In short: Good for the first timers In full: Back in 2004 this was my first half marathon and this year I came back with my Dad and best friend who were also running their first half. It is well organised and well attended. A good first time event with adequate drinks stations, Lucozade and a goodie bag. As usual the weather was horrid and driving to and fro was a nightmare through bad traffic on both the M1 (up) and M40 (back).
For me the event was slightly marred by the rudeness of some runners, elbowing and not looking where they were going then not appologising. It's time that big races took a leaf out of the Tri book and banned iPods. They're not needed and detract from the atmosphere and certainly contribute to inconsiderate behaviour.
All said, Dad and Andy loved it and it's beeen fun to see them join in the bragging... Date of review: March 23, 2007
In short: Very boring race because spectators are very restricted to where they can go. In full: The pre-race pack was excellent, with a kit bag and event magazine giving detailed information and advice on what to expect on the day. However, it didn't say to allow between 15 and 20 minutes to get from the car park to the circuit. Those people turning up late were definately cutting it close. A couple in front of me had brought their dog with them to enjoy the day out only to be told at the gate that dogs weren't allowed. No-where in the pre-race magazine, or around the circuit does it say dogs aren't allowed. Pit garages acted as kit bag holding areas and these were clearly marked with groups of race numbers. Start area was marked with race paces which was good. Viewing for spectators was poor generally with only the grandstand at the Start/Finish available for those poor people who braved the extreme weather (gales, hail, sun and driving sleet). I understand why spectators aren't allowed on the circuit when the F1 cars are zooming round, but surely there is less risk of a runner spinning out of control and plowing into the barrier??!! The course was wide so hardly got elbowed but some of the 'inner road' route had some tighter corners and you did have to position yourself in advance. The PA system was rubbish (not sure if this was due to the weather though) and you could hardly rely on it giving out key information. The finish was relatively well organised with funnels leading to ramps where a volunteer clipped off your timing chip. The volunteers handing out the goddie bags were back behind the barrier again (no doubt a Health and Safety point to ensure they didn't get struck by any out of control runners!) and runners had to drift their way back across the busy finish area to retrieve they bag. Kit bag retrieval was organised and the 15 minute walk back to the car then acted as part of the cool down routine so was actually quite welcome - despite the bracing winds. I set a PB at this race and was happy with the way I run in the awful conditions. Would I come back? Yes I would, I did enjoy it, I just felt for a race that was titled the London Half-Marathon, I would have expected it to be slighter better organised and for there to be more atmosphere Date of review: March 23, 2007
In short: One of the greatest feelings in the world is to complete the London Marathon within your goal.Loved every minute! In full: Apart from the birth of my kids,my 2 London marathons are my proudest moments in my life so far.When I visit London as a tourist I find myself saying"This is part of the Marathon course" on numerous occasions-I'm starting to bore myself! Date of review: March 22, 2007
In short: If you have not run it yet? Enter 2008 Great Day!!! In full: Upon arrival for the race getting out of the car the weather was bitterly cold with gale force winds and I did start to wonder What am I doing here? However I do have to applaud the organisers, Sponsors & volunteers for a fantastic day throughout! From the baggage hold area, the helpful enquiry staff to the marshalls and even to lady voluntarily handing out jelly babies during the race the organisation and efficiency was spot on! Despite Gale force winds, Sleet, hail, rain and sunshine the atmosphere was electric! I would recommend this race to anyone of any level for a great race day experience! Go for it & enjoy!
In short: Excellent except for the weather. In full: Really enjoyed this one. Marshalls were great in spite of the freezing conditions. Dry, well organised baggage store with reasonable amount of toilets both at start and finish but also around the course. Date of review: March 21, 2007