In short: Great route but slippery and muddy adding new challenge In full: This was my second HM this year and compared to the road race this one was definitely harder - I did not achieve to beat my time from the last time - but I contribute this to the up hill finish as well as the muddy route which made it difficult to have a grip from time to time .... I have run parts of this route in summer and it is definitely "easier" without the mud ....
Loved the relaxed atmosphere and am planning to run it again next year just to see if I can beat my time from this year!
In full: Why did I sign up to run along a tow path for 13.1 miles which linked one dull commuter town to another? Quite a few casualties as they slipped on the fallen leaves/slippery path. This route would be so much better in summer months.
Not much of a view to distract you, mind you you had to watch your footing all the time and the guy ropes of the moored houseboats, otherwise you would have fallen into the canal!
Nice atmosphere at the end, shame about the start. Not one I'd do again. Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: Nice easy 1/2 Marathon In full: I'm going to join in the complaints about the lack of toilets but it's a common gripe about most races. I queued for 20mins having arrived an hour before the start so 6 loos were far from enough. The race is pretty much what you would expect from 13 miles on the towpath. If you don't like muddy, slippery surfaces then don't enter off road races in November DOH! Probably not one I'll do again but I only did it this time as part of my 2009 new years resolution of running one 1/2 marathon a month for a year... so on to Bedford in December then job done! Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: very enjoyable run- would recommend In full: This was my first hm and first time on this run. I thought it was a very good course, and you can't complain about a bit of mudiness when you're running on a towpath in Nov! only real gripe would be the toilet situation which needs addressing. 6 toilets for 400 people doesnt cut it i'm afraid! queued 10 mins nearly an hour pre race, and the queue got significantly longer. Late baggage van was unfortunate but Im sure was a one off. Overall well organised and very friendly marshalls + water stations. Will be back! Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: An enjoyable scenic run, just a shame about the baggage delay at end In full: A lot of people have complained about the course being muddy and slippery but to be honest I was expecting this as it's a run by water in November! Overall I enjoyed the event. The coach organisation at the beginning was excellent, the marshals were great, water stations were frequent so my only gripes were: i)standing at the end for a good 20mins waiting for my kit to arrive in just a vest top - I was freezing! and ii) not enough loos - queued for 18mins as was timing it. Despite this I would still do it again. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Another great Purple Patch race In full: Fair shout about having to wait for the baggage but some of these other comments are madness. If every body waits until the very last minute to drop their bag or go to the toilet then of course there are going to be queues and yes in November running along a tow path there is going to be a little mud. I have done numerous PP events and they are always well organised. Had a great run, fantastic scenery, good cheery marshals, and a mention on the tannoy as I crossed the line - no PB but will be back next year. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Lovely run, doubtful organisation In full: I loved the run along the towpath. Although I accept the conditions may not to be everyone's liking, they were just what I'd expect from the canal path in November. Scenery lovely, runners friendly, marshalls and water stations great, weather better than it might have been. Just a shame that the organisation from the obviously committed and friendly Purple people was a bit gappy. they must have known how many runners were turning up, so they should shoulder some of the blame for the lack of toilets and terrible baggage check-in system. The real shame was, having run a great race and really enjoyed the camaraderie at the end, we all got very chilled waiting for the van filled with our fleeces. There was no communication about the delay from the organisers and I was left feeling very let-down. Which was a shame. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Very disappointing... In full: Overall, this race was poorly organised. There were 400 people running, and only 6 toilets and one baggage van at the start, which caused huge queues in the freezing cold. It also meant the start of the race had to be delayed 10 mins to wait for everyone.
The race was billed as "multi terrain", which should have been replaced with the words "muddy, slippery and dangerous". I have not run this route before, but cannot work out why you would try to race 400 people down a muddy, narrow towpath in November. Unsurprisingly, times were poor and some people were injured slipping over.
At the end, the baggage was very late, which meant people were standing around freezing for a long time. There were minimal announcements or explanations (other than one which said the van would be 5 mins, and then it turned up 30 mins later). The van driver told us he "got lost", which for a delivery company (no doubt with GPS etc) isn't good enough.
I understand that in previous years the race runs the opposite direction. This would make more sense, as there is a lot more room to get people spread out at the finishing end. This year, there were hundreds of people trying to fit through one person gates at the very start of the race, which just makes no sense.
The most positive aspects (and unfortunately there were too few) were the pre-race communications, and the marshals. Numerous people, positive and they ran well organised water stations. Well done!
In summary, I expected a lot more thought to have gone into a race that has been running for a number of years. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In full: Purple Patch do a fantastic job organising these slightly 'different runs'. Great fun. Loved the massage at the end - tougher than the run! Ok, the baggage van was delayed but heh the M25 is a nightmare. A run I will do every year until my legs can take no more. Date of review: November 9, 2009