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  • Robert Brown

Thorpe & Egham Half Marathon

Updated: Sep 20, 2021


On Sunday 22nd August I took part in the Thorpe and Egham Half Marathon. This event is organised by Run Through and it is located at Egham Cricket Club. Thorpe and Egham are located on the south west side of the M25 near Heathrow Airport.


As with all Run Through events, this is a very friendly event with a complete mix of people, and various abilities, competing at all different levels.

As usual you get the racing snakes looking for the win, the keen runners looking for a PB and those that just want to make it around the course for themselves or for a charity (The main charity for the event is Macmillan Cancer).

I was simply using the event as a training run, getting myself ready for my next ultra marathon in a few weeks time.


The Egham Cricket Club is a nice location for the event, however there is no parking close to the event village so you have to find parking at the local train station, which is a 15 minute walk away.

The event village is typical of these smaller events, with a cafe, toilet facilities, and a few small stalls from the event sponsors where you can purchase some clothing, treatments, gym memberships etc...


Once you have arrived at the event village you have to go through the scramble for pre-race registration, for those that did not sign up early enough in advance of the race, and then the wait around whilst the runners go through their pre-race rituals and warm ups.


I enjoy watching the warm ups because you can tell the competent from the casual runners. The competent runners tend to sleek off to a quiet spot were they can go through their warm up process, the casual or beginner runners hang around the stage waiting for Mr Motivator, Jane Fonda or some other lycra clad instructor to take them through a warm up routine that generally involves cheesy dance music, lots of shouting "you can do this" and "yeah com'on", and some questionable squatting.


That's the draw of these events though, for seasoned runners they are an excuse to get out and run a PB or rack up another win, and for everyone else they are a lot of fun and a chance to raise a bit of money for charity or to test yourself on a different course.


Obviously at the moment everything is still orperating with social distance rules but it didn't seem to spoil the vibe and fun around the event village. There was a chap on the stage doing his all to get everyone in the mood to race, and they even wheeled out the mayor of the borough for good measure.

I went through my usual warm-up routine before the race, and pinned my race number to my top.

Once the on-stage warm-up session was over we got ready to start.


Due to the pandemic we were setting off in waves with gaps of 5 minutes(ish) that were more like 30 seconds really, but it did reduce the bunching up of people at the start line.


We set off with a few cheers from the spectators and made our way up the first road, this is a road closed course so there was no worries about traffic.

The course was well marshalled and there were a number of marshalls cheering the runners on with tamborines.


No sooner had I got going when another runner pulls up alongside and asks how I am doing, we soon got chatting about our goals for the day.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I was in no hurry to get around the course as I was treating it as a training run, this meant that I was more than happy to go at a comfortable conversational pace for the entire race.


Phil Zealey, a local chap from Egham, and I had a great chat throughout the whole race. Phil runs marathons and was using the run as a casual workout like me, so was also in no hurry.

Sometimes it is fun just to glide round a course with no agenda other than just enjoying it, chatting to others and admiring the local area.


The course itself was picturesque enough in places, but when you are running entirely on road it means that you do not get to appreciate the countryside as much, even if you can see it whilst you run along. That's the thing I love about trail running, you are in the countryside crossing farmers fields and really taking it in.

The course set out from Egaham and alongside the M25, crossing over the M25 the runners then ran another half a mile before turning around and doubling back on themselves, back the same way almost to the strt line. I am not really a fan of this, I get the road closures make it difficult but it feels a bit lazy by the course organisers.

Once you get to about 4 3/4 miles the course hangs a left and you make your way out to Stroude, the is mile 6.

You then carry on to Virginia Water (mile 7) where you cross a railway line and then make your way over the M3 motorway.

Miles 8-10 are a little loop through some nice villages and then it's back over the railway line and the M3 (Thorpe Interchange) to mile 11.

At this point on the course you have to do the out and back section that you completed at the start of the race, which again is a little boring but you do get to take a look at the runners that are struggling and the ones that are enjoying themselves.

Phil and I were busy chatting away but we did start to pick up the pace a little around mile 10, just so we could get finished really.

There was a nice cheer from the marshals and the spectators on the way down the finishing straight, which would have been lovely to hear if you were one of the runners that was struggling, it's always a nice boost when you just need to make the final 500 yards.

My finishing time was 1:53:33, actually only 1 minute slower than my PB, which is pleasing becasue I wasn't pushing the pace at all. It bodes well for my next PB attempt.


This course only had one hill in it, so if you are after a PB then this could be the course for you.


The finishers medal is quite nice for this race so that is a plus point if you are looking to bling up your collection, and the freebies at the end were also pretty good. I received a race technical t-shirt, ACTiPH water, Kind bar, Love Corn snack and a bag of Epsom salts.


You do get your moneys worth with this event, it's priced at £32 which is not bad at all.

As I said, the course could be better in my opinion but if you are doing your first half or looking to use the race as a training run, like I was, then the Thorpe and Egham half ticks the boxes for that.

For details about this race please visit:


https://www.thorpehalf.com/


Until next time,


Rob


Train hard - Race hard - Have fun!

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