On a busy weekend in the racing calendar as events start returning post-COVD, two Harriers were in action at Penshaw Half Marathon on Sunday 20th June 2021, organised by Trail Outlaws
The Penshaw Half Marathon starts at the foot of Penshaw Hill with the evil organisers making you begin the race with a run up the dreaded hill before dropping back down towards the river. The route takes in beautiful trails along the North and South side of the River Wear, with great views along the river and its broad range of wildlife and wildfowl, before the fabulous finish on Penshaw Monument itself. The course includes 1,591 feet of ascent and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Several runners described it on Strava as brutal! There is one particularly gruelling set of steps through the woods where most runners had to use the hand-rail to pull themselves up and the final half mile is pretty much straight uphill.
As this is a chip timed event, instead of starting in waves, runners were allowed to start at any point they liked between 9am and 10am. This avoided the crush at the start and meant there was no hanging around as you essentially just registered and ran.
Our runners were:
Diane Jones 02:46:05
Hilary Bevan 02:59:19
I’d run this race in 2019 and hated the whole thing. I felt I had unfinished business so had to come back and put things right. This time I actually loved every step! I think in 2019, I’d not realised that it would be so tough. This time I was ready for it and already expecting to walk the hills so I relaxed and enjoyed it. The scenery was beautiful and the atmosphere was brilliant with lots of stretches where you ran past runners going the opposite direction and could cheer each other on. I’ll definitely be back next year.Hilary Bevan