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Why Trevor got disqualified at Cambridge

by Tim Heming
Tuesday 10th March 2015

Race reports: Tim Heming reports from the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon - March 8, 2015

Tim Heming reports from the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon - March 8, 2015

Photo: Tim Heming at Cambridge

What’s new to say about the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon in support of Cancer Research UK (to give it its full title) that I didn't blather on about last year? (HERE).

Not a lot, which all told, is a good thing. The most glowing endorsement being that I returned, which given the proliferation of zombie-chased, paint-sprayed, mud-splattered, spear-chucked electrocuted endurance challenges on offer means a good old running race can still pass muster. Hooray.

I was a bit slower and it was a little chillier - although it did commandeer the best of the weekend's sunshine - but it was still run with all the seamless efficiency of a bent postie pilfering the sorting office.

That obscure simile is a nod towards the event’s only hitch as sources revealed the organisers, One Step Beyond, were given an unwanted headache by a load of official race numbers going AWOL in transit and turning up on Ebay.

It would certainly explain why after alighting the Park ‘n Ride and people-watching in the coffee queue, the number of unshaven ‘Sarahs’ and effeminate looking ‘Trevors’ suggested this tourist-magnet of old England doubled as the transgender capital of the UK.

As I’m sure many are aware, it’s now commonplace to stamp names below official race numbers as a nice touch to give runners a little more crowd support. In this instance it was also a rather obvious indicator of who had done their bidding in the wrong places.

It’s an unfortunate legacy of sold-out events. Success breeds distress and I wouldn't be surprised to see that sodom and gomorrah of legalised touting,  viagogo.co.uk, flogging race entry to endurance events alongside tickets to AC/DC some day soon.

Flippancy aside, it must be a right pain in the butt. Numbers had to be reissued at more expense, which threatens there being more runners on the course than goody bags in finishers’ tents, and while genuine competitors probably weren't too worried about foregoing a High 5 nutrition pack, the atmosphere could be mutinous over a shortage of chunky medallions.

For those rapscallions that were pinged in the finish chute, there followed the unedifying sight of ‘Trevor’ being told that although he/she had indeed run his/her 13.1miles it would be a DSQ. No-one wants that job, Trev sounds confused enough as it is.

As for the race, it’s a two-lapper, with the best bit running along King’s Parade at the historical heart of the city, some lovely architecture sheltering runners from the elements. The worst part is probably the final half-mile that takes you dishearteningly close to the finish line then on a half-lap of Midsummer Common. Feedback from last year also led to ‘water packs’ being replaced with traditional bottles at feed stations, with the odds of this student city imploding in a tirade of water bombs between the Towns and the Gowns also diminishing.

The results? Notts’ Aaron Scott won the men’s by miles in 1:08:49. He was a bit slower than previous too, which made me feel better. Victoria Knight was the women’s champion in 1:17:04, running in long leggings and a baggy t-shirt. Never met her, never spoken to her, but I quite like the sound of her.

Final message: If you want to do this in 2016, get in quick when entries opens here (www.onestepbeyond.org.uk/cambridge-half-marathon.php) but definitely NOT here ebay.co.uk

Men's results

1 Aaron Scott Notts Ac 1:08:49
2 Chris Darling Cambridge Tri Club 1:12:29
3 David Connell Hunts AC 1:12:31


Women's results

1 Victoria Knight Cambridge & Coleridge AC 1:17:07
2 Vicky Gill Unattached 1:19:07
3 Charlotte Rose City Of Norwich AC 1:22:33


Click here for full results


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