Berko Fun Run 3rd March 2019
What goes up must come down………fortunately.
Berko 5 mile fun run is the unofficial start of the club racing season. Come rain or shine over the years the club has provided a good contingent for the fun run and 2019 was no different with 13 members of the club joining in.
This year it was rain from the start of the run which continued throughout the event. But rain is no barrier to a Watford Running Sister and everyone started with a smile as can be seen from the photos kindly taken by Amanda who came along with Liz to cheer us on.
The run route starts at Cricket Club in Berko, goes past the castle ruins and Berkhamsted school to get to the High Street and London Road all very gentle, flat and deceptive. After the 1 mile marker an innocent left turn into Bullbeggars Lane is the start of THE HILL. There is no denying it is one serious challenging hill but everyone got up to the top still smiling (well they were when they got to the top) jelly babies and the water station at the top helped.
Once the hill is conquered there is a flattish part towards Potten End then Oh JOY its downhill all the way back to cricket club. The views over the Chilterns both on the uphill and downhill are beautiful and make this a very lovely run. As we start the downhill we heard the pounding footsteps of the half marathon runners as at this point the two runs merge. They did not seem to be having a chat as most of us were.
Pretty soon we were turning into the cricket club again and the glorious FINISH sign so we try and squeeze out a bit extra speed for the finish cheered on by the crowd.
As you can see two of the members Maria and Pam are still smiling as they approached the end of the run.
Afterwards some of us went to a local coffee shop for a light lunch and agreed it had indeed been a fun morning. Times don’t matter - fun and friendship do.
This is a really well organised run with free car parking, chip timing, plenty of toilets, baggage drop and lovely finisher’s medals. If you would like to give it a go next year put the 1st Sunday in March in your diary now.
(Race report by Barbara)
RACE REPORT HAMPTON COURT HALF - 17th March 2019
Inspired by last year's Running Sisters', three members, Amanda, Carole and myself rock up for the Hampton Court Half Marathon. It was a beautifully sunny albeit freezing morning. However we were no fools, remembering how cold Berko was just two week previously, we were armed with bin liner's!! The start of the race was in front of the impressive Hampton Court Palace and with a wandering Henry Vlll for photo opportunities there was plenty to look at to take our minds of the usual pre "who's idea was this?" nerves! With an estimated 3,500 runners plus spectators it really was a buzzing atmosphere.
The race set of in waves and soon we were running along the Thames tow path towards Kingston, this in itself was a wonderful site made even more entertaining by the steel drums and marshals cheering us on. Approaching the bridge at Kingston we were treated to the local Rock Choir. We then ran through Kingston town centre then along a busy main road, not so pretty but have to say the marshals did a wonderful job in stopping the traffic and cheering us on. Then back into Hampton, once again up the towpath.
This time the runners were more spread out and crowds of spectators had gathered to cheer us all on and calling out our names! When we again reached the bridge by the Rock Choir we then headed left into the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. The terrain being a bit more cross county although muddy, it was flat! During the last couple of miles my knee started to play up and I really struggled to keep going, the camaraderie of the other runners certainly helped, as I found out when I went to stop to stretch and someone shouted "don't stop now, keep running" so I did! Amanda had an injury so sensibly decided to take it steady. Soon we were running in the finishing lane, which seemed to go on for miles but hey we did it!
We were then gifted with the usual bling medal and goody bag. We did not take advantage of the race village but there were the usual stalls for hot drinks and food. Inside the goody bag was a 2-4-1 ticket for the Palace if you wanted to make a day of it. All three of us really loved this race and we would all do it again. It is flat and well supported ideal if you are considering doing your first half.
There is no parking on site but parking was available in nearby Bushy Park or on street. Top tip if you park on street, just remember where, as it saves you walking another half marathon to find it!! As with most races we rounded it off with a well-deserved hot drink in a cafe.
Go on, you know you want to!
(Race report by Lisa)