Cambridge Half Marathon race recap

I planned to do this race last year, but it was sold out before I could sign up. This year I planned to do the Tokyo Marathon instead, but I had to defer that race, so time to go back to plan B, the Cambridge Half. 

Years ago, before I even started running, I lived in Cambridge and I haven’t been back since. So this trip was mostly about nostalgia for me. 

I arrived on Friday and decided to go to Midsummer Common to pick up my bib. Since it was Friday it was still really quiet and picking up my race pack was really easy and they still had quite a bit of merchandise left. 

On Saturday I went to Coldham’s Common parkrun. Since I lived in Cambridge the old parkrun has closed and two new ones have started. The course is two laps around a bunch of playing fields and it’s completely on grass. Quite a large parkrun with over 300 parkrunners.

On Sunday I walked from my hotel to Midsummer Common for the start. It was cold and windy and I got there quite early so I just stood there in the cold for a while before taking off my extra layer and getting ready to go to the start. Everyone in the starting area was desperately trying to keep warm and anxious to get started.

If you’re looking for a sightseeing tour of Cambridge, the half is a pretty good way to go. You start off at Midsummer Common, go along the north bank of the river Cam along the back of the colleges, cross the river, pass the Senate House, go into King’s College, cross the river again.

Along Queen’s Road and Silver Street, pass the Fitzwilliam Museum, cross the river again along Fen Causeway, on to Grantchester (which you might know from the tv show), past the Orchard Tea Garden and then back to Cambridge, past the Fitzwilliam Museum again, past the market and the Round Church, past Jesus Green and through Jesus College and then finish where you started. 

Event has about 15,000 runners across 3 waves and in the beginning it’s a bit crowded, but it spreads out pretty quickly. It’s well organized with a bag drop and a few water stations along the way. There is no race shirt included in the entry, but there is merchandise available and you do get free race photos, which is definitely a plus. 

I’ve been struggling to run longer distances these past few months so I was a bit worried about this race, since my muscles start to complain from 12 kilometers onwards lately so I wasn’t sure how 21 kilometers would go. I did struggle a bit during the 13th and 15th kilometer of the race which also happened to be out in the countryside but I eventually managed to pick up the pace a little. Not my fastest half marathon time, also not anywhere close, but it went smoother than I expected so overall I was pretty happy with it and I enjoyed the race. I do recommend this race and will probably do this race again if I ever have the chance.

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