Kimbolton Half Marathon
Just over the North-East border of Bedfordshire, where it starts heading towards the Cambridgeshire fens is a quaint village called Kimbolton. The village is well known for it's fairly exclusive public school that was once Kimbolton Castle where Katherine of Aragon spent her final years after her divorce from Henry, but yesterday the school played host to the second running of the Kimbolton Half.
With a couple of chaps from the MK training group and Pete Mackrell recommending the event from last year, Andy entered Amy into the race to join Pete as part of their marathon preparations for September & October with the intention that Andy would take Erin to watch. However, a late withdrawal from "Auntie Wendy" Webber and the offer of a replacement babysitter Andy decided to join in too.
As all the runners sheltered under trees and gazebos in the school grounds 15 minutes before the start as the rain fell around them, Andy was starting to regret that decision and was wondering what excuse could be made. Even Pete, who is nothing if not thorough in his preparation sacrificed some of his warm-up for cover in his car! As it turned out though, the rain did abate just before the start and we ended up with decent running conditions.
The race isn't huge, but at 435 competitors, it is was certainly a worthwhile size and well organised, with plenty of parking, good signage, chip timing and both a T-shirt and medal for those that like a memento.
In terms of the course profile, you basically have 6.5 miles of gradual uphill followed by five miles of mostly down. There is a bit of a kicker hill at 11.5 miles, but as the curators of the Leighton 10, we could hardly complain about a nasty hill near the end! I would be surprised if there weren't a lot of people who did a negative split on the course.
Our individual efforts all turned out pretty well in the end too. Amy ran 1:36:53 to finish 8th lady out of 154 despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm and a parkrun with Erin the day before in good time. Pete did a 27 mile (yes 27 mile!) training run last weekend so still had that in his legs but managed to finish 4th in the race in 1:16:43, which he was pretty pleased with all things considered.
The happiest of the bunch though was Andy who despite having done his heaviest week of training this year and a parkrun plus seven miles the previous day, smashed his PB to just about keep Pete in his sights and cross the line 5th in 1:17:15 to his huge surprise.
All in all it's a good race and if you are feeling strong at 7 miles then it's certainly a PB course too, but do beware the hill at 11, as Amy put it; "It's gruelling!"