Cambridge Half Marathon 4-3-18

Cambridge Half Marathon 4-3-18

Eleven members of Great Yarmouth Road Runners (GYRR)   took to the streets of Cambridge to compete in the popular annual Half Marathon.  The recent snow put the race under threat leading up to race day but with a comparatively balmy temperature of around 6 degrees the conditions turned out to be ideal for the 7000 runners.  Several club runners had opted to enter the more local Broadland Half Marathon which was cancelled. 


The Cambridge Half was professionally organised with an impressive race HQ village situated on Midsummer Common. It gave the ideal start and finish for maximum spectator enjoyment.  Baggage reclaim issues had been addressed to avoid the chaotic scenes of 2017 where thousands of runners had to queue for up to an hour in freezing temperatures to collect their warm clothing.

The course itself was unchanged from the previous two years taking in the famous King’s College landmark through the centre with a large crowd of spectators providing a real boost twice for the competitors. Runners also passed through Trumpington and Grantchester. 

The overall winner completed the course in an impressive 1.07, with the first female in 1.15. It wasn’t too long before the first red, blue and white GYRR vests appeared on the horizon. Returning to Cambridge for the 2nd consecutive year was Steven Baker.  Gliding along the finish straight in a time of 1.30.41, he was delighted to earn himself a substantial Personal Best (PB). 

Steven paved the way for a raft of GYRRs to finish in quick succession.  Andrew Dormer was next home in 1.31.12. He is in excellent form at the moment but recent racing has taken its toll and prevented him from getting a PB this time. 

James Carass dipped under 1.33 to finish in 1.32.57.  He gave it everything but he only ran his first marathon 2 weeks ago and the body takes time to recover so we look forward to seeing even more from James when he has fresh legs.  First lady home for the club was the ever-impressive Vicky Quantrill.  Vicky is training hard for April’s London Marathon and targets her races carefully.  She finished in a new PB time of 1.33.11 and her quickest on this course in her 3 appearances.

Congratulations to Myles Duffield who was next home in a PB time of 1.34.48.  Myles has been training hard for this event after a series of long term injuries and setbacks. He looked comfortable at the finish and really enjoyed the event. Matt Buckoke (1.36.04) was on for a sub 1.30 finish until his legs fatigued towards the end.  An impressive performance considering he also ran a trail marathon just two weeks ago.

Gary Pillar is a veteran at this event putting in his 4th consecutive appearance. His pre-race porridge ritual payed off, helping him to achieve an impressive 1.38.32 finish time. This is not his best but he is focussed on the Manchester Marathon which takes place in 5 weeks. Paul Reeve will also be joining Gary in Manchester.  Using the event as a fitness indicator he ran close to his best in 1.39.14.

Mark Stone ran 1.41.29.  He enjoyed the support from his wife and two children who made the trip to support him and the rest of the team. Lorrain Dawson finished in 2.05.45 which was a long way off her best but she felt the effects of the interruptions to training because of the recent snowy conditions.

Running her first half marathon was Fiona Williams. Fiona is no stranger to challenging weather conditions so the pre-race hype around the weather uncertainty did not faze her. Running her first ever 10 miler race in horrendous conditions in December’s Turkey Trot, getting to the finish line of her first half was never in question. Although she picked up a niggling injury part way round she still managed an impressive 2.24.49. 

Well done to the team and to the family members and fellow club mates who provided support and encouragement to the competitors.

Report by Penny Studley.