Running Grand Prix – Oulton Park Half Marathon

7th Dec 2018

Here we are in December and my final Half Marathon in this crazy year of trying to run twelve half marathons in twelve months.

We ran a Half Marathon around Oulton Park back in February, unfortunately, during the race, I had to withdraw due to ill health, but this time I was determined to complete it.

Going into the race, I felt like I had something to prove as if the DNF from the last time had somehow stuck in mind.  Although we were running on the race circuit, they had used an extra part of it that wasn’t included in the race back in February.  This meant that we only had to run 5 laps of the course instead of 6!  This was better from a psychological point of view because it meant there was one less time I had to tackle those hills!

We headed out for our first lap, and when I crossed the line I duely pressed the start button on my Apple Watch, this time though, the damn thing crashed!  I kept running but had to restart the watch twice, alas it finally behaved itself, but I managed to miss the first two kilometres!

The extended part of the race that I mentioned earlier was a 180 degree turn back on yourself, this doesn’t seem to bad in theory, but because the race track is designed for cars and bikes, the bend is banked, this made it have an unbelievable camber which was bad on the legs!  I would say that this was my only real gripe about the course.

There are a few hills on the course, but they are not horrific the first few laps around, on my fourth lap I could really feel them and then it plays on your mind that you have to tackle them again on the next and final lap!

During the day they were simultaneously running a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k.  This was good because it felt like the course had lots of people on it, and I run better when there are other people around.

I enjoyed the race, apart from when something went snap in my right leg!  The pain was terrible, but I managed to carry on and get over the finish line.  The next day I couldn’t weight bear on it and finally ended up going to our local Accident & Emergency department for some x-rays to see if there was a stress fracture.  The good news was that there was no fracture, just some soft tissue damage.  I blame that bend with the extreme camber!

The race was well organised, including the race packet pickup on the morning of the race.  The postrace Technical-T was good quality and one that I would not hesitate wearing for training.  The medal was really good quality too.

Would I run Oulton Park again?  To be honest I don’t think I would.  Running around a motor race track is not really that interesting, in fact, it can be quite psychologically challenging, I’m just glad I was doing the Half Marathon instead of the Marathon, I don’t think I would have survived ten laps around the track!

Race Route

Race Stats

Finish Time 02:40:42
Avg. Pace min/km
My Race Rating

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