In short: Was my first half in preparation for London next month. Very windy in some places, but still managed to get round in the time I was hoping for. No world records but encouragement for my next big challenge. In full: Having enterered the London Marathon with a charity place (I work for one!) I used this as my "see how likley I am to get round" challenege and thoroughly enjoyed it. Parts of it were certainly challenging as the wind was quite strong and seemed to coincide with the uphill bits. Not as flat as it looks on the TV it was great seeing the streams of people in front and more encouragingly for me, behind. I took 2 hours 40 mins, but I was pleased. The XL Tshirt will get worn baggy or not, and the medal will have pride of place in my collection until London arrives. Funny thing is I am actually looking forward to doing another one. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: quick, well organised race In full: my only issue is where the start is in a locsl street, trying to squeeze 2,700 people in. the results are quickly done and presenation pretty good. this is an ideal race b4 london. the team/individual prizes are good and allows me to get anothe £50 worth of clothing from sweatshop. thanks - see you next year!! Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Good course, Good race organisation. In full: Good stuff all round. The pre race/directions could be improved. I had trouble actually working out where the start was in relation to the town and parking. (only happens to be across the road!). The race map could be more accurate as well and the toilets seemed a little inadequate. The race itself was well organised and marshalled. Would do again, but perhaps without the family, who like to try and see me around the courses i run, but this one proved difficult to work out places that could be travelled to during the race. So they had to spend 3hours around the start/finish. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Much Improved - but an age waiting for kitbags In full: Last ran this race in 2004 and it was much better than then, both for the organisation and the course. Would do it again. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Great training run for Spring Marathon In full: The climbs up and down the cliffs made this a bit tough but the wonderful veiws made up for it. Only negative point is that some of the mile markers were in the wrong place which made it hard to pace, especially 16-17. Not many of us at the back so I'm grateful that the marshals stayed on to offer support. If I ever do another spring marathon, I'll be back. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Very well organised with great crowd support In full: Nice route in and around Fleet along mainly traffic free roads. Lots of people supporting, frequent water and sponge stations and good organisation at beginning and end. I'll be back next year to have a serious crack at my PB! Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Early inclines made it a hardish start but a good testing undulating course. In full: Just a point about result details. Maybe age-groups could be more defined. I.e. Instead of just + 60, also +65, or actual ages. And for females instead of a general + 35 years, higher ages as in males. Otherwise just include runners ages! Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: A bit of a haphazard start but fun overall and well-marshalled. A nice medal at the end. In full: A good event - set a PB for an 'official' 10km race with 1.07 but this was slow compared to recent training runs - I was hoping to finish in 1 hour or just under. There was a strong easterly wind though which I think took it's toll, particularly over thelast 1km. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: Good training for London In full: I would imagine that a lot of the entrants were using this as a warm up for London. Bit short on the water stations, and the marshals were a bit sparse on the ground in the second half of the race. The chap who kept going up and down on his bike in the first half was very good, and supportive. Couple of very busy roads to contend with, which were a bit hairy. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: The start was a bit of a nightmare. It was too narrow, and the announcer seemed perturbed that no-one was paying attention to him, even though the speakers weren't pointing to the runners. The race itself was really good though. In full: The start was a bit of a nightmare. It was too narrow, and the announcer seemed perturbed that no-one was paying attention to him, even though the speakers weren't pointing to the runners. And there was some commotion before we completed the loop at the start, which I later found out was because the lead car crashed into the Start/Finish line. That's the first time I've seen that.
The race itself was really good though. Undulating for the first 4 miles or so, but pretty flat after that. I ran a PB by 2 minutes. The organisation out on the course was excellent. There was reasonable support from locals. And although it wasn't as traffic-free as I'd have liked (we ended up in the left hand lane of the road with the other side open to traffic, which meant fumes and too much running on a right-to-left camber), I did enjoy the last 3 miles or so down the old railway track.
Generally I thought that the course layout was quite varied, which I enjoy. A bit of town centre, a bit of countryside, and around the suburbs. More picturesque and less hilly than Wolverhampton, even if the start needs a tweak. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: 2nd half-marathon - enjoyable enough without a PB In full: This was the first time I'd run in Liverpool - despite spending 4 years at university here. I really enjoyed the race despite a suspect stomach for much of the first half (I did fear a Paula Radcliffe moment before spotting the portaloos at 7 miles!), and found Parliament Street not too bad at my plodding pace.
My only other attempt at this distance (Great North Run 2004) finished in 2:00:56, and I didn't expect to get close to that as I hadn't been training as maniacally this time. I also hadn't ran outside as muich as I'd liked although I did do a few 10k races along the way this time. So, all in all, I was just pleased to get round without walking in 2:14:17 and now have something to build towards.
I thought the whole day was well organised, though. Any lack of signs for the city centre parking didn't really affect me, as my running friend brought his sat-nav with him. Plenty of drinks along the course and the marshalls were very encouraging, as were the spectators. One of my highlights was a lady at the top of the Parliament St hill encouraging us all up the hill - she was incredibly enthusiastic (possibly mad as anything too?) and managed to raise a smile. No real concerns over the XL t-shirts from this L chunky monkey, and the very nioce medals reminded me a little of Jim'll Fix It badges!
I think my only complaint (or closest thing to a complaint) was that the band at the turnaround in town were miming!!!
Really hope to be back next year to improve on my time. Thanks to everybody involved in making it such a successful day. Date of review: March 21, 2006