On Sunday a local race, the Romsey 5 Mile, took place in the beautiful setting of the Broadlands Estate. It is a fast course comprising of mostly tarmac with a bit of gravel. It is great for those attempting a PB and a bit more exciting for spectators.
Registration took place just across the road from the start and was a very quick, organised process. There were plenty of marshals on and around the course, helping to guide runners around the laps and looking out for the leaders. This was quite important. Being a lapped course, the leaders are very likely to overtake a large percentage of the crowd and so runners need to be on their guard. As a result, the marshals were very strict on not wearing headphones. I saw a couple of marshals getting annoyed with runners not paying attention to this and writing down their numbers.
To enter was £14 and this secured your place, timing chip and medal at the end. At the finish, water and nibbles were available for participants. For the distance, the price is probably a little high, but it all went smoothly so no complaints.
The race is in Romsey; for those of you have have visited will appreciate that the car parking isn’t really suited to large amounts of people. We got there early so we didn’t have an issue with getting a space but later comers would have needed to park further out.
The start of the race is a short walk from registration and toilets are available at registration and at the start line.
This was my first lapped race. I was a bit concerned I wouldn’t enjoy it but mentally, I found this really good to do. As it is 5 miles, there are only 3 laps. The first 2 laps are the same, followed by a longer third lap. The course is flat, mostly tarmac with mile markers.
The course is very visible, you can easily see the lead runners and get an idea of what lies ahead.
Due to it being a lapped course, this makes it much nicer for spectators. You are able to easily spot people coming and get cheered on a couple of times! The scenery is beautiful. I have never been to the Broadlands Estate before and was really impressed.
We even had a herd of cows mooing us all on!
On the final lap there is a short out and back part which is great for seeing and spurring on other runners. There were plenty of club runners in attendance but a good mixture of non-club runners too. Overall, the race wasn’t too busy and it was fairly easy to overtake others when you needed too.
I don’t have a lot of negative feedback for this course. I finished it with a massive smile on my face and in a really good time. Once the results were out, we both noticed that the timing was out from our watches and comments from the 2014 race suggested similar issues. The timing chip is quite bulky, I assume this is just old technology and could be part of the issue.
Personally, I really enjoyed this race. I found it great for controlling my speed and trying to push myself. It was helpful to have visibility of others and the course ahead as well as getting encouragement by the faster people on the out and back part. The medal was nice, there was a good crowd and it was all easy to get too.
Looking forward to entering it again in 2016.