In short: What goes up must come down In full: A thoroughly enjoyable run - I even liked the killer hill at the start and there are some good downhills too. Well organised, very friendly marshals, a cracking medal, a great technical t shirt and a bumper goody bag. What great value. Well done Handy Cross Runners :-) Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Enjoyable race In full: This race seemed quite hilly but I think the humidity on the day made it seem harder than it actually was (having checked the stats on my Garmin). Great organisation, my only slight niggle was the uphill finish on long grass which sapped the last of my energy. I will certainly be back next year. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Very good organisation and excellent race along the sea front. In full: Organisation: Very good indeed from the start. Regular emails regarding the race. However the race-pack wasn't up to much. I received an envelope with my race number and 4 safety pins. That's it.
There were pdf's available on the website to print out but I don't have a printer. I think more could be made of the race pack - it needs bulking out to more than just a number.
The Day: Roads were closed from 7. Plenty of car parks. Baggage storage was excellent with all runners luggage stored at Swansea Leisure Centre.
Race started on time. Not fussed on the singer who started us off but it was nice to have the Welsh Anthem.
Run down to Mumbles was nice although some congestion at certain stages making it difficult to get past some runners. Still - it was lovely all the way up to Verdi's at Knab Rock. From there it was a turn around and back along the coastal footpath with stunning views of the beach. Back through BlackPill, past Singleton park etc.
The last 3 miles were awful and need changing for next year. 3 miles of twists and turns around the SA1 area. A nice area but extremely boring. Hopefully the organisers will see to sort this out next year - even taking runners further along the coast before turning around.
There were plenty of people out during the start of the run with groups along the way cheering and calling names. Great idea having names on our numbers.
Plenty of people lined the way during the final mile with large crowds at the finishing line cheering the finishers. Lovely atmosphere at both the start and the end.
Water stops were every three miles. I wouldn't have minded one of those stops being a sports drink so that I could have a change from water. It might not be possible, but due to the weather some extra water stops could have been put in. At 10am in the morning the sun was beating down - making it very warm with several runners requiring first aid (not sure if it was the heat or injury).
Apparently there were two gel stops. I only saw one. I had my own gels so didn't take the Hi5 gels that were on offer.
Plenty of toilets along the route for runners.
After the Race: Across the finishing line and along the path to get a bag (not much in there) and a medal. A nice medal but I was slightly disappointed (sorry) as there was no date on the medal. Considering this was the first one then maybe they could have done something nice for the first 2000 or so runners that supported the event. At the very least they should have put the date on there.
Water was being dished out to finishers and further along the route bananas were being given out. As much as you could eat. :-)
The shirt was good quality but I doubt I would wear it again. A running top like is given at Cardiff would be nice. Maybe if ASICS get involved next year again the organisers could look at getting them to supply the tops with less advertising on them.
There was a results tent where runners could get a printout of their times. This was a handy service.
Overal Opinion: Well done to the organisers. This is was the first Swansea Half Marathon. If it follows the success of the Swansea Bay 10K and the Cardiff Half Marathon then it will go from strength to strength.
A couple of changes to the route and they organisers have a winner on their hands. Well done - I'll be entering next year.
As it's a local run for me I will tag it as one of my all-time favourites. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Very hot and humid made this a killer, the course was awesome. In full: If you've not run an ultra before then this is a great way to start. Or if you've done a few this is also a cracker! The course is brilliant, well marked most of the way with tape and arrows over a varied hilly terrain. Well organised by the team, thanks to all the marshals especially the couple who seemed to pop up everywhere with a car boot loaded full of water. Checkpoints were great with loads of encouragement and food. The weather made this a real challenge but hopefully I'll be back next year to improve on my time! Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Tough, enjoyable, easy to get lost! In full: My third year running the 50k ultra. Each year I've got lost, but it is part of the experience. I even did a pre race recce to try and avoid wandering off course this year but still managed to do so in the heat of the race. At times the terrain is challenging for delicate ankles like mine, but overall it isn't too bad - you just need to know where to slow down. Marshals and checkpoints great, although I didn't stop much this year. To summarise - great feeling about the race, not a pb course, but enjoyable for a mornings run. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Great organisation, beautiful course, and a beer at the end In full: As with all ETL events, the organisation is top notch, and the marshals brilliant. A handshake from the race director as you cross the line sums up the ethos of the race Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: Superb atmosphere and organisation In full: There aren't many races of this length around at this time of year and despite the heat I thoroughly enjoyed this. Extremely well-organised, with everything at Race HQ well-signposted and lots of friendly volunteers to answer any questions. Ample parking too at the actual event rather than half a mile away as seems to be the case with many races. Any course was going to be challenging in today's conditions and while there were no steep ascents it was certainly undulating but with a good variety of terrain. Given the location the course could have been dull but taking it out of the town along local country lanes kept it interesting and more scenic. The water stations were well-placed and well-manned and it was greatly appreciated being given water in bottles with a sport top rather than plastic cups. The sponge station was a nice touch but could have done with being at the midpoint rather than towards the end of the race. All road crossings were extremely well-marshalled. A track finish is always nice and gives the event that little extra. I knew a PB was out of the question in the heat so I was delighted to finish first in my age category and bag a nice trophy as well as my race medal. I was very happy with a bottle of Lucozade Sport and a banana at the end; goody bags are usually rubbish. A 25th anniversary t-shirt would have been a nice touch but not necessary. I would definitely do this race again - it really is a shining example of how good a well-organised race can be. Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: my first half marathon race, great atmosphere In full: as my first race i was a little nervous about this, i set off like a rabbit at the front and quickly realized that i had got carried away by the atmosphere - ended up finishing in 1h39m which was ok considering this schoolboy error Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: A great event, harder than expected but in a good way In full: Organisation was ace, the course terrain varied throughout which kept it interesting and challenging, a bonus was the weather (or was this a negative ?) - sunny and warm Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: you dont get race results online for days. slowest online results of any race i have done. In full: Great goody bag of fruit, and Bonds icecream, o.k medal, But very slow at posting online results, Grumpy time keeper who tells you to go away if you ask for time. BAD ATTITUDE. Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: Loved it, will do again but please get some portaloos! In full: This was the first time I've done this race. I opted for the 10k over the half but I reckon I'll be back next year to do the half. Nice course, varied with the climb at the start followed by undulating road and a steep downhill through a single track lane later on. The first half of the course is on closed roads, with open roads later on, but as there wasn't too much traffic around this didn't cause any problems. The only negative for me was the queue for the loos at the start. I arrived in the park at 09.00 for the 09.30 start and went straight to the back of the long toilet queue. There's only around 4 public loos which isn't enough - the guy doing the commentary said there was around 1000 runners! After standing in line for a while the ladies in front of me noticed a sign nearby saying that there were more toilets around the corner in the ladies changing rooms. One of the girls went to investigate and came back as there was also a large queue there and apparently 2 out of 3 of those loos were blocked. Some people nearby who we're doing the half were clearly concerned at running for two hours without using the loo first - I don't recall seeing and portaloos on the route map for the half? As it got nearer to 09.30 some people gave up waiting and I managed to get in and had to sprint to the start line afterwards, arriving there with about a minute to spare. 30 minutes waiting for the loo pre race really isn't good enough, please arrange for some portaloos for next time!!! Goody bag: nice medal & option for engraving at the finish line. Nice wicking t shirt which I'll actually wear for running unlike some of the cotton tees you get at other races. Bag also had water, Mars bars, and Apple and orange, pistachio nuts, sweets, tea pigs and lo salt samples, Pantene samples.
The drinks stations gave out cups of water on the way around instead of bottles, this didn't bother me as I was doing the shorter race but due to the humidity if I had done the half I would have preferred bottles which I could carry and sip to the next station. They were giving out sponges at the first station and finish line which was a nice touch.
Overall I really enjoyed this race & it will be on my list of 'mustn't miss' for next year. I'll just make sure I use the loo in town first!! Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: Excellent Summer Trail Run In full: An excellent summer trail run and a new route for 2014, but still had all our favourite hills. The new route provided good stretches of shade from the Summer sun and some fantastic views of the Hampshire countryside. The route was well supervised by friendly marshals with enough drinks stations for the distance. A good quality medal at the finish and large selection of reasonably priced home made cakes and tea/coffee Date of review: July 20, 2014
In short: Slick organistion from Handy Cross Runners & brilliant support make this an unmissable race! In full: The residents of Wycombe, Loudwater, Flackwell Heath & Bourne End turned out in force for another year and made it as if there was encouragement coming at every step! A great atmosphere. Excellent marshalling; and I was entertained by the chatty Scottish guy on the mike at the start & finish!
Only *slightly* negative points about the race are:
1. Queues for toilets! Invest in some portaloos as there simply aren't enough in the buildings that are there on the Rye already. 2. Unattended baggage vans. Not sure if this was just how it was intended, but it wasn't clear if you were supposed to just leave your bag, or hand it over and get a tag. 3. Chip timing is used, but only (I believe) "gun to finish", not full start to finish. If HCR can do it for the Marlow 5, why not for the Wycombe races? (Given that the start & finish are in the same place)
I should stress that these are minor points and did not detract from my enjoyment of the race - one that I've done for 11 out of the last 12 years. One of the best-value races around - quality t-shirt AND medal, plus goody bag. Unbeatable. Date of review: July 20, 2014
In short: Cheap and cheerful and a good mix of terrain In full: A nice and friendly race treated as a training run so plenty of time to chat with other runners. Special mention to Cathie from Dundee wearing a Sweatshop tshirt who joined the boys from Knowsley Harriers at 3 miles and dug in for a PB. Date of review: July 20, 2014