Please see below a race report from Iona from the Haweswater half. Its a good read and sounds like a good event to do.
Haweswater Half Marathon is a delightful race, based in the village of Bampton roughly 1and a half hours drive from Teesside. We were lucky to have such amazing weather, the scenery on the way over was stunning, with fresh snow on the hills which flanked both sides of the A66.
The 11.30 start made the commute over a sociable one , and gave time for us parents to sort the kids out before setting off at a reasonable hour.
Upon arrival into the village we were met by friendly Marshalls, a theme which followed throughout the day. The village hall was really well organised, and there was a separate changing room and bag drop area. The toilet provisions were adequate ( yes it matters !!)
The start was approximately half a mile from the village hall , where I noticed a few fellow Teessiders and Nymac runner Martin, who with his knee supports on wouldn't have looked out of place at a roller disco! I was impressed that half of the 408 field of competitors were dressed sensibly like me (in more than their underwear and gloves which appears to be winter race attire for serious runners) I noticed one guy in shirt, casual shorts and rigger boots and was wondering if he had accidentally got caught up in the wrong crowd until I passed him at mile 11.
The only disappointment of the day was the start which was just a loud whistle to signal we were off. The route took us back past the Village Hall where we were met by a supportive local crowd, then ventured up the lane and climbed for approximately 3 miles. The steepness of the climb was offset by the most stunning scenery as we ran alongside Haweswater reservoir.
The course is an out and back course, which has a mile and a half ascent at mile 5 which is quite disconcerting when the faster runners start to pass you on the way back up. I tried to distract myself by shouting words of encouragement to passing competitors on their return journey but I was beginning to dread the reverse .
However Peter Connor's hill training obviously paid off as I managed to pass people on the hill and follow Martin's advice of making up speed on the downhill. By mile 11, I was glad to see Marshalls cheering words of encouragement , shouting the small distance I had left to run. The finish was visible from about half a mile away by a large red inflatable and a good crowd of supporters.
The race had a fabulous local feel to it, and was really friendly with runners and supporters chatting on route. There were 4 drinks stations, and photographers on route. As with great local races the souvenir was better than a t shirt , we were welcomed in with a mug of tea and flapjack.
First listed NYMAC runner home was Marc Mason, coming in at 1:34:22 , Rob Jones managed to shatter his road half marathon record with a 7 minute pb when he came over the line at 1:39:41, Martin Luxton impressively was 3rd in his age category, running in at 1:40:22. I was impressively first (only !!) NYMAC lady over the line at 1:54:08, my second fastest half. All in all thoroughly recommend Haweswater and If I could guarantee next year's weather I would suggest we take a team outing to the lakes next March.