In short: Wet, windy and hilly but still scenic and enjoyable In full: This was my first ever half, and even with the hills managed to better my target time. The marshalls were fantastic and cheery despite the miserable weather conditions which would have been worse for them than us runners. Date of review: November 8, 2005
In short: definitely not flat In full: The hills are very tough, but the scenery is beautiful and it's quite special running to the finish line between the avenue of magnificent oak trees. The marshalls were encouraging too and Gibside loos are lovely, warm and clean! Loved the T shirt. Date of review: November 8, 2005
In short: Lots of marshals with good signposts In full: Loads of toilets at the start, but never made it inside the main hall (the missus says bacon sandwich was good). Lots of marshals on the course, KMs were well marked (and seemed accurate to me) and even the water station at 7KM was advised in advance - good thinking.
I'm sure the organisers would have arranged less wind & rain if that were possible, but if you're racing in November, then what are people expecting? As for the parking, that was forewarned on the website (I parked near the finish, as opposed to the start, making for a really quick exit).
And I liked the chocolate medal - I really don't need another T Shirt and for £5 the race represents good value (I'm sure that I saw some people with mugs - were these optional/payable extras?) Date of review: November 8, 2005
In short: Lovely wooded countryside, very friendly, very wet In full: Great race, though long hills in first couple of miles, at mile 9 and at mile 11, so no PB chance. Chest label chips were a bit of a palaver, and given the rain, would have been nice to have larger changing tent ... one gazebo does not a male changing room make..
Nice T shirt as well ! Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: Great race, good flat course. In full: This was a great race. Sahme about the weather but then we have no control over that. I have never run in such awful conditions but this did not distract from the race at all. Rather large flood to wade through as no way round it. Good PB course albeit the wind in your face on last few miles was bad. Even managed to win a vet's prize. Will def be back to do this again. Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: Improved course - enjoyed the lake and the fields. Enthusiastic and encouraging marshals. In full: Thank you organisers for being honest about the course profile. Unlike other similar courses, you warned us there would be gentle ups and downs and I was therefore prepared. Weather wasn't that bad - wet yes, but I prefer that to scorching heat. Good to see Mick and Phil running again - inspiration and should be featured in runnersworld magazine. Thanks to the marshals for being so cheerful despite the pants weather. I look forward to next year's race. Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: Great run and well managed. I needed all the rain to cool me down after the hills!!! In full: I did not like the timing number! mine tore after about 3 miles and I found myself stabbing at my chest with a pin to get it back on. Looked like other runners were also having problems with the number ripping off.
All this hassle and it did not give an accurate chip time!!! Stick to the good old chip in future. Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: Straight forward - enjoyed it. In full: Ran a PB of 1 hr 32 so Stevenage will be special for me - but only till I beat it again. Like many others, turned up at the wrong car park (signs led me straight to it). If there are 2 places with almost the same name, put directions in the literature for people who aren't from Stevenage. Weird start but no major problem. 5 mile marker was at about 5.25 miles ! My mile times went 7 mins, 8 mins, 6 mins. Only constructive criticism - generally pretty good. Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: enjoyable race In full: Organisation was good - little bit sceptical about the coaches beforehand but worked well. No problems with the course - if it hadn't been pouring with rain - good for a PB. My girlfriend liked the tea men!! Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: A marriage of a run - you have to work hard at it to get results In full: Like any marriage or relationship, you have to work hard at it and you get back what you put in. This run is no different! Hadn't run a marathon for nearly 18 months but had trained plenty, the Maidstone Half being my last warm-up event the week before. The difference in conditions couldn't have been any more different! Mild and pleasant compared with so stormy when I woke up, I almost hoped it would be cancelled. Glad it wasn't, great run, amazing scenery and views. Watching so many fellow runners of all abilities making their way up the pass of Llanberis was a sight indeed, made all the more difficult with a very tough headwind. Final few miles very tough, hard work up the steep hill at 21, just as diffcult coming down the muddy track. Fellow runners, marshalls and support in the town helped me through last mile. Amazing run. Just never again!! Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: First half marathon pity about the weather - adds to the challenge In full: On the whole this event is very well planned. There was only one incident where my partner and I went off the beaten track but we realised very quickly where we went wrong. This wouldn't have happened if we ran quicker. The scenic views were very nice although difficult to appreciate when you are facing the wind and the rain. This was a good event for a first half marathon. I could not believe the amount of prizes awarded at the end of the race although I didn't get anything it was clear that local prizes and spot prizes were appreciated. Enough to encourage me to come back and improve next year. Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: great course for pbs In full: nice out and back course pity about torrential rain showers .excellent mainly flat course only very slight gradients great course for pbs which i got Date of review: November 7, 2005
In short: I think this could be the first of many.... In full: For a first timer, it was a bit chaotic at the start, but that could have been due to my nerves or more likely the rain, and that 1000 people were trying to squeeze into a space designed for 250. Despite the rain, and wind, and the personal pain, it was certainly worth the effort, and the marshalls standing on the course were very encouraging, and certainly helped me along... All in it has given me the incentive to try for another in the near future... Date of review: November 7, 2005