British Masters Half Marathon Championships, Ashbourne – Sunday 7th July 2019

Author: Walter Hill

Sunday 7th July we attended another event the Ashbourne Half incorporated the BMAF Champs.

The course took us through the fabulous Derbyshire Dales scenery so beloved by Jane Austen and back to the historic market town of Ashbourne. It forgot to tell us that we would experience some awesome climbs with some of the best views I have ever experienced in a Half Marathon in Great Britain.

1100 feet of elevation in a Half is a lot of elevation with Blore Hill testing the endurance of a mountain goat. The challenge of the course had a significant impact on the finishing times but it was a fair challenge for all who ran and the positive memories will be there forever.

The finish was in a delightful cricket ground and the medal presentation held in the pavilion.

Can I personally thank so many of you for staying for the presentation which made our day.

Let’s hear from one of our runners first account Fee Maycock “ V50 Winner”, whom described the course ” Brutal”.

The BMAF Half Marathon Champs were held within the Ashbourne Half Marathon on the very warm sunny Sunday morning of 7th July,  It is a modestly sized event but certainly packed with character and the organisers were genuinely pleased to be hosting the Masters competition. We started in the pretty bunting lined Market Square and having studied the profile of the course, I knew the morning heat was going to be the least of my worries with challenging hills coming at around 3 and 6 miles.  Having climbed the first smaller hill it certainly made me worry about what was to come later. 

We ran through some stunning scenery and pretty villages along the route and were cheered on by friendly Marshalls and water station volunteers. The lovely Marshalls at the cattle grid at the foot of the hill out of Ilam assured me it was the last hill “it’s a very big one though!” they said.  They weren’t wrong, it was the sort of hill that you need to crane your neck to see the top of.  A couple of runners ahead resorted to walking but I had to keep running, thinking that if I stopped I might not get going again. 

The descents could be as challenging as the climbs but were very welcome.  Having been told I was third lady by a few Marshalls, I couldn’t quite believe it, but the out and back section in the last quarter of the race gave me a chance to take a look at how the race was panning out.  I was indeed third lady and although I was tiring badly this knowledge made me keen to maintain my position.  As we headed back towards Ashbourne my legs started to cramp a little, there was a lovely cooling run through the long tunnel to enjoy then it was the final push to the finish on the Recreation Ground where bananas, water and biscuits were on hand for all finishers.  A very well organised race held in a beautiful setting. 

Fee Maycock – Collecting the V50 Award

Finally, well done to everyone that ran in our half marathon competition on Sunday!

Results can be found on the Ashbourne website or for masters: http://bmaf.org.uk/british-masters-half-marathon-championships/