Report submitted by Ian Middlemas
|The Event||Durham Coast Half Marathon|
|Overall Score (out of a possible 35)||35|
|Value for Money||5|
|Club Support & Social||5|
|In Short||Tough but scenic|
This is the second year for this race and I was looking forward to running it again. The start is at Noses Point Seaham and the finish is at Crimdon Dene caravan park. Fortunately this year the problems from last year’s event were solved. Lack of markers and a half marathon with a distance of 12.6 miles was remedied with 280 markers and a distance of 13.2 miles. The only downside was a delay to the start by fifteen minutes as the organisers had to replace some missing markers. This wasn’t a problem as it gave me an opportunity to chat with my fellow bounder Stoo Gordon.
The race itself is ran on coastal paths, woodland trails, grass and 300 steps(mostly steep). The start has a distinctive cross country feel as you head out on trails and then do a little loop around a field before heading off inland for a couple of miles through a woodland trail. Then you loop back and head towards the coast and you encounter your first set of steps and the only set going down. After this Is the first steep climb onto the cliff tops where your rewarded with stunning views of the Durham coast line.
After meandering for a couple of miles on the cliff tops you have a rocky sharp descent before your first climb up a set of steep steps. I had said that my aim this year was to run the steps, I managed about five, it was hands on hips and a rather tough walk. At this point there was a photographer well placed to capture my pitiful attempt at the climb. A well placed water station at the top and I was on my way again across the tops to the next set of steps not as steep but equally as tough.
Again the views are stunning and the course hugs the cliff tops all the way to Crimdon Dene and my memory had blocked out the last set of steps at the 12 mile point, where my legs and knees were creaking and groaning, after that it is a surprisingly fast flat finish where there was an abundance of cake and a bus waiting to take you back to the start.
This is a well marshalled and well organised race. Good value for money and if your a fan of The Northumberland Coastal Run this is the run for you.