Half-marathons next year?

Following Tim's lead, I'm curious about half-marathons next year, specifically in the months of March, April, or May. Basically, I want a race goal to train for, I've looked at the RW schedules, and think I can do it.

I name those specific months because this will be when I am revising my thesis so A) won't have the stress of writing initial drafts that keeps me glued to my seat and B) won't be submitting just yet. Also, I'm hoping to go to foreign parts for the next adventure in academia in July, so it would need to be before this!

Anyway, I like scenic running much more than boring city streets, although the crowd atmosphere is good for motivation. Oh yes, and I need to be able to get there on public transport from Oxford, not spend loads of money, etc.

Okay, got all that?! Let the suggestions roll in, and thanks.



  • Hello Hildegard,
    I would recommend the Bath half in march.
    It is well organised with good crowd support.
    The course is a two lapper travelling out of the city to the surrounding countryside and back in.
    The running field is very good due to it being close to the FLM.
    The only downside is some of it is run through traffic but this is not a big hinderance.
    If you want to do it apply NOW it fills up very quickly.
    I would also recommend the Shakespeare half in stratford upon avon which is a very nice rural run.
    Hope this helps.
  • Camberley in Surry is Feb.
    Paddock Wood in Kent is Mar, nr railway station & very flat.
    Tunbridge Wells in Kent, late Feb but very hilly [although I have my PB on it]
    All in the countryside.
  • If you go for Bath Hildegard, see you there, I've applied. I would think that public transport from Bath would be fairly easy.

    I'll be following the Bath Half Website Intermediate schedules and feel the same as you; it's good to have an over-winter goal.
  • Hilde, not sure where you are based, but Soham (yes, THE soham that's in all the news at present) had a good 1/2M in May this year which is an annual event
    Early June is Woodhall Spa which is also flat and fairly well supporteed.
  • Reading Half is the beginning of March - and dead easy to get to from Oxford - and there'll be loads of forumites there.
  • Recommend Camberley in Feb (done it the past two years , pb both times)
    Also Fleet (Pre London half) in March is very well organised.
    I would say Reading but its one of those that should be treated as an 'event' rather than a race, the organisation leaves a lot to be desired, and with the run up to London , you can afford to be choosy.
    If you fancy a nice countryside run , Bramley (nr Basingstoke) do a 10 and 20 mile run in Feb/Mar ( I did the 20 last year) and although facilities are limited it is a well organised event.

    I'll be doing Camberley,Fleet and Bramley.Still undecided about Reading.

    I've not run Bath before (another on the list of 'to dos'
  • Not sure , but it should be in RW (they had pacers last year for the 20mile event).

    Quite a lot of runners building up to marathons do it, 20 miles in Feb is quite a punchy target though!
  • Why don't you try Wokingham in Feb. Its a fast course and a good build up for London. You will gain lots of confidence as its quite flat (so times are good)

    On another note anyone doing Windsor in a couple of weeks?? Ive just been out on the course with a novice this morning (I live very close) and scared him half to death with the hills,
    Bring them on!!!
  • All good suggestion, thanks everyone, I shall have to look them up on my map! The Reading sounds ideal, timing and location wise, but I do take Dustin's comments to heart about it being more of an 'event'. Still, this could be what gets me round! Okay, I'll do some web hunting, and then ask more questions.

  • Evil Pixie, Dustin. I think the Bramley 10 and 20 are organised by the Reading Road Runners. Seems I might be seeing a lot of you next year Dustin. A lot of these are on my list as well
  • Has anyone run the Brighton 1/2M? I was thinking about doing it next year (mainly because it is near my in-laws so I'd get free overnight accomodation + guaranteed support)

    Any comments very welcome!
  • Evil Pixie

    If you live in Reading then you can go and look at the course! The route roughly is through Caversham, up London Road, up Kendrick Road (which is one of the hills), Shinfield Road, into the University and out on Pepper Lane, up Shinfield again (v short hill), down Hartland(?) Road (big down hill), along Basingstoke Road and up a slight hill, down Southampton Street, into town via St Mary's Butts and then out on Oxford Road and up a hill at that point (I think it's Russell Street and Tilehurst Road)(9miles) - then I get lost because I don't know that part of Reading so well.
    So the hills are Kendrick Road, Shinfield Road, Basingstoke Road and Russell Street/Tilehurst Road. Hope that helps with the decision!
  • Don't give up! Start training!!

    They're all fairly short and not that bad really.
  • Hi Evil Pixie, Doobs. The hills really aren't that bad. If you need help with the Tilehurst bit and where it goes then give me a shout as that nearer my part of Reading.

    Evil Pixie, I'm based in Purley-on-Thames,how about you. Fraggle is also Reading based living in Caversham

    Doobs do you want your face resized to fit. If so mail me and I'll send it back resized
  • Or come further afield and do the Ironbridge half in March. It starts in Telford Town Park (Telford Central is the nearest train station and goes down the valley into Ironbridge, across the old bridge then along the river and back across the new one, and up a hill back to the town centre. It's a scenic course and Ironbridge really is very pretty. I haven't actually done it (!) but, living in Shrewsbury, I know the area well, and will be doing it next March. It's organised by Telford Harriers.

  • Redcar on the North East coast is a nice fast flat course (unless it blows a gale along the see front)

    It was on 17th March this year – I’m not sure for next

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