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Clowne Half-Marathon: Sunday 25 November 2018 Print

"Where?" I hear you ask.  Clowne, a village somewhere up by Chesterfield so you have to set off at 6.50am on a Sunday morning for the 9.30 start to this annual half-marathon road race.
"Why?" I hear you ask.  Because Andy Wadsworth said so, that's why (he's done it before).
Stuart and I were minding our own business a couple of months ago when Andy told us about this must-do event and - fools that we are - we listened to him.  And I am glad we did because this really is an excellent event, well worth the trek up North (or whichever direction it is).
The Clowne Half Marathon is staged by Clowne Road Runners.  It is held on an undulating course running from Clowne village centre through the attractive surrounding countryside and villages before returning to Clowne.  Although the roads are not closed for the event it is very well-marshalled and mainly uses quiet, minor roads so there are no problems with traffic.  
The course has very little flat or straight sections so is a challenging run with little PB potential but this isn't really an issue as the run itself is so enjoyable.  There is a great atmosphere with lots of club runners, albeit wearing club vests that I didn't recognise: other than our three Sparkhill vests - and one runner in a Villa football shirt (!) - I didn't see any other Birmingham or West Mids club vests.  Oh, and did I mention that it is undulating?
Overall organisation, registration, baggage storage and transfer to finish were all very good with easy parking.  Finishers received a good quality hoodie and a choice of excellent home-made cakes.  One other point of interest was the positioning of their mile markers: Stuart and I both noticed that they were absoutely spot-on accurate according to our GPS devices, which I for one found oddly reassuring.
740 runners completed the course in perfect running conditions.  The Sparkhill performances:

 99 Andy Wadsworth 
 1hr 37min 56sec  (17th MV50)
 151 Rob Mills 1hr 41min 30sec (2nd MV60)
 Stuart Minchin 1hr 53min 40sec 
 (72nd MV50)

I couldn't recommend this one any higher if you fancy trying it out next year.

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