The 14th and penultimate round in the Cornish Grand Prix Series, the "undulating" Truro Half Marathon took place in glorious autumnal conditions on Sunday 17th September. As Falmouth Road Runners gathered on Lemon Quay in blazing sunshine for the inaugural pre-race photo, you could have been forgiven for thinking that conditions were actually going to be too warm on the run. However, after heavy rain the day before, runners were still bracing themselves for plenty of mud and puddles out on the course.
I think it's fair to say that the Truro Half Marathon isn't PB territory. Or if you did PB on it, then you must be a significantly faster runner compared to the last time you ran a half marathon.
The race started at 9.30, slightly earlier than many other races in the series, and included a celebratory lap through Truro city centre before heading under the A39, round the back of Tesco and out southward to pick up a wet and muddy path alongside the river through the trees. This first section is flat and fast, although the mud on the path slowed it down compared to previous years. Once back on the road though, the hills start...and don't stop until you reach the 10 mile mark. The race winds its way through the picturesque rural countryside to the east of Playing Place and Carnon Downs, with some notable steep ascents and descents off-road on rough track. I was fearing this would be muddier and more slippery than it was, but although still damp, the track was hard and not slippery mud with road shoes tackling it with relative ease. Due to its position in the race, perhaps the hardest section is between about 7 and 10 miles where the route seems to keep going up...just as you think there can't be any more hills, another emerges. Thankfully at just over 10 miles the worst of the hills are done and runners can enjoy a fast flat or downhill sprint to the finish.
A great turnout from FRR, with ~26 at the race. Congratulations to Steve Strachan (2nd in age), Jackie Cope (2nd in age), Lee Coulson (3rd in age) and the FRR Mens Team (Steve Strachan, James Barnet, Lee Coulson, Kieran Murrant, Robin Watson & David Capps) for bringing home 3rd team prize, the first team prize for FRR since the Cubert 5. Also a special mention to Nige Roberts, who beat superman across the line. We are all superheros! Special thanks go to David Garrard and Martin Dalton for invaluable support out on the course, with Martin doing a great job of proudly waving the FRR flag!