Goose Fair, “Boots”, lace. All things that are associated with the great city that is Nottingham. But what’s the number one thing that most people think of when they think ‘Nottingham’?
If you said Robin Hood, you’d be right. Man or myth, who knows? Either way, Robin Hood is firmly embedded within Nottingham folklore and therefore it is only right that his legend is continually honoured throughout time. In naming the local race after him, the organisers of the Ikano Bank Robin Hood Half Marathon have done just that.
Being a former resident of Nottingham this was my local race for a number of years. Having ran it eight times previously and having spectated, looking on in envy at the runners last year, I returned like the proverbial prodigal child this year to take in the sights of one of my favourite cities once again.
There are a number of things that are important to runners when it comes to choosing a race from the many, many races that are out there. The course – is it interesting, or unique in some way? The reputation – what does the history of the race say for itself? And of course, the medal.
With over 9000 runners taking to the streets of Nottingham on 30th September the start line at the beautiful Victoria Embankment was a buzz of energy. Start pens were clearly marked and appropriately spacious for the number of runners and the race conditions were perfect – crisp, cool and grey with just a hint of breeze. The course takes in some beautiful sites, including The Park and Wollaton Park, finishing with a return to the race village via the Embankment and along the River Trent. A challenging series of hills within the first 3 miles soon gives way to an absolute treat of a downhill which lasts for about three quarters of a mile down Derby Road, from which follows a predominantly flat route. The people of Nottingham are an important part of the course – the support has always been constant and incredible, with this year being no different. Add to that the cheerful marshals, well stocked water stations located every 3 miles, and plentiful support there from the happy volunteers, Robin Hood Half Marathon remains one of my favourite courses.
The medal speaks for itself. Always well designed, with brilliant detail and some serious weight behind it, this year’s offer is also double sided for extra impact! If you’re a collector of interesting race memorabilia then a medal from the Robin Hood Half makes this race a must do.
Next year’s half marathon event is Sunday 29th September – entries are open now!