Spire Healthcare English Half-Marathon

stu jstu j ✭✭✭

Anyone else running this / run this before?  It's my first half, and am pretty excited.  Training going very well and looking at a finish time of around 2:10, but tbh I'm just hoping to finish and continuously run if possible.

 just counted - 5 weeks on Sunday, it's closer than I thought!


  • Did this last year on a red hot day was my first half have done another 4 since thin after swearing "never again" at the finish. A good route inclined to about 10 k then a long flat road through grappenhall with a nice long downhill from about 10-12 miles. A sneaky bridge tests the legs about a mile from finish but well supported by locals.  

    would run again but doing Great North this year


  • Just sent my entry off for this - looking forward to it already!  It says that changing facilities will be available - does anybody know what these will be?  Thank you!

  • Changing facilities are in Marquees.

    This is a good event as the last few miles are all downhill , much appreciated when tired! The uphill at the start is barely discernable.

  • I'm in for this.

    Very disappointing that there's no track finish this year - it's being resurfaced.

    Final route confirmation here:


    I love Victoria Park though - I grew up just round the corner - so it will be great to be back.

    Has anyone had any information about picking up number and chip on the day? Can't find anything on the website, and I haven't been emailed any further info since entering.

  • Just had confirmation that race pack collection is the same as previously.

    You can pick them up the day before.

    On the day, collection is between 7.30-8.45.

  • Anyone got elevation info from previous years? Can't see anything on the website.

  • stu jstu j ✭✭✭


    You can see the route here:

    With regards to the elevation I attempted best I could to plot the route in Mapometer ( http://gb.mapometer.com/ ) and whilst the map above is not overly clear on what roads you run down etc, you can get a good feel for it. It seems to be uphill gradually for the first 8 miles, and then downhill for the last 5 miles or so.  Though as I say, this is purely a rough estimation.

  • Yeah, I was afraid I'd have to end up doing that!

    The number of times I've been up and down those roads, and on Sunday I'm sure I'm going to start noticing inclines that never registered before!

  • stu jstu j ✭✭✭

    just found someone had mapped a rough copy of it (seems to differ sligtly near mile 7 or 8 ) on WalkJogRun


    Gives an idea at least of the elevation.

  • Nice one - very useful.

  • Hello all. Coming from manchester tomorrow for this. Is best bet for parking to park on knutsford rd as suggested in race pack?

  • I will be doing that again this year 15 ... Get the 1st available space as I drive out of Warrington and then losen up with a 1/4 -1/2 mile walk to the park

  • stu jstu j ✭✭✭

    think i'm going to try & get in at the Environmental Agency car park (as per race pack) - though no idea how quickly that will fill up.

  • Really enjoyed this race. Nice start/finish area too. Perfect weather helped. Anyone know when the results are up?

  • stu jstu j ✭✭✭

    it was good for the vast majority of it, though I thought the finish organisation could have been slightly better.  last thing I needed to do after crossing the line was stand still for 10 mins queueing up for a medal.

    got my text about an hour or so after finishing so that was good, but not sure when the full results are coming (the winningtime website has yet to be updated)

  • I got my time text and placing info at 12.26, and seeing as though I finished in 2:03, that's pretty efficient.  

    Proper event feel to that race. Great little village on the park, registration and bag drop was impeccably done. Short queues for toilets, and plenty of bushes to relieve yourself if you didn't fancy the wait.   

    The parachute display from the RAF lads, which I'd read about beforehand and rolled my eyes at somewhat, was actually bloody superb. I genuinely had goosebumps when I realised it was more than just a man with a parachute. Seriously epic way of kicking things off - would love to hear how they got on in the race.  

    On the course, water stations were brilliantly efficient. Great that there were four as well - most welcome on a warm morning. All bottles too. Haribo offered shortly before the last climb was a nice touch (I declined as I already had cola bottles in hand). Were the advertised gels offered anywhere? I wasn't interested in them, as I can't stand Hi-Five's stuff, but I didn't see them getting handed out anywhere.  

    Lovely, lovely course too. I'm maybe less fond of the Cantilever Bridge than I had been prior to the race, but some utterly wonderful views.  

    Quality bling and goodie bag too. Alas I heard of beer on offer in the village too late to get involved myself, but I'm sure that was welcomed by many.

    Some slight niggles, because I'm a meanie moo:  

    No track finish. This gutted me particularly as I entered about an hour before they announced this. Mainly a shame for me as it used to be my home track, and I'm got some great memories there. Hope it's just a one-off without it.  

    No official elevation published. Even though I'm originally from the town, there's a lot of the course I wasn't familiar with from a pedestrian or runner perspective, and I couldn't believe how much of the first two-thirds of the course was uphill. Granted, if I'd bothered with some hill training it would have been less of an issue, but I imagine some proper newbies had a tricky time in parts.   

    Lack of staggered start based on predicted time, which was particularly a shame because there were a few bottlenecks in the first couple of miles (particularly from the bridge off Ackers Road for a while) resulting in enforced slow going. Might have screwed quite a few PB attempts quite early on there.  

    Also, and this is badly nit-picking, but some (and I do mean a small minority) of the marshalls were a bit lacking in interactivity. Pockets of public around a handful of these put them to shame a bit on the enthusiasm front. Clapping runners through at the very least should surely be the base minimum for those out on the course.  

    Echoing the above, I could definitely have lived without the queue after the finish for bling as well. It was really starting to stack backwards when I finished, and it looked very much like it was creeping back dangerously close to the finish line. Would certainly have benefitted from being quite a bit further along, and with at least few more hands.  

    Finally, the PA system was tragically poor. I and many others missed Adrian Derbyshire starting his attempt on the hand-trike half world record (sadly thwarted by a puncture) as well as the group warm-up, which one group around me were particularly gutted about. With people so scattered at the start, announcements really needed to be relayed via speakers at all corners of the playing fields. It was horrendously directional, and unfortunately this meant most sound was going where the fewest people were gathered.  

    Make absolutely no mistake however, it was blooming brilliant.

  • Incidentally, one thing I have noted today is that the event director has stated that his ultimate aim is to have the race finish at the Golden Gates. Personally, track finish all day long would be my preference.

    Incorporating the Gates would undeniably be a superb touch, but why not get the best of both worlds and start there, ferry bags and supporters by coach, and finish on the track in Victoria Park? I'm guessing the swing bridges are a non-starter for a race route, but surely a route past Bank Quay Station, over Bridge Foot, up Wilderspool Causeway, going out up Loushers Lane towards the Cantilever Bridge could work?

    Then come back over the bridge and either go back towards the park the same way we left it today, or else turn right and go left under the bridge to head through Latchford Village towards the park entrance.  

    Seriously, fella, track finish all day long *taps nose*

  • Really enjoyed this race. Great service at the changing/baggage area, too!  I thought the marshals were enouraging all the way round, though, as well as the support from the public.  (I think the gels were available in the village area beforehand, according to the race info pack.)

  • Incidentally, one of the funniest things I've seen in a good long while - a woman was pacing another runner, and was giving it the whole "here is everything you need to know about running a half-marathon" spiel. At the time she was cutting the corner running on the footpath path on Wash Lane, and explaining why.

    Only she took her eye off the trail ahead, and completely wrapped herself around a lamp-post. Couldn't have done it in a more professionally slapstick way if she'd tried.

    She was absolutely fine, but it definitely seemed to quieten her down for a spell.

    Apologies if she's an RW member, but it really was bloody hilarious. "Here's why I'm running on the path...*BONK*"

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