In short: Extremely well-organised, great support, just a couple of downsides! In full: My overall experience was pretty similar to those of other runners. The race was extremely well-organised, with a well-finished start/finish area and clear instructions, both at the start and throughout from the marshals.
The route was largely a very pleasant one through scenic parts of the town, and the support was fantastic on all the road sections which really did help.
However, as many other reviewers have noted, the racecourse section really was a killer. The sharp climbs in and out of the section really took their toll, and the exposed nature of the loop allied with the absence of spectators made it easily the toughest section both mentally and physically. In principle I can see the logic behind including it - it is a well-known feature of Cheltenham and reduces the need for road closures, but I feel it would work better if it was towards the start of the race rather than the end when people are flagging anyway. It might also be good to have an incentive for spectators to enter the racecourse section - maybe some activities or a food and drink area to try to liven it up a bit.
My only other quibble with the race itself was the water pouch system. I was probably just unlucky, but the one I was handed was hardly opened at all making it impossible to get more than a trickle from it, when I definitely wanted more than a trickle! In the end I discarded it when it was still nearly full, creating more clutter than an empty plastic cup. I think if you want to replace plastic cups for whatever reason you have to be certain you replace it with something just as effective. I'll stick to my hand bottle if I do it again.
It was great to have a downhill finish for a change, and overall I did very much enjoy the whole experience. It was quite expensive considering the price didn't include a t-shirt, so it would be nice if they reduced the cost a bit in future (wishful thinking I know). Date of review: September 12, 2014
In short: Great event with lots of support for first-timers In full: This was my 2nd ever race and first half marathon. The course was great being very flat but good mix of town and countryside. There was strong crowd support at start & end with a good atmosphere all round. Would definitely recommend to other runners and oddly, having vowed not to do another, just may come back again next year! Date of review: September 12, 2014
In short: Great introduction to cross country style running In full: This is the first off road race/event I have ever entered. My view was this was very well organised, a family friendly event although off road there are only a few bits that could cause issues with mud however the face day was dry. Save some energy for the 8k hill though… Will recommend some friends for next year. Well done to the organisers Date of review: September 12, 2014
In short: A classic. One of my favourite races ever but very tough. In summary all a bit nuts really but huge fun. In full: Been a serious runner for over 30 years and this rates as probably my second favourite race ever (number 1 The National Cross Country still the greatest race in the world). Done the MM 10 years in a row. It is a killer. Driving grown men and women near to tears and your quads to oblivion. Those folks who attempt the Picnic have my utmost respect but should probably seek medical help. Date of review: September 12, 2014
In short: Great challanging race In full: Great race with good atmosphere, a deffinate to do again. The hills are hard, but lots of locals to cheer you over them. Best 5 miles I've done so far. Date of review: September 12, 2014
In short: Excellent event In full: 2nd time running and can't fault it, very well organised, bag drop ladies were superb, no waiting at all, marshalls around the course and at the water stations and at the finish were great. I like the commentary at the beginning and coming into the finish, its really uplifting when you hear your name in those last few yards around the cricket ground to the finish. Well done Chippenham Harriers, looking forward to next year. Date of review: September 11, 2014
In short: Unique half marathon that has that 'special touch' - definitely doing again! In full: Few issues on the day with toilets and the slow funnel at the end but this has been acknowledged by the organisers in their 'Thank you' email - assured will be much much better next year! :-) Date of review: September 11, 2014
In short: Great race to boost your morale and great spread afterwards too! In full: last two miles in this race are great! almost all downhill, first 4 miles is gentle climb warming you up for the fast finish and a new P.B that I got last year. Date of review: September 11, 2014
In short: excellent will be back again next year In full: This is the best half marathon i have ran, it is extremely well run, lots for the fsmily to do if they come along, beautiful scenery and a fast course with wonderful Marshalls Date of review: September 11, 2014
In short: 3rd time running this one and once again I can't fault it - brilliant organisation, fantastic support, great scenery, definite PB potential and the friendliest marshals. Date of review: September 11, 2014