In short: Fast race, but organisational problems and nothing at the end but a cup of tea! In full: Start was a bit of a shambles - Where were the announcements? I missed the hooter, even though I was close to the front, so didn't manage to record my time correctly. Possibly a PB, but waiting for results!
Given the queues for the bag tent I thought i would be postponed a few minutes.
Can't blame the organisers for the weather, but there wasn't a lot of cheering from the bedraggled marshalls!
Another gripe - for the price I would have expected some sort of memento, especially for a 25th anniversary of the race. Nowt but a cup of tea (though it was a nice cup of tea!) Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: Nice race for a marathon warm up In full: Weather didn't help things but overall this is a decent race. Nice to get out into the countryside for a change, many people might consider the country lanes boring but it's much better than running along the south circular. Pretty flat, I got a pb, but they didn't get people to the start line early enough so there were loads of slow runners at the front which made the first couple of miles a bit slow having to run around gret big walls of people running at 10 min mile pace. Would have been nice to get a goody bag, would have thought Mizuno could have chucked in something. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: Promising route but kit tent delay was unfortunate In full: Definetly one of the flatter halfs I've done, no hills to speak of. Undulating/flatesque but where you seem to get plenty of downs in return for your ups.
A huge queue for the baggage tent meant I and plenty of others weren't even at the start by the time the race started. Possibly caused by loads of people misreading where the queue started but no marshalls re-pointing them. itself Other than that, good marshalling on the course, decent medal and a free hot drink which I promptly spilled half of as I thought the ground wasn't wet enough. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: I want to like it, but it missed on a couple of key points. In full: On a positive front, it has a super-fast course (those are undulations, not hills, unless you come from the Fens or similar!), the marshalls were lovely, the water stations worked well and the general 'vibe' is nice.
The negatives really need to be fixed: 1. Race organisers have no control over the weather. However, if they put the baggage tent and the massage tent in a field, some sort of boards on the ground would be sensible, just in case it's really wet and the ground turns to a slippery mess. 2. At least send the baggage tent tags out in advance. The queue for the baggage tent at 9.55, 5 minutes before the gun, was ridiculous and I'd guess part of this was down to the fact everyone had to write their tag when the got to the tent. I just dumped mine in the massage tent and a lot of other people had to do the same. 3. Queues for toilets also not impressive, although to be fair I couldn't quite work out why given there were apparently only a couple of thousand runners and what seemed like a lot of bogs. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: A good race with PB potential but let down by a few organisational issues. In full: I enjoyed the race, shame about the rain before hand though which showed up the orgainsational issues, the area around the bag storage became a quagmire and the queues for this and the loos were horrendous. Lots of people almost missed the start meaning that they joined the race towards the front of the starting line up meaning that those of us who started in the correct place had to spend a ot of the first 3 miles dodging around slower runners.
However, the support on the course was good, especially considering the rain and the marshalls were very encouraging. Overall I enjoyed this one and will be back next year. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: A good race, let down by a couple of problems In full: The good things: - Great Countryside - Chip timing - On course marshals, cheerful drink stations volunteers
The bad things: - Kit tent...groan. Could be faster by adding the bag tags to the runner's race envelope and filling in before leaving home - not filled in at the desk! Marshalling around the kit tent was shambollic. When loads of people pushed in, ignoring the 100m queue, marshals just turned their backs. Race started with a 50m queue still waiting to leave their bags. - The Start - only two entrances with most people wanting to join from the front, meant runners were all out of position. - The Finish - a medal and a cup of water. Heard there were hot drinks, but didn't see them. Could have done with a snack bar like other races. Very congested and difficult to get back out to leave.
In short: fast flat course, nice friendly marshals, improvement needed at the start In full: 2 years since I did this race & I thought the start organisation might have improved, sadly it hadn't. I don't understand why a wider start area can not be chosen.
As the weather was fairly miserable at the start lots of runners left it until the last minute and the easiest way to join was from near the front this resulted in a very slow & congested start. Took me nearly 4 minutes to cross the start line - although it wasn't very clear where the exact start was.
Once away from the start every thing was good, well run & frequent water stations and friendly cheerful marshals - thanks for everyone who helped. Date of review: February 21, 2010