In short: Challenging run but more than worth it! In full: Excellent organisation every year and seems to get better. Great technical T-Shirt and Bag. Thoroughly enjoy this event and already looking forwards to it next year. Marshals are wonderful. 10 out of 10! Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Great location and well organised. In full: I really enjoyed the race. A little challenging due to tall the tight turns and some mild undulations. Well organised. Will be back for another! 4/5 Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: My second ever 10k race In full: This was only my second ever 10k race after taking up running again in May this year. It was a great course with a few challenging hills to get up. The organization & marshaling were FIRST RATE. Highly Recommend this. I'll be back next year Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Fantastically well organised and scenic marathon In full: Really enjoyed this morning out on the beautiful towpaths of the River Thames. I had never run along this part of the river and can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the route. The organisation was superb and slick, the marshals were friendly, welcoming and helpful, the route was ace and extremely well marked and the medal was spot on. As an RD myself, I can take home a few extra tips to for my event to make it even better. Well done David and Melanie Ross. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Very good Half Marathon but needed more marshalls In full: It was my first attempt at this race. Very good course through worcestershire countryside and although tough at times, very enjoyable. Overall well organised but lacking in terms of facilities (4 portaloos for around 300 people). Also en route there was a lack of marshalls and /or signage at some critical points. Thankfully I did not veer off course, but this was very possible at some points! Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Organising a marathon in Stevenage deserves some credit In full: Well done FVS for organising a marathon and half marathon in Stevenage. The course is rather tougher than I expected and not the most scenic, but at least the race was traffic free.
A few points to help. The start was chaotic. I think there were announcements from somebody shouting, but some form of amplification is required. I didn't hear anybody at the HQ urging runners to go to the start.
HQ - the doors to the sports hall should be wedged open and so to the doors to the outside if allowed)
The signage was amateurish. Signs that point to HQ the start and even those at the start held up by marshals to put runners in appropriate time slots were A4. I didn't know my way back to HQ from the finish as there were no directions (a bit disorientated after a marathon). Signs need to be bigger and professionally made and put up from a runners viewpoint and not be laminated A4.
Some of the marshals were a bit dozy and had left their marshalling point for those of us running the marathon. Some had walked through the underpass to chat with their mates and expected me to know the way. But fair dos to the marshals for standing around in the rain for hours and hours. I thought they were exceptional, especially those that pointed the way clearly. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Great half despite the rain! In full: As usual, a well organised event over a lovely route through the Chiltern countryside between Marlow and Henley. As others have noted, the hills at miles 8 and 11 are a big tough feature, as is the fast descent back into town. Thanks to the marshals, spectators and everyone else who contributed to this fun event. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Hills, hills and then more hills In full: The Marshals did a great job and were so encouraging. An awful lot of hills, would not recommend for anyone who hadn't done a fair bit of hill training. A flat/slight downhill last k - if you have anything left in your legs! Nice to stay dry in the village hall and use proper bathrooms. Beer and cake at the end ... yum! Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Great 10k and even better 5k as the whole family can do it. In full: Well organised race which isn't the hardcore serious type. The 10k (which i did) was mainly your more frequent runners was good. A little bit hilly but challenging none the less. The 5k was more aimed to families, there was no age limit. It was 1 adult per child runner. My only gripe is that both 10k and 5k runners set off at the same time and if your hunting for a good time the last thing you want to do is knock some younger runner off their feet. Great event. Definitely do it next year but i'm gonna swap to the 5k and do it with my 4 year old daughter. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: A nice Half Marathon In full: This was my first attempt at running the Thames Meander Half Marathon, and it was a nice Saturday morning run. The run itself took in some nice views with the turnaroud being at Kew bridge. The medal is of really high quality, would have been nice to have had the date on it though. The start of the run was a bit cramped, but you soon get a chance to get into your stride after a mile or so. It would have been nice to have had some mile markers, even if it had just been at 3,5,9 and 12. I had my Garmin watch on so it was not such a problem. Although this course certainly has PB potential as a result of it being a flat course, the course itself is longer than 13.1 miles. Not sure whether anybody else picked up on that one. My watch recorded it as being 13.2! It was an unusually warm day for November, and i personally struggled with there only being two drinks stations thoughout the entire route, and even then all you get is a small cup of water. Some energy drinks would have been good! I did enjoy this run though, even though i did not get the PB i was hoping for. Well worth a go, very scenic and friendly with good support at the finish line. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Old school with the odd new touch In full: Although it's a chip timed race, it retains the feel of a club event. Marshalling, route and water stops are all first rate and it's mainly flat, firm trail. If you're after the best t-shirts, custom medals, big crowds and samba bands this isn't for you, but for those who simply love to run it's a joy. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Felt like organiser just looked at map and chose route In full: The race was spoilt by the start being sent down a single path which was a short turn around to make up the distance. If the race takes place again, then the organiser should put that short loop on at the end of the first lap when everyone is spaced out or start the race closer to the race HQ possibly outside the Heritage Centre. However, I must thank the marshals who staying out for us back markers throughout the heavy rain Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: undulating decent course through the countryside In full: Having done this race previously I was surprised they altered the course. previously they had used the facilities of the local golf club and started and finished on the club drive way. Seemingly the golf club weren't as accommodating this year and we were sidelined onto a grassed area near the road. the course is undulating but not too challenging. the small field of runners makes it easy to pick the racing line. the route was scenic, there were marshals where needed and 3 water stations en route. the one oddity was at the very end instead of a nice easy run in we were shepherded onto the grass verge to finish, a few people missed the line. an inconvenience more than a major problem for most people
In short: sloppy organising and marshalling on what is a fairly rewarding if somewhat ugly course In full: The race was started 3 minutes early, meaning people missed the start. The lead bikes took us the wrong way resulting in a bit of off roading to get back on course. We had to ask the marshalls for directions on a number of occasions - some of them seemed fairly indifferent and almost uninterested. To cap it all they held the prize giving earlier than advertised so not able to pick up the winners trophy - and these were only age group prizes, so no overall winner's trophy which was a bit strange. I've done this quite a few times and this year was a one lap course which is better and normally it is better organised than this. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Scenic course but hard on the legs In full: This was my 4th Great West Run and second on this new course. It is certainly more scenic than the original out and back loops that the old course followed. The first half of the race is mainly out on flattish countryside roads but that is where the pleasantries end! The second half (from 7/8 miles onwards) brings in a number of very testing hills and with most of the last mile being uphill it really is a test of stamina. This is my local race and I will definitely keep taking part each year but the management should look at improving the water sachets handed out (nightmare to open when running) and for the price the finishers pack is pretty poor with no T-Shirt (although they do sell them online). Date of review: November 3, 2014