Bodmin Fire & Rescue Half...one of the toughest in Cornwall?
This has to be the toughest Cornish half marathon I've done. I have to say I'm disappointed with today as my legs had nothing in them from very early on and this took some of the enjoyment out of it. The weather was mild, with a fine drizzle in the air, but the scenery was beautiful as always. The race starts at Bodmin College, initially on road, before turning sharply left up a short steep hill on a tarmacked path, before returning back to road along a country lane. A nice downhill section follows, before runners head into the forest on a gravelly path and draw level with the A30. A nice metal bridge, soft underfoot, leads runners high above the A30 and into the Lanhydrock Estate. A gently sloping downhill section then leads to a short uphill just after Lanhydrock house, before a steep descent on a very stoney track through the forest. The best strategy is just to let go and let the momentum take you, watching out for your footing on the loose gravel. Down by the river at the bottom, runners are all too aware that the only way is up, and soon they are rising back up the hill they just steeply descended, albeit at a shallower gradient, back up to Lanhydrock house. A right turn is made here to make a nice descent down a tarmacked track to the bottom of the hill once more, followed by a fairly level section where it is possible to keep the momentum going, before runners are directed through a gate and start a climb that will last for a mile. The relentless gravel track zigzags up through the trees, before emerging onto a road and eventually returning to where you entered the Estate. As if the first lap wasn't enough, runners then have to complete a second lap of exactly the same route through the Estate, offering faster runs a chance to catch up and offer encouragement to slower runners. Once the second lap is completed, runners return back to Bodmin College via the outbound route, mostly fast but with one final quite long and unwelcome hill. The Big Mac on the way home was well deserved I think! Congratulations to Tom Carthey for winning, Jacob Dobsonfor finishing 3rd, Steve Strachan for beating me today and Denise Lydall for being 1st FRR lady today!