In short: Challenging first half marathon - especially the wind on the return leg! In full: Nice out run from the start with plenty of reasonable undulations to allow for a challenge, however, the wind on the return leg made for heavy legs at the finish - energy sapping murder! At least it was relatively flat on the way home. Impossible chance of a PB given the weather. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Improved organisation from previous years. In full: Personally I did not experience the farce with the non-arrival of packs. Consequently I feel the organisation has improved from previous years and the toilets were no longer cholera hazards. However, as I travel from the North-West I will be looking for some assurance that the pack problem is a one-off.
Three things cause problems, but all runner related.
a) Why line up at the head of the field if you are not going to run more than a few yards before walking? b) Inconsiderate people throwing the water bottles in the middle of the road causing hazards for later runners. c) Why is it every year people stop to chat in the middle of the crowds trying to use the exit. Also, use some common sense, once you've struggled to leave through the crowded exit, add to your enjoyment by trying to get back into the assemble area(against the crowds). Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Great scenery, good course but poor organisation. Too many races in the same place, badly run water stations and the minor roads should be closed. The wind and hills in the lst 4 miles were tough but the atmosphere was good and overall worth doing. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Friendly, windy, top marshalls - great Marathon prep In full: It was a very windy day and there were some exposed roads on the course. Marshalling and drinks stations were superb and offered great encouragement - thanks very much for that Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: First class. A very special thanks to the Marshalls. In full: First 8-9 miles great, then the wind came and it made an easy, flat course, feel like an uphill struggle. Wouldn't have missed it for anything. Very enjoyable, roll on next year. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Nice finish, good crowds, bad organisation In full: The course was better than last year - the crowds were better than last year - even my time was better than last year!! Sadly though, the organisation wasn't. I too had to pay postage twice for my entry pack. I also noticed different coloured medals. Given that many of the roads were closed by 10:00 if not earlier, why the road wasn't clear at the start time I'll never know. The signage at the start was poor, so it was difficult to know where to 'line-up'. Not sure of the benefit of a water station at 8.5km? Just one along Burton Road would have done nicely.
The organisers need to really see what 'larger' races do and take note. Being constructive - toilets by the start line would be nice.
In short: What was wrong with using the car parks? In full: Was really looking forward to this after the Bath Half marathon. But after the weather the evening before added the extra challenge of the 'bog of eternal stench' at the 2k (and 7.5k) mark. The "undulating" terrain as mentioned in literature was certainly interesting but still managed sub 57min (the same time for my 10k of the BHM. Did get the feeling that Longleat didn't really welcome us (unlike the cancer research staff) parking us on a muddy hill when all the carparks were virtually empty. Didn't they want our kids to go and investigate pets corner? Nice day overall though and look forward to doing this or different 10k around Longleat Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Where were all the marshalls In full: Being from Oldham, I was familiar with the course but still surprised at the lack of marshalls at The Farrars Arms and also the terrible state of the pathway in last 2 miles -for a mayoral race it gives a very poor impression of Oldham after such beautiful scenery earlier in the race. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Flat & fast & very well organised - but that wind on the way back -ouch! In full: My first half marathon & my quads are suffering today. Lovely course with pockets of excellent support where available on a mostly very rural course. Excellently marshalled. Was doing fine till 9 miles & then the wind decided to show me you can't trifle with a half marathon; suppose the 1hr40 will have to wait till next time.Water & sponge stations were superb. I suppose it's a shame where the start\finish is located, but the rest of the race was excellent. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Far too tough for a wimp like me! In full: Wow this one HURT! The wind was howling and the hills were plentiful; it took all I had to finish. I was being lapped by the leaders before I'd even finished the first loop which was a bit soul-destroying. And then the end bit through the maze of houses and around the field... torture!! Not really a good race for slow people! But the organisation was top-notch and the marshalls really friendly and encouraging - especially since I was right at the back and they must have all really had enough by the time I went by.
I wouldn't do this one again simply because of the loops... it took great willpower not to stop the first time around! But probably a great race for those tougher and faster than me. Date of review: April 3, 2006