Three Tortoises braved the gale force wind and rain to compete in the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool recently. For someone who has had the pleasure of spending the “Glasgow Fair” in Blackpool as a youngster, the weather conditions on the promenade did not disappoint. The Tortoises were presented with winds of up to 50mph and the sight of waves breaking over the sea wall onto the race course… it made all those winter training runs along the North Shore seem like a walk in the park !

There was a good turnout for the race despite the weather (approx. 1,200 finishers) and registration was quick and efficient despite taking place behind some wind-battered tarpaulins underneath the promenade! It was back to the car to pin on our race numbers and change into our running kit to avoid hypothermia before dashing back in time for the start of the race. The course was run entirely on the promenade and consisted of 2 short loops followed by two longer loops of the promenade. Some impressive wind-assisted mile splits were recorded before turning around to face the gales head-on for the second part of the loops… not so impressive !

The half marathon was great preparation for the upcoming London and Edinburgh marathons and running in the windy conditions was certainly an experience not to be forgotten in a while. Matt Pearce was the first Tortoise home in what promises to be another great year for him. The Tortoises results are as follows:

Matt Pearce – 1:32:03 (60 overall)
Rob Carrol – 1:33:35 (72 overall)
Darrell Dunscombe – 1:46:30 (246 overall)

The full race results are available here