In short: Fast and fairly flat, surprisingly scenic but bits of organisation a pain for some In full: Quite surprised by the route - through nice villages, round lakes, through parks and down quiet walkways, I almost thought it would be good to live here, if only for the mass of flat training routes!
Start was a little unorganised with no clock, no obvious line to cross and no timing chips and the hooter was a bit of a surprise too! Race field spread out nicely and there was little need to dodge other runners, or pedestrians and the Police and marshalls seemed to keep the cars at bay too.
Route was mostly flat although various short ramps to get from sub-terranian paths up to road level, and it did allow you to get into a good rythm for most of the race, but then again there were a number of twisty and turny sections and tight corners.
Lucazade sport stations great, although a few more volunteers needed for next year - the water stations were a different story and completely useless because of the plastic cups. If you want to guarantee keeping hydrated and don't want to walk while drinking, I'd recommend running with a water pack.
Finish was fine for me, although again with no timing system it was a little vague and i'm interested to know if and how they managed to record any kind of accurate time. Felt sorry for people finishing a little later as the bottle neck and queue to get over the "line" would have been really demoralising for me - the look of dispair on the face of the bloke struggling to beat 2 hrs when he couldn't even finish the distance said it all.
Overall, many more plusses than minuses - Open University campus was great and the leftover crates of lucazade at the end made the whole event much better value for money!!!
See you all next year! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Decent race let down by poor officials In full: The marshalls were miserable and failed to give hardly any support. At the end, the funnel and organisation was shambolic with insufficient officials who I overheard saying that they "loved it" after shouting at some ladies as they were getting out of finishing order in the line. Having finished a 1/2 marathon you don't need a little hitler thinking he is important when you are having to stand in the cold due to their poor orginisation.
The race was quick and a decent course but the finish when tired was annoying. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: My first 10k for over 12 years - good race but very cold In full: A PB for my first race back. Nice course, very flat and a great first 10k for beginners. Biggest problem for me today was the cold and the snow. I did go for shorts and Tshirt and didnt really warm until 3k in. Last km into the wind and snow was a long one. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: A nice atmosphere and good route In full: This was hillier than I expected, but there was a lovely atmosphere especially from the people of Naseby who set up their own water station and made it really special and some really friendly other runners. A good experience overall - I have to say though that the only negatives were the lack of portaloos on route, and the sudden decline in water stations after the 10k was finished. Fun though! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Worth the effort! In full: Scenic at times, but also run on some very busy roads. Plenty of hills after a change in route from 2005. A well organised and friendly race, plenty of encouragement from some of the more experienced runners. A big thank you to all of the marshalls and those at the drinks stations, particularly the kids who did a fantastic job on a freezing cold day. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Well run event, run on a good course with two good hills. Would consider running this race again next year. Thanks also to all of the marshalls on what was a cold day. Much appreciated! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Really good race. Just swap the Lucozade for Chip Timing! In full: This is a good balanced race that gets many things right. The course is good PB material.. In fact I managed to break 1:40 after trying for 4 years! So can’t really complain. The weather held out, and there was plenty of marshalling spread out to let you know where to go, although not all of them looked thrilled to be there… then again – it was 1 degree! You could tell Nike had thrown some sponsorship behind the event from the (in my opinion) more than ample Lucozade stops, but I would have happily swapped some of them, or all for chip timing if only to avoid the cattle grid pile up at the end. I ran hard for the last mile to try and nip the pb, and then spent 5 minutes feeling sick and delirious in the queue to have my number taken down which I wouldn’t miss if they could get rid of it! But overall – good race and well organised. Just swap the flashy drinks for a chip on the shoe! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: OK, no more no less. In full: I'm not a quick runner and this was my second half marathon. Overall it was enjoyable but 3 things really marred it for me. Despite arriving early we ended up spending 20 minutes trying to find somewhere to park, then as we were now late, a sign to say where the loos were would have helped and finally better race signage because not having run this before we didn't know where to go and on 2 occasions were only corrected by spectators as the marshalls were too busy chatting to tell us! Would we enter next year? Possibly. For us it's a long way to come. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Fast, fast fast!!! In full: It's amazing what a brilliant crowd, a ray of sunshine and some beautiful sweeping downhills can do for your PB.
Excellent London warm-up in terms of confidence.
The church congregation singing, the banging of frying pans and the people from the pubs out in the spring sunshine - it was a festival and it almost brought a tear to my eye and often a broad grin to my face.
Marshalls and scouts were very good.
The water cups were fine, bar the fact they were sponsored by McDonalds, which made me very reluctant to drink out of them!
It might have had to do with the train from London being delayed... twice but the pre race organisation seemed a bit sketchy - but then the field was very big for the start/finish area.
The horse brass was a nice alternative momento.
Thank you Hastings - I'll be back! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Fantastic, great day, hills? what hills! In full: Only my second half marathon.Great crowd support.Was also worried about the legendary hills that I kept hearing about.Yeah, there were hills, but they weren't that bad.Plenty of down hill too.Will be back next year.Really enjoyable and a bit of sunshine to boot. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: tough 20 miler In full: ran this as a training run for london, not as a race, got to 18 miles no problem and then started to feel it in my legs.up and down all the way .overall well worth doing if your running a marathon. nice t-shirt. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: A good test for the London marathon In full: I'd read mixed reviews of this race in previous years. But I think it's a good pre-marathon training race. If you can do 20 miles you feel a lot better about tackling the marathon. That's the main benefit of the race.
One point for future runners is that the 3 lap course involves a short run around the campus, a longer first lap and then two shorter laps (which I didn't realise). Part of the race is on an A road, but it didn't affect my running.
The marshalls did a great job on an absolutely freezing day and the organisation was good (Chariots of Fire was playing on the stereo at the drinks station!). The free massage at the end was great too. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Great pre-London marathon training. In full: Having read the reviews of this race in previous years I wasn't expecting much. But the race was great. Four times round a five mile circuit let me know what I was in for in the final five miles which was crucial to me in my first twenty mile race.
The atmosphere in the club house was really friendly and this carried on into the race. Plenty of people to chat to all the way round and pretty much everybody was using this as a warm up to the London marathon.
It's not very scenic but there are some rural bits - though traffic was passing slowly on these parts.
The only thing that didn't work brilliantly was the second water station which was a bit slow.