RW Race Report: Croydon Half-Marathon



by Amy Molloy

croydon half marathon,  croydon half marathon 2011
Credit: Paul Loughlin, Orchard

When: April 3
Where: South London
First man: Abdi Madar 1:11:31
First woman: Liz Wynn 1:29:12
Last finisher: 2:58:12
No. of finishers: 369
Race type: Road
RW rating 2011: NA

The Croydon Tramlink opened in May 2000. Why is this relevant? Well, on the plus side it meant this new race was joyfully simple for participants to get to.

But, because the 13.1-mile route crossed the tramline, it also meant that some runners got caught at the red light...not just once, but twice, on the multi-lap course (a PB deal-breaker or welcome rest-stop, depending on your goal). 

Though south London may not be your first choice for an away race, the two local running clubs (Striders and Harriers) who organised the town's first-ever half marathon made the best of the location.

Runners were led along the tree-lined pavements of the Sandilands and Whitgift estates, while avoiding some of the less salubrious areas of town.

Judging by the post-race chatter, the undulating nature of the race route took everyone by surprise - especially the knee-creaking inclines at miles three and eight. However, on the upside these were balanced by a recuperating mile-long downhill stretch afterwards.

It wasn't the most beautiful route, but the race facilities bagged the event some serious brownie points. There were spacious changing rooms, spotless showers, and four sports therapists on hand at the finish line, offering massages free of charge.

Plus the data collectors were so efficient that the top 100 runners' times and ranks were posted on a bulletin board before number 89 had even reached the bag-drop.

With a prize for the strongest sprint  finish and bulging goody bags to top things off, the organisers can consider the inaugural Croydon Half Marathon a job very well done.


Like the sound of this? Try...

Macclesfield Half Marathon

Cheshire, September 25

This is one of those races that does everything very well and makes the organisation look easy (something that  the hilly course definitely isn't). The  views, crowds, post-race facilities and big goody bags are all second to none.


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