Sunday June 24th, 2018
The Humber Bridge Half was set up by the Rotary Club of Hull in 1998. The first official race was held 12 months later and has grown to become the biggest fundraising event in Hull and the East Riding. The first race attracted 1,261 runners and has been previously named by Runners World as one of the top 50 road races in the UK.
At around 2 hour drive from Peterborough I decided to stay overnight in Barton and then only a 15 minute car journey to the race. For such a large, well established race I was a little disappointed to find that signposting to the carpark was non-existent. Luckily I was early and there were a number of marshals heading that way that I could stop and ask and I wasn’t the only one. The car park I was directed to was in a sports field and was about 10 minute walk from the start which again was not signposted well, but luckily there were a large number of runners who did know where they were going!
We congregated in a car-park adjacent to the start. I had expected a bit more as from what I could see there were just toilets there. Luckily I didn’t need a bag drop as had no idea where that was. Again more sign-posting would have helped. Also, there were no changing facilities and I didn’t spot any pre-race refreshments. I found out (after I had finished) that all of this was at the finish area.
Just before start time we were walked round to the start, with those that were predicting “elite” times (men under 80 mins ladies under 90 mins) asked to go to the front and they started just before the main runners. There were no start pens so you had a mixed bunch of people nearer the front.
The route itself was all on roads and footpaths and starts off through the streets of Hessle, then heads out for approximately 1.5 miles over the Humber Bridge on the east side. On the way out, the bridge had been closed to traffic going south which allowed runners to use the road. I have to say the views were spectacular and it took a lot for me not to just stop and take it all in! The first part of the bridge has a slight incline and then drops once just over half way and allows you to get up some speed. This is short lived however as the next part of the course takes you onto the A15 and off at the first slip road which is quite a sharp incline. Many runners were walking at this point. Then it’s a loop round Barton-upon-Humber under the bridge heading out of Barton. At around 9 miles is a rather steep hill that takes you back to the A15 where you re-join the bridge on the west side. This time the bridge was open so runners were directed along the footpath that runs parallel to the road. Once over the bridge it was a short run to the finish line. There were plenty of water stops on route, with isotonic drinks at around mile 7 and sponges soaked in cold water at mile 9 to help cool us off.
At the finish was a medal, t-shirt, bottle of water and a banana. There were a few refreshment stands but not a huge amount. For something so big I had expected a bit more. What I didn’t realise though was that the finish line was being filmed and as well as getting your results via text, there is a link on the website to watch your finish. https://youtu.be/6qiIgysmow8 - I’m at about 1hour 24 of the video J
Again, better sign posting to the car park from the finish area would have been appreciated. You finished in a different car park and I completely lost my bearings having to ask directions back to the start area so I could retrace my steps to the car park.
The event cost £26 (unaffiliated), £24 which is not bad for a half marathon and was chip timed.
Not so good Points
Apart from a few organisational issues (sign-posting) and lack of facilities I really enjoyed this race. Normally by mile 11 I’m flagging a bit but before I knew it I’d finished. The views were amazing, it was worth the travelling and taking part just for those. Would I do it again, hmm not sure. For me the whole point of doing it was to run across the bridge, I’ve done that now so not sure I’d bother travelling to do it again. But I would recommend to others as one of the races to do at some point.
Right, where next…oh yes Leicester Race for Life Half in 2 weeks time. J