|Date:||03 Nov 2013|
|Comments:||Well what can I say, Hills, Hills and more !@"?ing hills! The down hills were
almost as painful as the up hills, a good work out for the quads! Having said
that well organised, great Marshalls, Tech T shirt and medal all for £18. All
country roads, entirely traffic free up until about 6 miles, some great
scenery.Had to walk the hills at miles 2, 4, 8 at 10 so was happy to get in under
2 hours, just! Mile splits ranging from 7.48 - 12.50 demonstrate how up and
down this course is. Several HRR runners were listed as entered, few of us
The Course Description from the Marlow Striders Website is as follows:-
Every half marathon has its own special defining features, the Marlow Striders one perhaps more than most!
From the very start, you will know you’re in for some hard work. The course climbs steadily, an ascent of 60m (200ft), until it levels out at Marlow Common. This is the time to get the feel of hills in your legs and rightsize your exertion for the challenges ahead.
Now, your first big dipper. 24m (80ft) straight down, 39m (130ft) back up, and 23m (75ft) down again: all within half a mile. Here is the time to re-awaken your legs for fast descending and steep climbs before the real challenges come. (There are some mean gradients on this course. For many, a concerted uphill walking effort will make more progress than what feels like running on the spot: DON’T BE AFRAID TO WALK HILLS.)
You now have some steady climbing to do over the next two and a half miles, until you reach the highest point of the course, Parmoor. You will have now climbed over half the total elevation of the course 320m (1050ft), even though you have run less than 5 miles. Do not be dispirited: you have some easier running ahead of you.
Easier running that is after the long descent that comes next, 120m (400ft) all the way down to the Hambledon Valley. The slope is steep with often an autumnal leaf covering. Let yourself go if you can, but be safe.
2 miles of gentle downhill running along the so beautiful Hambledon Valley now await you. If you feel your race spirit has been crushed, you now have a breathing space to re-awaken it. You will need it!
Time to focus all your resolve now as you turn the corner at the valley bottom and start the next hill. The climb up to Rotton Row, a total 86m (280ft) is what makes this half marathon notorious for some. There is only one thing to do, find your rhythm, focus on your breathing, and the top will come eventually. Pat yourself on the back as you now find some level running again: you have broken the back of this beastly course.
The only drama that now awaits you is the second big dipper 45m (150ft) down and straight back up, until you find Marlow Common again and you have ran full circle.
Your legs will now respond to the fabulous one and a half mile downhill coast to the finish, you can put all the pain behind you now as you enjoy the elation of completing one of the toughest road halves in the country. Congratulations: You have beaten the Marlow Striders Half Marathon.
I failed to read this before entering, if you want a challenge do this race!
|Previous HRR results:||2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016|