Redcar Running Festival – 24th September 2023

by Andy Turnell

The Running Festival is a regular event at the end of September and packs four races into a single morning (early afternoon for the slower runners).

There’s a 2k Junior Fun Run, 5k, 10k and Half Marathon all starting before 10:15.

Crook had representatives in the 10k and the Half.

One of my long standing targets has been a sub 1:45 half marathon and, although the course has changed somewhat over the recent past, it’s about as flat as you could hope for so I was fairly confident as I collected my race number.

The weather forecast had been poor in the run up to the day but it turned out to be rain free and with what I thought was a fresh breeze.

That was until I caught up with Lee and Wayne who had literally just finished the 10k and left me in no doubt that the headwind would be an issue. I shall not repeat the exact description used!

I had a plan which I hoped would allow me to build a reserve of time if I slowed towards the end of the run. I did have second thoughts about having done Wrekenton the day before but I couldn’t resist the chance of being first M65 round the XC knowing that Geoff was on holiday.

The HM started at 10:00 and comprised 2 laps of an out and back course with a short extra loop at the start due to another course adjustment.

There’s not much to say about the race itself other that that Lee and Wayne were right about the wind. I covered the first 5k at sub 1:40 pace but that ended once we turned into the wind and around the 11 mile mark I began to feel the previous days efforts taking effect. Fortunately for the last mile and half I had the wind pretty much behind me and managed to finish in an official time of 1:43:43.

For me that ‘s a lifetime best. From my first half marathon in June 1983 I’d never broken 1:45 and I managed to finish as the first M65 by a margin of 6 minutes 20 seconds.

The only problem now is that I’m not satisfied. I’ve convinced myself that with better preparation and no XC the day before, I can get under 1:40. Time will tell, but I’m not going to stop trying.



Place Name Time
4 Lee Thompson 00:35:37
6 Wayne Pearson 00:36:04 1st M55
27 Matthew Brimm 00:43:11
33 Peter Coser 00:44:20
257 Frank Best 01:13:29

Half Marathon
Place Name Time
112 Andrew Turnell 01:43:43 1st M65