In short: Yorkshire is great. switchback is horrible In full: Long switchback 17-19 miles is pure horror. Other than that I'd give top marks. Countryside great, great city (not much in cc to be honesttho), good medal. highly recommend (despite the long switchback). Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: Awesome race In full: This is a review of the 2015 half. For some reason 2015 isn't in the drop down menu. Anyway this goes down as my favourite ever race to date. Yes it was my birthday and I got a pb, but even without those bonuses it was stunning. Stunning atmosphere and scenery, great organisation with a free shuttle to the start (take note Bouremouth), friendly volunteers and a brilliant course with a finish that allows you to sprint like a cheetah. The only tiny gripe - and this is just because I collect them - was there is no medal, but the memory of the race is more important to me. Love the Peaks and love this race. Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: Nice setting and plenty of pb potential In full: This isn't a race for those who love the crowds as there are plenty of times when you won't see spectators and some occasions where you won't see anyone at all! However as a lover of countryside runs this was great fun, albeit confined to the inside of the nature reserve. The flat course allowed for really good times. I got a pb and came 7th, although my Garmin said I only ran 12.8 miles so it felt like a slightly false pb. Still, a fun day out and well worth the effort. Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: A great off road race In full: I really enjoyed this race and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys running off road/trails. It is up hill but not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Excellent organisation and no issues with transport. A fantastic days running Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: Great scenery, great weather, great race In full: Really glad I did this race. Getting to the start was a bit of a pain because of the traffic but hard to fault it in any other way. I loved the scenery and the pb potential was there because of the flat course. Would recommend it. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: BEST TO AVOID! Nearly lost, run-over, abused, short distance, twisty, hilly, In full: Bad -no marshals(i went the wrong way 3 times and corrected by a cyclist and dog walker), newPB but no PB! my garmin said it was only 12.9mile and others say similar. i have since heard the course was short (ggrrrrr!!!), motorists shouting abuse at runners as traffic stuck, a car nearly ran me over when driving behind me near the end and passing fast and close (on a traffic-free route?!?!), horribly twisty and long hills, unorganised and delayed start whilst getting cold, confusion on which start pen to go in, ridiculous start waves splitting friends up-500 runners should have been fine to start at the same time. The woefulness from the start didn't set the mood well for the rest of the run.
Good- it was nice to run on some city roads usually inaccessible but to be fair: indoor toilets and area, sport massage, medal + it didn't rain! Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Tough, small field, but great for those who love a challenge. In full: For anyone looking to be cheered on by the crowds and running with others the whole way - this is not for you. There were loads of races across the 10 days. I ran the half marathon on day 10 - one of 17 people to do so. We were given a map and sent on our way. The map was essential as the course goes across the beautiful Suffolk countryside and there are not always other runners around, although the marshals were great. In short, as an experienced runner, I loved it. And I came fourth which was nice - you can't say that very often on a big city run! Early start of 8am was tough, but essential with temps rising to 30C by 10am. With so many different legs to run across the challenge there is scope to come back time and again. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: And they're off! In full: An absolute joy from start to finish. The race village in the middle of Chester Racecourse was well-organised, with efficient baggage area (ie no queue), sufficient toilets (OK, there were queues, but not massively so) and the pre-race area was under cover (ideal in poor weather). I arrived an hour before the start, but I could easily have arrived about 30 minutes before the start and not be under pressure. The start had the usual pens according to predicted time - busier at the 'business end' and less busy towards the rear. I started with the 5 hour pacer group (the slowest paced group - cut off is 6 hours) and even that far back it only took about 3 minutes to cross the start line. And what a start - 3/4 of the way around the race track! Then into Chester (beautiful) with some good support, then it's onto the open, traffic-free country roads. The scenery is gentle countryside, and as small villages were passed, locals were out giving support. Water stations well manned, and toilets at each stop. The finish was back into Chester via the riverside, then it's back into the racecourse when you run the final quarter of the track. Lovely medal, a long-sleeved technical top (whilst unisex, the small wasn't as large as some finishers' tops). The goody bag had a selection of post-run nibbles (I ate them immediately so can't recall what they were!). The finish line went like clockwork - efficient bag collection, seats, cover if needed and plenty of runners enjoying the atmosphere. Easy access for the train (about 20 minutes walk) and there appeared to be ample car parking at the racecourse. Highly recommended. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Iconic course, great atmosphere, but pricey, crowded and long queues In full: I live in London, and really wanted to do this race, and got in on the second ballot in which you effectively gamble your entry fee. Overall it's well organised, the course is lovely, atmosphere and cheering is great, I got a good time, but as other reviewers have said, the queues for the loos and bag drop off were awful, luckily we were able to use the cafe loo, I gave up on the bag drop off and ran with my long sleeved top tied around my waist which meant I was able to put it back on afterwards. The water bottles had their lids remove, apparently for safety reasons, which meant their contents splashed everywhere and this was a big drawback for the lucozade ones. Also, even though I live near the tube, the start time was a bit tricky as the London underground on Sundays don't start until 7am, so the earliest you can realistically get there is an hour beforehand. The medal and tech t-shirt were nice, they give you a banana and drinks at the finish, but you have to queue to fill your goodie bag for a weird assortment of items including dried fruit (I prefer an energy bar or a mars/sneakers bar), cooking oil sample, and ritz crackers! The set up feels very corporate, with lots of sponsors and charities frantically raising their profiles. Having run quite a few races in the last 12 months or so, in the future I'm going to focus on smaller, and hopefully cheaper races. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Another fabulous 10k race on a beautiful morning. In full: Have done this race a few times before and always enjoyed it (even in soggy, muddy 2013!. Organisation is excellent and atmosphere is great. Cakes on sale for St Christopher's were delicious. The marshalling was great, too. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: A lovely run around central London and the royal parks In full: Awesome route, dare I say a better run through London than the VLM. It felt very much like two parts though. The first part highlights were running down birdcage walk, the Mall, the Strand and around Trafalgar Square was great. The second half around the Parks was really very nice, although the course had quite a few twists and turns. Also quite a few sections where faster runners were coming the other way which can be a bit off putting, as is running past mile markers meant for the other direction.
Having said that, the support was just awesome, especially as you come back into the park and again towards the finish line. Wonderful it made my day. The goodies at the end were very nice - especially the water bottle. T-shirt really good too, it's a nice tech t-shirt.
Marshalling was brilliant and very supportive, lots of help finding the start too which was good, as I came in from Marble Arch.
I really enjoyed this race a lot and so glad I ran it. I hope to be back next year - ballot permitting!
A few things for improvement:
The baggage drop was a total faff. The queues to drop your bag were just crazy, for some reason they tagged your bag and gave you a matching wrist band with the same number. Which takes time. Almost every other race I've done use your race number for collection and send you a baggage tag in advance, so you can just dump your bag off quickly and get prepared. I arrived with 30 mins to go, and it took me 25 mins to drop my bag off. It just should not have taken that long. It was comical that the organisers were making tannoy announcements for runners to "make your way to the start as soon as possible" as we shuffled forward slowly in the queue from hell! Chance would have been a fine thing :-) Having said that, if you were starting in a later wave you had extra time of course, but even so you could feel the stress of everyone in the queue and lots of moaning going on. It spoilt the start, to be honest.
The queues for the toilets at the beginning (and also en route) were very long, mind you there can never be enough toilets. Toilet marshals would have helped the queues I think. Comical signs up mid-route around the park saying "no urinating" were roundly ignored.
I have to say that the 9AM start was a little too aggressive. It meant I had to drive in London and park up, as getting the train in from where I to get in for London in good time for the start was just not possible.
The queues to get out of the finish area were a little mad. Spectators as well as runners milling about and not clear where to go back to the runners village. It took me quite a while to get back to the runners village to get my bag. Could have done without that.
Course very busy, shoulder to shoulder the whole way round. A little bit of pushing and shoving going on, mostly good natured but wonder what it was like up at the front for the speedy runners. Also quite a few runners going along with headphones on, in their own little world and not able to hear fellow runners or marshals. I was surprised the organisers allowed that.
It wasn't very clear how to get back to the tube stations after I exited the runners village. I wanted to get back to Marble Arch but ended up in Hyde Park corner. Some signs would be really useful to avoid a long walk! Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Thoroughly enjoyable experience In full: This was only my second 10k race so I've not got much to compare it to, but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I really appreciated the encouragement and support from the PWR marshals along the whole course. The atmosphere was fantastic. The calls of "come on Orpies!" Really spurred me on! Lovely route, well organised. Can't wait for the next one! Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: my first for petts wood got a pb which was great. Will apply as soon as 2016 opens. Very well organised lots of marshalls. In full: Lots going on to keep the kids amused. Kids love their race - chasing the gorillas. We will be back again and again. You have this off to a T it went like clockwork. Date of review: October 13, 2015
In short: Magnificent all round. In full: PB! But only as it was my first marathon. A fabulous way to start. Great organisation, lovely marshals and lots of cheery runners to help on directions and getting up and down those hills. Date of review: October 13, 2015
In short: Wonderful run in the Surrey hills In full: A really nice run on a beautiful day with great views out from Leith Hill. Marshalls all very well organised and very friendly. A little muddy in places, but that added to it I think. Looking forward to next year. Date of review: October 13, 2015