Now in its 33rd year, the Leeds Half Marathon takes place in May each year making it one of the oldest major road races in the UK. Around 9,000 runners took part in this ever-popular event, and this year Semps tagged along in a bid to get some miles under his feet.
Enjoying a city centre start, Semps was quickly out onto the challenging route through the city and its suburbs. The course takes in some of the highlights in Leeds, from Kirkstall Abbey to Millennium Square, but requires you to cover 21km in the process. Once on the Castle Trek, the team will be covering three times the distance of a half marathon, each day.
Semps is no stranger to the half marathon distance, having completed four other races at that distance. Leeds gave him a good opportunity to gauge his fitness level and start raising awareness of the Castle Trek project.
A half marathon is a reasonable distance for folk to target, it has a bit more about it that than 10km, you know you have done it, but doesn’t place the same stress on you as a full marathon. Beyond the distance another key element is the weather, the race day was warm, research has shown that a runners pace slows down above 12 degrees Celsius and they start to suffer above 18, which was the temperature in Leeds. And Semps suffered. Lots.
Taking a strategy of using even pacing, Semps crossed the line with a smile of his face and a time on the clock of 2hr 11mins.
Being the trooper Semps is, back at work the next day he was still putting recruits through their paces on fitness tests. More members of the team are looking to be taking part next year.