If anyone is doing the 10k, the route hasn't been announced yet but it will start and finish at the same place as the half marathon.
So here it is, the official new route and elevation chart.
|Official new English Half Marathon route|
- The race will start and finish by actually running through the iconic gates
- Runner's will get to run through the home of Warrington Wolves (Sorry Widnes fans) at mile 12
- The town center is now a feature with The Guardians, the River of Life and the Cultural Quarter all present on the race route.
- Victoria Park track is no more (well it's still there, but just not a part of the route) :(
- There's also no more Black Bear path which is also a little bit sad, I still use the distance markings on the path on my training runs
- The Stretton Road loop is gone and that evil little hill on Green Lane along with it
I mapped the new route on Strava (making it private and deleteing it straight after getting screenshots, think I got a bit paranoid) so that we can see both the new and old route side by side.
|Old EHM Route|
|New EHM Route|
The chart below shows the new elevation in grey compared to the old route which is represented by the white line (it's not exact but it's as good as my poor graphic designer skills could manage).
I'm not a fan of hills, especially when they go on forever and ever. The Warrington Road Runner's winter handicap race covers quite a bit of the same ground as the EHM route once it gets onto Stockton Lane but we come straight down Lumb Brook Road much like the new route does. I've ran it quite a few times and it's a lot easier to get your ass up Broad Lane knowing that you're going to get a downhill to recover in few miles rather than having the added extra four miles of Stretton Road, with no relief and a few extra hills. Hopefully, because you're not tiring yourself out with such a long ascent, it should make it a lot easier to use the downhill to pick up some speed. Yes, you'll have to get your head around the idea that you still have another three miles to go when you're heading back over the bridge but as long as you remember where the new finish is I think it should still be a lot easier even with the bit of a hill heading out to the stadium before returning back to the gates.
So there you have it, the new route. By now there's probably many asking why change it.
|Bye bye track|
So, in summary, I think the new route will be good for runners and Warrington alike. The new additions will be engaging and the elevation profile will make the race more interesting but I'm glad the the majority of the race is untouched. I'm looking forward to giving it a test run to see if my suspicions about it being a faster course are correct. I will miss the track finish (I may have to do a pretend EHM finish lap at track training ever so often) but I think I'll forget all about it when I'm doing my final sprint through the gates towards the beautiful town hall building. I'm kind of wishing I was doing the half this year now (am doing the 10k because have Berlin Marathon the week after) because I think it will be a great race.
Entries for the half (as well as the 10k and Mile race) are still open and you can find more about how to enter at http://www.run-ehm.com/. Prices increase on the 30th April and you can currently save extra by entering Birchwood 10k at the same time.