In short: What a con - avoid In full: Rubbish. This is what it sounds like - a novelty race. Despite the steep entry price (£25 - although I got a reduced Groupon entry), there was NO WATER at all available at the end, only Gatorade - which you don't need after a 5k, and many people don't want anyway. There's a generic medal (no date), and that's it in terms of souvenirs. Organisation was terrible, atmosphere was dead.
The idea is nice - you run around the Bath racecourse in the dark, with glow sticks, head torches etc, and run through lit up tunnels pumping music etc at you, and there are lights around the course. In reality - this didn't happen. There were two tunnels to run through (about 20m long each), which had a portable CD player in, a few glow sticks, and marshalls taking selfies of themselves on their phones.
There were very few marshalls, and not in the right places - eg corners, meaning you're not always sure where to go. There were very slippery plastic sheets put down in some places, where were frankly dangerous to run on in the wet.
The organisation was terrible, the experience was dire, and the lack of water was appalling. Avoid like the plague. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: a race of two halves In full: third time at this race and as its my home race will prob always run it regardless of whether organizers listen to feedback.very hilly course in second half with constant inclines and big drops from the uni area so mile 8ish.new event organisers (GO2)took over last year from ironbridge runners and changed the month of the race and race course which has positives and negatives to it.unfortunately this year they moved the race date a week back which meant an impact on the other 2 good local half marathon/marathon races in the area (dartmoor vale and eden project)which i thought was unfair.i was critical of the increased price of entry last year and although the medal was a great improvement on last years disaster (of runners outside a shop on the high street?!) the goody bags still had no tshirt (cotton or tech)which would have helped to justify a race priced over £30.for some reason despite it only being a a few feet away from the high street but obscured by shops on the high street the race still doesnt take in a quick view of the cathedral or the beautiful quayside area which is a nice flat area and would have been a great spot for supporters to follow the race but instead a dull out and back route thru stoke woods after running thru cowley.this year the route was altered to add an additional hill (up blackboy road) which after already running up the uni and have another three big hills to go is unneccesary and soul destroying as you are in touching distance of the finish line before having to run up blackboy road and out and back.never touch the stuff but the organic energy drinks were getting bad press and causing stomach aches.lovely part of the world and always well supported and has had an increase in finishers each year iv run it which is great for the area.plenty of improvements before this race can be called great.come on guys sort it out this is the race i wanna do every year till my legs pack up! Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: Excellent marshalls. Some improvements needed re route and organisation. In full: Not too bad for a first time effort, but improvements needed if aiming to be a regular event. Positives: Enthusiastic & supportive marshalls. Good crowd support. Reasonably scenic route outside of Central Park. Lots of portaloos (and toilets in parks). Generous goody bag. Negatives: No designated parking (only town car parks). Very late start (while lots of 'dancers' did a warm-up). Route far too complicated through Central Park with lots of out and backs on crowded paths. No timimg mats at furthest part of each loop. I've heard that a number of runners cheated by missing out the last small lap (there was no way the organisers could check this). I only found out about this lap when I saw a sign '3rd lap only' when I was running the 1st lap. The race was advertised as 2 laps so some runners might have just thought it was over at the end of the 2nd lap. 1000 runners must be the absolute maximum - the facilities could not cope with more. Organisers might want to consider a college/school as HQ. They were very lucky with the weather - a bit more rain and the park would have resembled Glastonbury. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: Given elevation profile, surprisingly challenging In full: It was not my day & I struggled a bit but that was probably due to the warm weather. The support in the parks in Chelmsford was great, as was that in the lovely village of Writtle. Hylands Park is very beautiful at this time of year. The marshalls & other volunteers were excellent. The extra loop of the central parks was soul-destroying but this last minute route change was due to the very wet weather leading up to the race. It was a very good first attempt at organising a marathon with just a few niggly issues that need to be sorted out in future years. I may be back at some point in the future but there are so many other autumn marathons that I'd like to do. I hope the Js Hospice raised a lot of money from the event. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: One of the most enjoyable race experiences I've ever had. In full: What can you say about the Spitfire Scramble? Firstly what an experience, I had no idea what to expect but it was brilliant.
We ran as a team of 5 and everyone commented on how they'd enjoyed the experience. It worked out under £50 a head, which for 2 days of running with camping is not much (in running event terms) these days.
The course was great countryside, with a contrast of great views over the city. The course was packed dirt, grass and through farmers fields. It's never PB potential as there are some good short sharp hills in it, a bit of (very brief and easy) climbing over or under the odd fence or railing. However this event is not really about PB's.
The atmosphere was great and very friendly, you could have been a beginner or elite and it would have made no odds. I covered 40 miles over the weekend, which made for good marathon training, but there is no limit to the laps you could do, you just need to agree with your team. Everyone was there for the experience. There was a nice buzz around base camp, which was set ip nicely for eating and interacting and the live scoring was a great touch. I enjoyed the food I did have and thought it was reasonably priced, although I mainly took my own. However one of our squadron members was not as forgiving, as was relying on the food, especially when there was no coffee at a relatively early stage.
The course was well marshalled (thanks again) over all 24 hours, and despite thinking I might get lost this didn't even nearly happen.
A really great event which I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys their running. Easy to get to/from and easy to park. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: An enjoyable race with some teething problems. In full: This was the first Chelmsford Marathon and due to weather conditions some of the course was changed last minute, very positive that there was a contingency plan. That said, I, like all of my friends who ran were adamant the course was too long. You expect a bit longer but I measured at over 400 metres too long and some friends longer. Not a massive deal but I missed my target by 7 seconds, which was a bit frustrating. It was even more confusing at the end when my watch was suggesting I was almost finished, yet being sent off to do another small lap was a bit soul destroying.
Right, that felt like too much grumbling. I really enjoyed the scenery, found the Marshall's very helpful and supportive. Nice to see bottles of water, bananas and sweets being handed out. By doing the laps you got to see fellow runners and crowd support more often, so there weren't too many points of running alone. Support was good, although it did make the laps in the final park seem a bit more chaotic and felt I was constantly running round spectators towards the end, but hey this was a public park.
All in all I enjoyed it, I did get a PB, but more from vastly improved running since last marathon opposed to the course itself.
Very well done organisers, I can't begin to imagine how complex this was especially with the changes, but please listen to everyone's comments.
In short: Well organised and friendly race. Well worth a go. In full: An enjoyable and well organised event from pre to post race. Registration easy, friendly faces on arrival. Pre-race comms clear and audible. The race itself was well marshalled and with friendly faces and good support. Results available promptly after the race.
Very enjoyable morning. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Great local, well organised race In full: Chose this race as local to me so knew it would be 'undulating' and it didn't disappoint. There is a cheeky little climb but the organisers devised a polka dot jersey prize for the male and female who overtook the most runners on the climb - a lovely touch. There is also a section off road which was a little slippy so don't expect a PB but there are plenty of great descents, especially the last km. Organisation from start to finish was great; can't fault it. They even allowed for a large number of on the day entries despite being full which caused a little delay but meant no one was turned away (as far as I know!). I far prefer these low key races to the big corporate events and this one did not disappoint. Stuff for families and spectators to do and a kids run with medals meant everyone was involved. It's not a classic but it's certainly a a race I will return to and recommend to other local runners. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Very good event but the last 5 miles are killers In full: The organisers looked at their 1st running of the event last year and made several small but positive changes. The support is good, especially over the last difficult few miles. Very nice medal. From mile 8 to the end you are either climbing or going downhill. 2 or 3 of these are steep so make sure your hill work has been done. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: challenging but great In full: Brilliant organisation with plenty of marshals. Beautiful scenery. Challenging hills but a great race. Will definitely do it again. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Felt like a club run but good scenery In full: The run was nice enough and I ended up getting my second fastest time. However the lack of road closures meant it felt a little bit like a club run on a Sunday morning (albeit one that cost £20) with everyone having to dodge past shoppers, dog walkers and other actual club runners. Another gripe was the twisting and turning up narrow side streets, which was obviously factored in to make up the 13.1-mile course but it isn't much fun to run like that. The marshals were really good but when you run on roads that aren't at all closed you wonder just exactly what it is you're paying for. Date of review: October 20, 2014
In short: Lovely scenery and a great race In full: Loved it. Henley is a picturesque place and the route made the most of it. The hill was an absolute beast but it just made it all the better when I got over the line for a long overdue new pb. Well organised and the beautiful autumn weather certainly helped. Would recommend. Date of review: October 20, 2014