Room to Run Half Marathon (Huntly)

I signed up for this race a while back as there have been a serious lack of events on the calendar and I needed both something to aim for and a race or two to get used to running in a crowded start again. I’d heard Huntly was a tough run so figured I’d go easy and see what happened.

Parking up near the Gordon Schools I picked up my number before heading off on my warm up. Focusing on marathon training, this was just shy of 2 miles and my legs felt a little heavy after the miles already banked this week.

I didn’t have much time, so it was a quick toilet stop and out to join the crowds assembled by the Huntly Pipe Band. This was a great way to start, the band taking the runners to the start area. With chip timing in place there was no great rush to get over the line and a relaxed feel to the start.

We counted down from 10 following a quick briefing, and we were off. Initially the route headed towards Huntly Castle where we encountered the first gradual incline, before briefly running alongside, then across a minor road. We then headed up into Bin Wood where all the fun began!

Photo credit: Lynne Duncan

My recollection of the course is vague, but I clearly remember the short section of single track that was both tough and rough. At this point I was questioning my decision to wear road shoes as I was lacking grip. I did walk a wee bit here as I figured it was as quick as attempting to run uphill and would conserve energy! Apparently I wasn’t the only one with this thought.

Once up, there were some decent fire roads to follow, with good downhill sections and a few shorter ups (minor undulations) that were far easier due to the harder paths underfoot.

I found myself really enjoying the run; it was a lovely environment to be in with some good views and very encouraging marshals along the way. There was also good camaraderie among the runners and I did chat to a few folks at various points.

Photo credit: 745 Images

Before long it was back down the hard section we’d come up, treading carefully to ensure I made it safely. Then across the minor road where I tried to run into nothing as I was chatting to the marshals and hadn’t realised everyone else before me had turned right along the minor road.

Quickly correcting myself on realising I couldn’t go any further, I enjoyed the last couple of miles, and before I knew it I was on the finishing straight picking up speed for the final push. It was such a boost to have a crowd supporting, clapping and cheering me on to the line. Metro Aberdeen got a shout as we’d turned out quite a number – always good to hear the club being recognised.

Photo credit: Cheryl Bremner, Life is Peachy Photograpy

Post race, it was good to bump into various running buddies and parkrun friends, and great to see the 10k starting off.

Overall verdict: a challenging half, but a great course and definitely one I’d do again. Great t-shirt too!

Chip time: 1:52:14

4 thoughts on “Room to Run Half Marathon (Huntly)

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