Brentwood Half Marathon – 19/03/17
21 March 2017 - By James Blackshaw
On Sunday morning ten intrepid WRC runners ventured down to the land of fake tans and Range Rovers to test their legs in the Brentwood half marathon, a popular race that regularly attracts over three thousand runners. The conditions were promising for some good times, with mild, dry temperatures, although strong crosswinds on the return leg from Blackmore would make for some difficult miles. The race organisers had also changed the course this year, deciding to divert the route away from the busy single-file pavements of the Ongar Road (‘The Straight Mile’) to the quieter and more scenic country lanes of Doddinghurst.
First across the line was Owen Dare, in a PB time of 1:30:53, and also coming 6th in the male over 50 category. Owen’s looking in great shape for his upcoming Manchester marathon in April. First WRC lady home was Haydeh Safavi in an impressive 2:03:47, also doing very well in her age category, coming in at 25th place. Graham Eyre also continues to impress with yet another PB, getting across the line in 1:45:69, and coming a noteworthy 5th in his age category.
In my opinion the new course was a vast improvement upon previous years, in terms of runner safety and having more room for maneuver from mile 8 onwards. The main drag to the finish, Doddinghurst Road, was almost completely closed to vehicles, and there also seemed to be much more support out on this part of the route than in previous years. The other runners I spoke to afterwards also seemed to think the new course was an improvement, although there was a general agreement that the climb to the finish was much steeper in this new route, meaning achy legs for the last couple of turns before the finish line.
Other results below. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, but some runners (myself included) seem to have forgotten to affiliate themselves to WRC during the entry process, so I’ve had to go on memory!
Owen Dare – 1:30:53 PB
James Blackshaw – 1:35:38
Mark Lynch – 1:40:35
Graham Eyre – 1:45:69 PB
Paul Chandler – 1:49:51
Anthony Smith – 1:53:57
Mark Williams – 1:55:09
Haydeh Safavi – 2:03:47
Karen Flowers – 2:08:07
Louise Pascoe – 2:11:32