In short: Seems the course change is for the good but post-race was bordering on chaotic In full: First time in this one for me today. Seems that the course tweaks have been for the better but the post-race organisation needs to be looked at. You can't hope to cater for a field of 5,000 without a system in place for dishing out water and goodies. 10+ minutes post finish for water is too long to wait and the tee-shirt points were not well sign-posted (sizes). A one-way flow in the concourse is a 'must have' I'd suggest rather than having thousands moving in opposite directions. On course marshals were superb - a credit to the city and to the organisers. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In full: nice venue,friendly marshal's . you pass through about a dozen kissing gates on route so not a pb race,but this was a good race and a good cause. enjoyed the run and would run it again. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Get lost in the Midlands. In full: Where can you get to see the best of British? This race offers everything you want in an Ultra with different surfaces, towns and villages, rivers, brigdes and the best organised race bar none. If you want all this and put on weight come and join in- I dont know how many people are involved in this but its a clockwork organisation. Only one gripe - when can I sign uo for 2015? Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Lovely scenery, hills not as bad as I'd remembered ... In full: My second time running the Berko Half. Good points: I enjoyed the scenery,the hills were not as tough as I'd remembered, and there's a welcome downhill stretch to the finish. Friendly atmosphere on the race, marshals excellent. Less good: seemed a bit disorganised at the start. When I arrived the organisers had run out of safety pins and were quite rude and unhelpful when I asked for some. Next year I won't forget my own! Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Great flat race. Fantastic marshals. In full: Overall, a great PB race- and I smashed my PB :-) . Very flat and with some quite pretty bits by the river, and a fair amount of running on rather dull roads.. however the great, friendly marshals compensated for this. Nice goodies too- a Penguin bar is far superior to the usual cereal bar :-) Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Fast and flat In full: First time at this marathon.well organized very fast and flat. Great camaraderie and excellent support from the people of Manchester. Bit loopy at the start but soon settles down. Liked the increased water stations towards the end and nice big medal. Big plus was the live follow system which worked well and was great for mrs ringo. I would recommend this marathon friendly fast race Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: The crowds made it for me In full: Great race, seems to be improving every year which is how it should be. Can't really fault the organisation , except a lucosade would have been nice at the end. Don't no what the fuss about the water is??? It's not rocket science!!!! There where plenty off them. I always take my own gels so I wouldn't use any I've not tested anyway. The crowds are the best I've come cross !!!! Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Do this race! In full: Great event. Lovely two lap course with little traffic. Excellent marshals and good organisation at the start / finish. This is a stripped down race, small field and just the basics, but cheap as a result. This is great example of how it should be done. I will be back. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Continuous to be one of the best small half marathons around In full: As others have said, in normal conditions this would be perfect for a PB, but the strong wind made it slightly more difficult this year. What it lacks in spectator support it makes up for with superb marshals and organisation. Well done again WHH! Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Great atmosphere & PB In full: Great support and atmosphere, route was nicer than I expected with plenty of interest. Loads of people out and everyone was really friendly. I liked the switchbacks as it meant I could wave to club mates and it also made it easier for spectators. Price is steep and I'd like greater clarity on how the money is spent, also a fairer policy on deferals due to injury. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Best cancelled race ever thanks to Sheffield people stepping in to support rebel runners In full: The race was officially cancelled but with a poor tannoy nobody in the 2hr timing pens knew. A slow and confusing start as rumours spread and some people started to turn back having been stopped from running. However, thanks to frontrunners ignoring police roadblocks and Sheffielders coming out in force with water to support rebel runners it was a great race. Thanks to volunteers and marshalls who stayed to help. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Fast and flat. A bit dull? In full: The Good Bits: - fast and flat. a definite for a PB i'd say - well organised in terms of entries, number being sent in the post, very good info pack to download, regular email updates, bag drop was seemless - some really vocal support en route- with people handing out sweets and drinks. thanks to all the local residents for that- much appreciated - easy to get to with the metrolink - nice medal and a really top tech tee
Not so good bits: - really didn't like the course. the first few miles with the loopbacks were stupid and quite frustrating, difficult to get going in a regular rhythm. Also, because much of the course was two-way, it all got a bit crammed and, again, difficult to find a rhythm. was much less noticeable in the second half as people started to get a bit more strung out.
- water stations. the people manning them were great, but the first few were really difficult to actually get a drink at. I didn't see the signs (too low down possibly?) and a lot of people were stopping dead and trying to make their way to the sides for drinks...again, improved as the course became less crammed in the second half. - the Iconiq water pouches? Not a fan. either got a dribble of water or a face full. also tasted really strange and chemically. Would have REALLY appreciated a lucozade/powerade or similar at 16-20 mile mark- rather than more chemical toilet water! - Cliff shot bloks...now i love these, train with them all the time. But after 26 miles of them i felt ill. thought we were getting bloks and gels? only saw bloks... - mile markers...again, didn't see many in the first half- perhaps think about positioning?
i've said 'maybe' to a return. its very local for me...but don't think i would recommend that people travel far- unless you want a PB- it has definite potential for that... Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Would benefit from some organisation! In full: No race pack received Took 5 phone calls: 1 was promised a call back in 10 to 20 minutes – didn't happen 2 answerphone messages left which were ignored 1 was promised a return call in 15 minutes Further call made after an hour to ask why there had been no return call When race packs were collected on the morning of the run we were told that Royal Mail had probably lost the original packs which hadn't arrived!!! We asked for safety pins which were not on display & were grudgingly given 2 each People seemed somewhat confused as to where their starting places were at the start The Marshall's on the run route were absolutely brilliant Once past the finish line it was a complete shambles Runners were queued back to the finish line There was no water whatsoever for runners who were desperately in need of hydration There were queues to collect T shirts Wrong sized T shirts were issued There was no goody bag We were allowed out of the Stadium into the path of runners When we got back to the car we were unable to exit the car park for an hour due to the car park being blocked awaiting the final finisher, the course route crossing the car park exit! With the exception of the Marshall's, pretty much an example of how not to do it.
In short: Changes This Year, But Not All For The Better In full: Fourth year in a row that I have done the Derby 10K and whilst I managed a PB, the rest of the event was not so satisfying. The changes to the course made it faster but in doing so seemed to lose some of the character. The new long section along the cattle market was positively dull. The lack of KM markers on the course was a let down as it was difficult to keep track of pacing and strangely the water station was around 7 KM. The water station was poor as it was only on one side of the road so causing people to cut in front of others to grab a drink. The finish arrangements were quite poor this year. There was a queue after the line which stretched around 3/4 of the stadium and it took around 20 minutes to get to the t-shirt pick up. There was no water at the finish but there was some after queuing for around 15 minutes. The t-shirt was poor as it was not a memento of the race but more of an advertisement for the sponsors. The date of the event is not even on the t-shirt! No goody bag this year, no banana, no chocolate and no freebies from Boots. The baggage trailer was chaotic with bags just chucked in randomly, not in any order meaning another long wait to get clean, dry kit. The first 3 years were great so struggle to see why this year has seen so many negative changes. I will be back next year but would like to see some of the comments taken on board. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: The best half you'll find! In full: Super well organised and friendly with an unbelievably beautiful route through the grounds of one of the finest stately homes in England. Not too big and shaded in the trees. Definitely doing this again in 2014. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Excellent Marshall's In full: First 6/7 miles of this course are quick and down hill, you then run over the historic Ironbridge. After that there's a it of a killer hill then on to Rough Park which was very muddy and hard going this year. Easy run from there back to Telford Town Park. There is little crowd support enroute but the Marshall's make up for this. You can tell they are mostly runners as they know just what encouragement you need. My fourth year and I will be back! Date of review: April 6, 2014