Race Review: Folkestone Half Marathon 2015

This race was a little while ago now so it maybe a bit short on detail, but I’ll do my best to cover the main points and let you know what I thought.

Being my second half marathon I had a bit more confidence in the lead up to the Folkestone Half as I at least knew that I could cover the distance, even though the final couple of miles of my first half marathon at the Canterbury Half had been a bit of a struggle!

Race Day

Folkestone Half Marathon
 
Folkestone Half Marathon

Arriving in Folkestone a little short on time it was a crazy dash to find a parking spot before making my way down to the sea front. I had no idea exactly where the start line was located, but thankfully there were enough hi-viz heroes around that I was quickly pointed in the right direction and advised to get a wriggle on! A gentle jog along the Leas and I had made it with a couple of minutes to spare.

Held towards the end of September, the last of the summer’s good weather was still around and it was a hot and sunny day with hardly any breeze coming off the sea. Perfect conditions for a PB, or so I thought…

We’re Off

Within no time at all the pre-race brief was completed and off we went. Starting off with a loop around a number of side roads, before heading back onto the Leas and down the fairly steep ‘Road of Remembrance’ – dropping around 45 meters over a distance of 600 meters, it was going to be a bit go a challenge coming back up again towards the end of the race.

From this point onwards the course was fairly straight forward as it ran along the sea towards Hythe before looping through a few residential roads and re-joining onto the sea front.

Folkestone Half Marathon 2015 – Elevation
As recorded on race day
Distance


Folkestone Half Marathon 2015 – Route
As recorded on race day


All was going well and to plan until around 6 miles in when I felt a slight soreness in my knee. Unfortunately I knew this feeling and was well aware that it wasn’t going to be a niggle which would just go away. I kept going until the loop at which point I had to switch to a run/limp/walk strategy and decided I’d be pleased to make it back to the start/finish at all!

I started counting down the mile markers, and after what felt like a VERY long time, I finally made it back to the hill to the top of the Leas. As is a symptom of Runner’s Knee, actually running up the hill was completely pain free, and with all the energy I’d saved along the way it was great to power up the hill, passing numerous others along the way. It must have looked rather strange – the runner who had been limping along suddenly making a last minute dash for the finish!

A last half mile or so along the Leas and it was great to finally get over the line!

Folkestone Half Marathon

The negatives of actually continuing the second half of the race with such a painful injury I don’t know, but I’ve now got an exercise and stretching regime which has been keeping knee issues at bay for a good number of months now.

Medals and Prizes

Folkestone Half Marathon

Good to see a lovely custom medal with all the race details on a custom lanyard. I’d be happy if all the smaller local races put the extra effort in to produce a nice keepsake like this.

Conclusion

The organisation for race was all good and there were no issues that I noticed. It’s not the most interesting of routes along the seafront, and as I know from the Folkestone Coastal 10k, on a day with wet and windy weather there is nowhere to hide, but this wasn’t one of those days. All in all a good race with a top medal to take home. Big thumbs up.

And being a lovely day there was also the chance to enjoy the sunshine and have a walk (slowly!) along the re-developed harbour arm.

Folkestone Half Marathon

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