As someone with a great passion for running marathons, especially those located in serene surroundings, I was delighted at the opportunity to participate in the . This particular race is located in the beautiful South of Australia which makes it a delight for all the runners.
Running in this race is quite easy compared to other marathons owning to great arrangements made by authorities as well as the great sights one comes across.
It is no wonder then, that Salisbury Half Marathon, launched in 2016, has become one of the most anticipated and celebrated events in the country.
1. Basic Details About Salisbury Half Marathon
This celebrated event is of very recent vintage, having begun only in 2016. It holds the interesting distinction of being the only half-marathon in the northern suburbs of South Australia.
Salisbury itself is a beautiful suburb of the city of Adelaide and the official headquarters of the city of Salisbury. This quaint little place is perfect for a marathon as the runners could make their way freely through the streets without much danger of interruption and the locals participate heartily by helping out the runners with refreshments.
The half-marathon is run along an out and back course. It starts at Carisbrooke Reserve, a popular destination in the city and one of the many reserves watered by the Little River. The race then moves into the beautiful and serene parklands of Salisbury where the runners are greeted with a delightful background in which to set their pace.
The next destination for this half-marathon is Port Wakefield Road. There is a slight variation being brought into the course of the race as the path of the half-marathon is being shifted to around the Salisbury Golf Course, though the traffic management required for it is yet to be cleared by the authorities.
The cut-off time for the marathon is 3.5 hours and for those who can’t cover the whole 21.1 km of the course, there is also the option of running or walking distances of 10 km, 5 km or even 2 km.
All those who cover the distance of 21.1, 10 and 5 km would be awarded medallions for their participation.
The top 3 runners, male and female both, in the half-marathon as well as the first-place holders in the 10 and 5 km sections were awarded prizes.
The cost for participating in the marathon was $40 for complete half-marathon running, $20 for 10 km, $15 for 5 km and $5 for 2 km. Early bird prices were $35 (complete half-marathon), $15 (10 km), $10 (5 km) and free for 2 km distance.
2. My Experience
While not fully sure of my physical running capacity, I took the bold step of registering for the full length of the half-marathon. This meant that I had to get up early and reach the starting point at the Carisbrooke Reserve.
The race began at 12 PM from the New Canal. Running being a physically demanding exercise, doesn’t allow non-professional runners a great deal of liberty to appreciate the surroundings of the course. But for those who are used to the exercise, running on this course must be a delight as it passes along the some of the most important landmarks of the city.
Each contestant was provided a technical t-shirt.
The very amiable surroundings of the course combined with its flatness make it an absolute delight for the professional runners while even I, with my limited experience could run my gaze around the place and take momentary pleasure from the lovely surroundings of the suburbs.
What made it even better was the flatness of the course. This meant that amateurs like me didn’t have to exert too much while the professionals could simply race ahead at good speed. The very considerate and compassionate locals were offering bottles of water all along the course while the organizers had shown good preparation by setting up water stations for runners every three miles.
The partially closed roads were also very convenient as racers could run without being bothered about any possible intrusions or disturbances
As far as I was concerned, I was determined to enjoy the race rather than just look for my personal best, which was the driving ambition of many amateur racers.
The first part of the race around New Canal gave us a great opportunity to get into our stride. Then came a lap through the Cathedral grounds which was a tremendous experience as the lush grass and the surrounding greenery revitalized my senses and spurred by body onto keep going stronger.
The race came to a conclusion with the final stage leading into the sports field located within the Cathedral grounds. By the time we got to this final stage, the medal winners had already finished their run and I was reaching my limits. With the end in sight, though, I pushed on further and tried to give one last impetus to improve my timings.
3. Overall Reaction To The Marathon
The 3rd Salisbury Half-Marathon turned out to be a huge success. A record number of participants took part and the mid-day start proved to be perfectly suited to the event also. This race achieved greater importance due to it being the 9th race in the Wiltshire Road Race League.
The best racers from the region came out to participate and among them, Chris Carpanini walked away with the title in the men’s division while Jacqueline Rockliffe was the winner among women. Carpanini had a timing of 1:09:17 and Rockliffe 1:23:22.
But it wasn’t just the running that made the day special. The spectators that gathered at the start venue made the place lively with music and entertainments while various choirs performed at different sections of the course to keep the racers going and the crowd in good mood.