It says a lot about an event when it can chuck it down with rain and blow a freezing cold wind and you still love it. But the Saucony Cambridge Half
, it turns out, is this sort of event.
This event has been steadily building its reputation over the last few years. It’s fast, it’s flat, it’s in a lovely place and it’s brilliantly organised. These things alone make it a race that people want to do and keep coming back to. Even when the weather forecast looks distinctly unwelcoming.
We’d been invited to join the Saucony pack for the race. This is itself made the event a lot of fun as you had some teammates to warm up with, huddle with for warmth and exchange meaningful ‘what the hell are we doing this for?’ looks with.
With 9,000 runners (it’s a nailed on sell-out) Cambridge definitely feels like a big event. It would be a perfect practice run for a huge event like London. But despite the big numbers the start worked like clockwork. There were 2 start times at 9.30 and 9.38 for different coloured starts (colour based on your predicted finish time) to ease the congestion in the early miles and the marshals ushered you along different routes to get to your start pen which kept you moving and prevented any crush.
There were a few narrow points on the course where we slowed a bit but it wasn’t too bad. And the route more than made up for it. A particular highlight was coming through the historic city centre, where the crowds were fantastic. Runners’ friends and families had really put the hours in on the banners, though the people who’d made the one that just said ‘it’s raining’ could arguably have spent their time more usefully.
It did rain for the first hour or so, and it did blow a pretty strong, cold wind which felt a bit grim at times (mile 12) but then there would be a great live band playing, or some sweet kids cheering you on and you forgot all about it. If you like a race with good crowd support then this is right up there.
And, despite the weather, when our little team met up again at the finish there were a fair few PBs, so this race is also for you if you want to see how quick you can run. This is a great race that ticks a lot of boxes and rightly deserves to be thought of as one of the UK’s top half marathons.
Saucony, main sponsor of Cambridge Half, recently brought out the Freedom ISO. This is their first shoe with a full length EVERUN midsole, designed to be flexible and so durable that they say it maintains its cushioning three times longer than standard EVA. Find out more about the Freedom ISO here www.saucony.com/en/freedomiso/