Race Great West Run – Exeter
Date 13th October 2013 Venue Exeter City Centre
Distance ½ Marathon, 13.2 miles Cost £33


The run had a new course this year to get away from a multi lap run as it has been in previous years.  The weather on the day was perfect for a ½ marathon as cool and dry and the crowds made it more enjoyable.

With a new start point slap bang in the middle of the city centre the atmosphere was fantastic.  The race village was well organised but a little way from the start line and I think they underestimated the number of toilets they were going to need as the queues were huge!  Once at the start line they had set pens up regarding predicted finish times which was a great help, however to get to your desired point you had to fight your way from the back of the pack which became problematic! Once I got as near to my desired starting point I didn’t have to wait long before the off.

The new route saw a downhill start through the city centre alone high street before heading over the river.  The route was well supported throughout the undulating route with many there to help spur you along.  Before heading back into the city there was a section of out and back along a flattish road towards Stoke Woods, this section was rather tedious with no support or view.  From here you began to hit the hills! A gradual climb up towards Exeter University saw the beginning of a sharp climb below the university campus before heading towards Pinhoe.  After a further mile of undulating hills the run turned left onto the Pinhoe road where the hills continued to undulate but the crowd support truly helped keep the pace.  May spectators offering jelly babies and support along the way.

This section was more out and back and the return felt much harder due to a large, long hill 1 mile from the finish.  As before the crowd truly helped you find the energy in your legs and once you ‘summited’ it was downhill to the very noisy finish line.

Once finishing you were given plenty of fruit and energy drinks by USN as well as a quality medal.  After the walk back to the village there was free rub downs available but depending on your finish time depended on the que.

In summary, the route was generally great but don’t expect a PB! The crowds really help you along and the water stations well-spaced.  The downsides are the starting pen issues and the drinks supplier – USN, not many people use this so were not willing to use within the race.

Would I do it again – Already signed up for 2014!