Short circuit the route to running success at Oulton Park
There's certain to be lots of interest, not to say spice, at the Oulton Park Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday 16 February. Expect an action-packed day as, in addition to the two feature events, there is a four distance option (30k, 40k, 50k & 60k) endurance challenge. And if that's not enough to whet your appetite, organisers StuWeb are also including Valentine's Day themed contests that combine romance and teamwork.
All of the fun is at the unique Oulton Park Circuit which organisers bill as 'not what you would call hilly but certainly not flat.' Wikipedia's description is more insightful: 'The track is characterised by rapidly changing gradients, blind crests and several tight corners.'
So expect variety around the 4.3k laps and lots of support from family and friends at key points and also in the form of gels, bananas, cookies and water at the fuelling station.
The 10K will be the choice for runners who want to enjoy the buzz of race day while testing themselves on a tarmac-smooth course with regular undulation. The Half Marathon will be the distance for many including those preparing for a spring marathon who also have the 30K (and even 40K) options to assess how marathon-ready they are.
Ultra distance options are 50K and 60K but runners will have to complete those distances within the 3.5 hour cut-off point.
There's a Valentine's Day dimension to the Half Marathon with a couples' (ie those romantically involved) contest – the first three partnerships with the shortest combined times will collect prizes. There is an ultra race Valentine's category and recognition to the couple that goes furthest bringing a whole new meaning to 'loves running'.
StuWeb's Stuart Steele told runABC: "We're delighted to be taking over the reins of this popular late winter Half Marathon and 10K and to have added some interesting twists to the race day format. We reckon the event will work for those aiming for a strong start to the year at 10k or half marathon or as part of a spring marathon training programme. We're also looking forward to welcoming individual runners, couples and club contingents to this great Cheshire venue."