long walk back to the start line. We were set off promptly (ie no whistle, claxon or shout of go) Leaving Grove we could see how extensive the new house building was coming along and hope the new residents won’t mind us running past their homes this time next year.

After suffering in previous years for over enthusiastic starts I was very much grateful for the small ERR group I was in and the perfect pacing it provided. Upon leaving the metropolis behind we 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 and the initial roadrunners group slip into their own pacing. Keeping the motivation going from the start I must thank Simon on two wheels who seemed to appear constantly to encourage the runners on and Ben with his posse who at 10 miles in were a very much a welcome sight.

With the railway bridge coming into sight (the route map alt meter had this as the highest point on the course, which made me chuckle) there’s only the last mile to go, which can feel pretty drawn out after the last 12, but bosh! next minute the green is coming up fast and with it the finish line. A brand new shiny mug with a well appreciated bottle of water included.

Well done to all the sub 1:25 finishers who must have had the lunch on as they had all but gone by the time I came in. Marvellous work to Marina and Toby for blasting their PB’s by at least 10 minutes each plus Robert S, Kate A and Kate W for collecting medals in their age categories, a very well done to you.