Stafford half marathon. Peter Holdcroft

This is a relatively flat half with a great atmosphere. I think about 3000 runners take part so it is a great opportunity to know how it feels to be in a big race, it’s really well supported pretty much all the way round and you get a buzz as soon as you arrive, not least because alot of Stoke FIT compete but also because there is alot of activity in the town with the local radio present, some charity stands and you can even get a free post race massage.

This really is a well organised race with free parking at Sainsbury’s just a short walk away from the start line, so if this is your first half marathon there is nothing to worry about, just turn up, walk to the town and run!

The route has changed slightly over the two years I have done it, I preferred 2015 to 2014 which avoided a long straight drag along the river.

Hills! Well there aren’t really any, if you have trained with Stoke FIT you have run much much bigger hills, there is a slight incline at around 1.5 miles, something slightly steeper at 5 and another incline just before 10 miles. The run in to Stafford is attractive along the river, followed by a meander through the town streets with lots of support, music playing and a massive time clock at the finish.

This is what running is all about for me, the exhilaration of the finish, trust me it’s very exciting.

Good luck.