The DIY Wokingham Half Race Review
The 9th February 2014, a date that will go down in race history as the first (and possibly last) of the FinchCoasters Half Marathons. Late on Friday afternoon, 2 months of rain, storms and gales all conspired against the Wokingham Half rendering it cancelled due to flooding, the organisers decided to abandon the 2014 Wokingham Half Marathon. 3 months of training gone to waste, a Sunday morning lie in? Not a bit of it, operation lets get ourselves a half marathon together swung into action with Dave Jones the official Race Director quickly knocking together a route.
Arms were twisted and we soon had ourselves an elite bunch of athletes lined up ready to race. Unfortunately club finances dictated that we could not fly in Kebeda, Mutai, Kiplagat and Jeptoo so we ended up with the following team of half conditioned FinchCoasters to run the route.
So the scene is set. In true Challenge Anekka style, a DIY half marathon created in 2 hours, all that was left was to bring in the timing car, find a man with a camera to take some photos and flog them for £5 each, bring in the film crew, set up the finishing line and source some cheap plastic medals for the finishers.
The scenic route took in the Valley of the Blackwater before heading North and uphill toward Crowthorne, climbing steadily towards the Waterloo Hotel before heading downhill towards Wokingham Without and then dashing off West towards the world class takeaway of Bobs Fish n chip shop in finchamstead. From here the route headed out past California Contry Park (once the scene of a zoo and a speedway track). This then left the final 4 ish miles back into the Blackwater valley towards Eversley before climbing back up towards the finish line.
First back on the full half marathon and a bit course were race director Dave Jones and Damian Holmwood at just under 1 hour 29 minutes and 21 seconds, setting a new CR. Next in were the winners of the 11 and a bit mile route were Abbi and Lucy in a time of 1 hour 40 ish smashing the CR as well. Rhodri Jones in 1 hour 38 minutes and Paul McKenzie came in next in the half marathon race in 01:39. Paul Evans came somewhere in around this part of the results along with Leslie who was subsequently disqualified for getting lost and cutting the route short by 3 miles. He blames congestion on the course and poor signage though and asked for a stewards enquiry, the stewards said no. Simon Crute , Pete Humpries and Paul Jenkins came in quick succession into the 1 hour 50 zone Bringing up the rear were Jess and Jason bringing to a close the most excellent inaugural Daves DIY finch Half 2014.
Full results will be posted when we have them or can remember to post them.
In true spirit of DIY, the official race photographer using an android phone snapped these pictures of the end, sorry for the quality.
These pictures can also be found here if the elves of the interweb are being cheeky.
Any Video footage?
Brendan Foster and Steve Cram were busy but we did get a little bit of footage of the runners finishing. No views from the course because the bike had a flat tyre and the battery on the Go Pro was dead, amateurs.
Video is also available on YouTube
A Massive thank you to Dave Jones whose most excellent idea this was.