In short: Excellent organisation, incredible value for money In full: Very well organised ,especially considering it was the first year for this race. At only £10, in edible value for a decent medal and t shirt at the finish. Finish at the park and the race village there were good. Baggage busses and retrieval worked well. Somebody ordered some beautiful weather, same again next year please. Timed mile in the middle made it interesting. Having praised everything so far, I hope the organisers will take some constructive criticism . The route was a bit dull. Out through the town and back along Peaks parkway, a bit of a slog down a dull relief road. Grimsby and surroundings have more to offer. A room to the seafront at Cleethorpes or through the dock area etc. That said ,otherwise the race was hard to fault. Date of review: August 1, 2016
In short: Great little PB course. In full: Great course on country lanes. You'd probably struggle to find anything flatter than this one. Medal at the finish (Would prefer a T-Shirt but thats just personal preference) and goody bag. Water station just before half way which was handy as it was warm towards the end of the race. Organisation was excellent and couldn't fault it. Date of review: July 31, 2016
In short: The course is hilly, as you'd expect near Leek. The organisation is excellent. The marshals, people at the drinks stations and other runners were very supportive. The technical t shirt handed out is excellent.. Date of review: July 30, 2016
In short: It's a run on the beach - can't say no to that! In full: This was a first in 3 ways...7k organised run, run on sand (almost) and my first bare foot run! It was a fantastic day, the rock made it special and TRAC... you were great. Thank you
In short: Very well organised, challenging 10k In full: Being a local, I had no need of the baggage store and other facilities, but what I saw of the event was very well organised indeed. Picturesque running along the wooded river section, with the cathedral and castle above on the opposite shore. And free high-res photos to download afterwards - the first time I've seen this, and much appreciated.
One minor downside was some congestion at the start, but overall a good event - will be entering next year! Date of review: July 28, 2016
In short: Oh I did like to be besides the seaside! In full: A lovely run along the front at Deal followed by a cheeky incline through the countryside to 5k. Then it flattens out and back along the front for 4k. It was a gloriously sunny day so boiling hot but a lovely run, great views and I got a massive PB so all good. Friendly atmosphere, will be back. Date of review: July 26, 2016
In short: Good for hill work! In full: A lovely ‘undulating’ 10 mile run though the country side on reasonably quite roads. My first race on the Isle of Wight (outside of Parkrun) – very organised with friendly and encouraging marshals – loved the water pistols at the second water station! :-) Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Not one for slower runners In full: Firstly the positives: Very friendly marshals, who gave lots of encouragment. Loads of well stocked aid stations - choccy biccies, jaffa cakes, jelly beans, crisps, water etc. Thank you all for giving your time up on a soggy afternoon! Great facilities at the University for changing, loos etc. Absolutely stunning scenrary - a highlight for me was running up Little Solsbury Hill and the view of the city below. I also really enjoyed some of the downhill sections including running through a beautiful meadow with wildflowers. Also running down in to Bath was really nice. Lots of commaraderie out on the course - plenty of support from fellow runners. Some nice flat sections - the canal, in particular. Now for the not so positive: This was my 14th marathon, and I'm normally happy to plod round in 4:30-5 hours, doing roughly between ten and eleven minute miles, including hills. I recently completed the Potteries in 5 hours which was very hilly. However, I didn't realise it was going to take me 20 minutes to get up each of the mile (plus) hills, including one hill that required me to go up in places on all fours. This meant I had a massive amount of catching up to do, as a result, I missed the 3 hour cut off for 14.5 miles and so got a forced DNF. Going downhill was not much easier. I know the course was described as challenging, but this was ridiculous. The cut-off time really took the enjoyment away, I was stressing about reaching it, and when I realised I had failed it was totally demotivating. Especially annoying as I was up for doing the second lap, and could have finished it too. I appreciate the need to stand down marshals in good time, but it should be made clear when you enter that there is a cut-off time (it was buried in the notes). And reaching this cut-off time would require FAST running to make up for the crazy hills. Looking at the results, I see an entire THIRD of the marathon course got timed out and DNF'd. That's a lot of pee'd off runners! So to the organisers - come on guys, that's really not good enough. Either give us a bit more time, or alter the route to take out a few of the vicious hills. A third of the course timed out is not reasonable. Would I do it again? I would love to do the "very long half" route again, as there isn't the pressure of the cut-off and the course and scenery are so nice. I'd not do the marathon again unless the cut-off was removed or extended significantly to allow for us slower runners to complete without pee'ing us off. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Well organised, friendly race on a flat course In full: A well organised race over a pleasant flat course. The 3 drinks stations were very welcome on such a hot day. Good marshalling. The highlight was the wonderful cakes at the end! The only downside was that the car park was a little bit of a walk away (but very good and well supervised by friendly helpers). Overall, a very good race and I would do it again. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Its hilly!! In full: Its up hill for most of the first 5 miles,then its down hill with a few short climbs. Nice Marshals & lots of water spounges etc. Open roads but little traffic & the locals are friendly. I forgot to collect my t shirt, my fault . You may not enjoy the hills but as day out it was worth the effort getting there... Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Lovely scenic route, great organisation. In full: This was my 5th half marathon and the first not on roads. I would certainly describe it as a trail race but not sure hardy trail runners would. The start in a park in Windsor ran like clockwork. Slick race pack collection and bag drop. Plenty of toilets, although I used them early and did see the queue get bigger, but much less than at other races I have done. A lovely friendly, family atmosphere before the start, helped by the pleasant weather.
I was in wave 1 which should have been 200 people but certainly looked less. The route initially snaked through the park and out on to some pavements and was a little congested but I was expecting that. It wasn't long before we strung out a bit and by the time we had reached the first trail section it was easy to settle into my planned pace. After two weeks of hot weather the trails were nice and firm. Pretty narrow for fair stretches but the relatively low number of runners meant that wasn't a problem, I just waited for a chance if I needed to pass someone. We came across a lot of other people using the trails on foot, on bike, with dogs or prams none of which were a problem, everyone I came across happily moved to one side and so many even stopped and waited for me to pass - thank you to all of them!
The trails were a mix of grassy fields, riverside tow-paths and dirt tracks. Plenty of it was under trees so had the sun shone as hard as forecast we had some shade. Light cloud made the conditions much better than I think everyone was expecting. There was a stretch of about 1.5 miles on pavements and some of the riverside paths were paved. The steep steps up a bridge at mile 11 was the only real downside, or maybe challenge to the route, that killed. The route was really scenic. The mixture of terrains and surroundings that you ran through broke up the monotony and made the race fly by.
The marshals along the way were fantastic, I think I spoke to every single one. And signs were nice and clear so the route was easy to follow. That's important near the end where the runners were quite strung out. The water stations were well placed and the big box of jelly beans at the last one came in very handy.
As you approached the finish you could hear the announcements and knowing you were close was a good boost. As I turned into the last 100m the announcer said the 1:45 time was coming up and that was my target so I put on a burst to make sure I got there. He was doing name checks for all the finishers and encouraging them individually, what a difference that makes, it made a great finish to a really enjoyable race.
There was only one real downside for me; the lack of spectators, hence I describe this as like a training run. There were little pockets of people who encouraged us along the way. I'm used to road running through towns so it was a marked change for me. I wouldn't let that put me off another trail race though. Date of review: July 25, 2016