In short: Fast! In full: Saw some people had problems with the official parking but I found it pretty easy to find and park up (I was very early and was aware of the scam parking from organisers emails). Race village was quite small & getting a bit cramped with 30mins before start - seemed enough portaloos. I liked the fact there was plenty of space outside to warm-up pre-race. Race pens not very secure, don't think anyone was checking numbers etc. Super fast course aside from a little congestion over the first 2 miles. Maybe a full dull spots on the course where support was patchy but I liked the long straight roads and flatness. Mileage markers weren't always obvious - make them a bright colour instead of white maybe? Finish stretch was fun - quite quick getting through, baggage storage efficient, good goodie bag. Quickly away from parking with it being so close. Maybe needs a few tweaks here and there but I'd recommend it if you want to go for a PB. Main grips was chip timing - my number went missing in the post and there was some late panic waiting for a replacement; then my bib time didn't register post-race and only appeared on the results page the next day...so my PB elation was replaced by worry when I should've been celebrating. Got to get that stuff working! Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Possibly the fastest marathon course out there In full: Second time for me and my fiftieth marathon.I really enjoy Manchester the course is fast and flat with little turns and twists such as Abingdon.The water stations were plentiful and I felt the support was at another level last year.The only criticisms are mile markers were a bit out.the finish area made it a bit harder to find family and the medal could be more creative. having said that the marshalling was great and the Manchester public were fantastic,yes it's not the most scenic but it's a super race for beginners and a PB dream course. Will be back in 2016 Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: 10/10 :-) In full: Excellent race, as indeed it has been for the last 3 years. Slick on-the-day entries. Ground was drier this year than last, which made for a much smoother run through the woods. Some testing parts but also some very pretty surroundings. Great downhill finish and fab crowd support. Thanks Danesfield & Purple Patch. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: great pb course - fast and flat as advertised In full: good bits - fast and flat as advertised; plenty of water stations, well marshalled and lots of support around the course. goodie bag was pretty good - chocolate, drink, tech tshirt and a chunky medal not so good bits - bit disorganised at the start with huge queues for the toilets, although pens were sign posted there was no division between them so people were starting wherever they wanted which might have slowed a few people down. The only reason i wouldnt do this again is that im not planning on doing another marathon Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Tough course but ruined by organisation In full: Challenging new course- but the second half downhill makes you forget the 5mile hill at the start! Once again the support was fantastic from Sheffield community! I don't even know where to begin with the organisation...No signs, Lack of toilets, no direction for the start- I ended up mixed in with all the different sections - one side of me was a man dressed as a shoe- the other a decent club runner which means you get held up. Collection of bags after was terrible- I managed to get mine after about 35/40 mins but by this point the lines were miles long and I don't think the staff on the bus could see the numbers as they were asking everyone what their bag looked like. No foil blankets so everyone was stood freezing- this def needs to be looked at for next year. I was disappointed that a company which organises lots of other events seemed to fail to provide basic requirements. It ruined the experience for me personally but Sheffield community- THANK YOU! Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Fast, flat - huge PB potential In full: A course built for pure speed. Really enjoyed this race and the crowd support in places was truly excellent - especially in Altrincham and of course near the start and finish. The finish straight was fantastic!
Parts of the course aren't the most scenic but much of it was and as someone who used to live in the area, it was nice to see some familiar places (and faces).
Organisation was generally great and getting in and out of the course by tram was very easy. From what i can gather, driving in was difficult due to the road closures but this was well advertised in advance.
Water stations were the best at any race I've been to - and I've been to plenty.
Baffled by some of the criticism of the 'lack of support' in some places. Only sections of the course were sparsely supported and I can't help but feel some people think that all marathon courses are like Brighton, London, Berlin, New York etc. 99% of marathons don't have four deep support for 26.2 miles. If you need that to get round, just keep doing the same 10 marathons around the UK, Europe and the US and you'll be fine.
The course was hyped as flat and fast and my it did not disappoint. Spirit level flat would be accurate.
My only criticism would be the mile markers - the first 10 seemed bang on but afterwards they were all over the place. If I were a betting man, I'd say whoever was placing them out on the course was working from an inaccurately labelled map. The last five in particular were entirely in the wrong place. Think the organisers need to be a bit more vigilant with them next year. The posting of gun times on the tracking app is also a bit odd. Don't quite get why they would do that.
Those niggles aside, I thought this was an excellent race. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Very well organised event, friendly marshals, well stocked water/food stations. In full: A great inaugural event. Some hills first 6 miles of each of 2 laps then gentle ish undulations. Great scenary, little hamlets, nice support at places (pubs usually!). Not really a PB course but not slow either. Fast last 2km of each lap. Very enjorable, thank you. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Small field, lacking a bit of atmosphere but challenging course In full: Only about 50 or so in the 10k and the same again running the half so a pretty intimate event. Perhaps lacked a bit of atmosphere because of this and not much support out on the course, either from spectators or other competitors as so far spaced out. Very friendly marshals and well placed drink stations. The course itself is mainly through fields so was actually quite hard going given the really soft ground conditions and feet sinking in. Couple of muddy spots (lost my shoe going up the first hill) but nothing too difficult. More problematic in the couple of downhill sections given some pot holes and hoof prints. Overall a well organised race which i would do again. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: A great race as always In full: Great to see over 600 people turn up for an 08:30 start, says it all really. Deceptively challenging run but a wonderful one lap event, good to see familar faces each year. Thanks from us all at Sevenoaks AC. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Marathon to make your year In full: Always enjoy the Ashford & District events, the marshals are so supportive and were faultless yet again. Drinks stations were plenty and well stocked with essentials and with the second loop you knew when they would be coming up which was reassuring. Good chance for supporters to see you often with the layout and freedom to move so hopefully they could enjoy it too. A challenging course with the elevation but makes the result so much sweeter. Highly recommend the race, will be back next year to improve. Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Great first running of this marathon In full: Really good, well-managed marathon.
The scenery was lovely, so although it's not *super* PB-friendly, you end up not minding too much. And as you don't have 10,000 people around you, it's great to not have to walk the first ten minutes to get to the start line.
The fact that it was such a small marathon did make it feel a bit lonely sometimes, however! From mile 13 to mile 16 I didn't see a single runner behind or in front of me! In that sense, it felt like a training run sometimes, albeit one with friendly marshals who gave you water.
I think we were lucky to have had dry weather recently. I wouldn't have liked to try to negotiate the exposed tree roots and uneven running surface after heavy rain.
The only thing I'd like the organisers to change, if possible, would be the figure-of-eight loop that meant you sometimes had to head off on the right path, sometimes on the left. The marshals did a good job of keeping track of us and pointing us in the correct direction (as I was at mile 15, the people around me were at mile 11 and the marshals were able to spot this), but I think the possibility of human error should be removed. If a lot more people sign up for this marathon next year, it'll be much more difficult to direct runners to the appropriate path.
The above notwithstanding, however, it was a great day. Well done, people at Nice Work. Date of review: April 20, 2015