The newly named Redcar Running Festival 2018 included the usual Redcar Half Marathon, Beacon 5K and 2K Kids Fun Run and also featured a new 10K race.
This is not the only change from last year. Gone were the usual tents outside the leisure centre for baggage, number collection and free physio service… Number collection was in the main hall and lacked a bit of organisation (some signs would have been helpful as the hall was extremely crowded), baggage was left on the Hall’s stage at your own risk and I presume the physios were located somewhere near the new start/finish area.
Speaking of which, there was a new start/finish area! Bringing with it a slight detour to each race. Instead of starting on the main Majuba Road, each race began behind the leisure centre on the narrow promenade.
It was just a matter of following everyone else as there were limited marshalls or directions available to know where the start was. At the start, a series of small gates for each race were marked in a nearby car park. They got largely ignored as they all led into a central open section where athletes congregated as they tried to figure out when their race was and how to get into the start section. Certainly some organisational lessons to learn if this format continues next year.
I did the 5K this year and the route differed slightly in that it took in a short loop of the car park before heading along the sea front towards Marske. Because of the slight extra distance at the start, the turning point on this out and back course wasn’t quite as far down the hill as usual.
Weather was pretty perfect apart from a sea breeze that affects you coming back to the finish, but I still managed a time of 21:50 running with an IT Band problem. Not the 19:40 PB I got here last year, but certainly better than my expectations on the day.
The new 10K event took in pretty much the same route as the 5K but continued right down the hill towards Marske before returning back to the start/finish, and seemed to be a success. Definitely nice to have good choice of distances to run on the day and certainly fulfilling the Redcar Running Festival moniker.
It was great to cheer on the Half Marathon runners through half way and then at the finish. Everybody put in such a great effort, especially in the wind and sun that made an appearance in the latter stages!
As always, a great finishers bag with t-shirt, medal, mars bar, protein bar and more mile socks!
Despite the teething problems with the new format, it’s always a popular event in the North East and I’m sure the organisation will improve next year.