Hopton Court trail half marathon was, like the curate’s egg, good in parts. It was very pleasant to meet up with a few acquaintances from different running circuits (Pulse Pursuits /Dirt Run & GB AG duathlon team) , as well as Eric and his mum . Great to learn that she’s now joined the club and is regularly doing training sessions. Hannah Fletcher was also there doing the 10K but I didn’t see her.
The weather was pretty good, bright and sunny but the chill breeze stopped us getting too hot . The course could best be described as undulating, no steep hills to talk of, certainly not for those accustomed to the winter cross country league courses . Most of it was through fields and woodlands with just a couple of minor road crossings. One lap was about 5k, so 5K runners did one lap, 10k two laps & the half marathon was four laps with a 1k loop tacked on to the start. There were a dozen half marathon relay teams, with a few Canicross runners interspersed.
The start and finish were right next to the car park in a big field , so space for everyone .
The big plus was chip timing, so useful in the era of Covid fear. .This enabled us to start individually with a few seconds between each one , so no question of close proximity waiting for the starting pistol . It also meant that an online finish list was available by 5:00 PM . The course director was cheery & positive, the marshals bright & friendly.
A few gripes: main one was that the course was not a full half marathon, so presumably the 5 & 10k races were also a bit short. Also, there was the place where about 15 runners including me went the wrong way because of poor signposting. Even so my Garmin showed just 12.39 miles , so the course would have been nearly a mile short.
Eric came 2nd in 1h 27.21, 47 seconds behind the winner . Jasper was 3rd in 1h 28.12. A great achievement by our two young men , both of whom seem to be improving in leaps and bounds. A shame for Jasper about the course being short – he would have been on for a PB , currently 1.34. I finished in 14th place out of 27 , in 2h 0.55. I was running well to start with, but the strapping on the ankle I had twisted gardening the previous day put too much stress on the knee and hip, so I got slower and slower after about 13K. I stopped at16 K to take off the K-tape which helped and finished strongly.
(Edit from Sam) Hannah took part in the 10k and finished third lady – pleased with her time of 44.51.
Dianne Wynne alsotook part in the 5k – 3rd lady in 29.05.
Well done everyone!