In short: A great success In full: It's well documented on RW that I firmly believe that the ridiculously random allocation of car parking tickets is grossly unfair and I stand by that, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this race and I would urge you to consider adding this to your race calendar as a "must do". The scenery surprised even me (and I live here!) and you need to know that this is a race of two halves (one uphill and one down!) but the organisation on the day was superb. The crowds were really supportive, there were bands on the course and the finish was very well attended. There is far too much potential to "cheat" in my opinion, as the course criss crosses a bit and you could feasibly cut over three miles of it out (and some people did which I find disgusting). Water stations were well manned, organised and plentiful. Medal is lovely and a WICKING t-shirt makes me defend the cost of this race! They even handed out some brilliant ponchos at the start when we were getting soaked - miles better than a bin bag. A slight delay at the start was immediately acknowledged, which is appreciated too. Delays happen, but if you know what's going on, it might lessen the frustration and give you time for one more nervous wee! :-) All in all, I am extremely impressed with this new race and would do it again tomorrow. Date of review: October 4, 2009
In short: Expensive, but a good run out, next year will be better. In full: I think it lacked in good runners very few were finishing sub 80mins for a race as big as this I would of expected more. The elite women raced very well!
I think to improve, Prize's for under 23 and under 20. :)
In short: Nice location and route, esp Stretton. 20 min delay at start in drizzle not good and distinct lack of adequate number of toilets. £30 entry bit too high. will do it again prob though! Date of review: October 4, 2009
In full: Thoroughly enjoyed a well organised event. I took part in the Great Manchester run earlier in the year and although this was no where near on the scale of that one drinks stations, the start and the finishing area were just as well organised.
The course is mainly uphill for the first half of the race but this takes you out of the town and into the country views. The incline wasn't too severe either and it meant that the second half of the race was downhill when you were looking to see what time you could post.
In full: Well done to say this was the first staging of this event, they did very well. Start was delayed but, safety is important. The crowd support was excellent & so too were the marshals. Thanks for a good race, see you next year ! Date of review: October 4, 2009
In short: Excellent organisation and a great event all round In full: Before I start I'll say I ran a 2h12m run here, I mention it as I know people who run different speeds have different experiences in races.
The race HQ was excellent, large changing tents for men and women, some shelters, a NB shop and various food stands. Spectators were well served with a covered grand stand and the NB team were handing out free flags and noisemakers to children. Plenty of toilets and not too bad queues.
The start was slightly delayed as there was an issue clearing the route of cars but we were kept informed throughout and it didn't seem too bad. Running pens were provided as were NB pacers.
The route was lovely, as a resident of Warrington I wasn't sure of the route (living the other end of the town). The route quickly left the town and we ran through a series of nice villages, many local residents turned out to spectate and provided great support. All roads were closed for the event. The route seemed to rise steadily for the first six miles, no major hills but it was a steady climb, I found this section hard and was pleased that the second half went steadily downwards. The route ended with a lap of the track to the finish line.
Water stations were provided at 3,6 and 10 miles and provided a 330ml bottle of water at each handed out by enthusiastic volunteers. In addition there was a lucozade station at 8 and 11.5 miles and free lucozade from a stand before the start.
The finishing medal was excellent, specially designed and high quality. The goody bag contained a bottle of water and lucozade, a cereal bar and a banana. It also included your NB t-shirt, which was red and had First English HM on the back, very nice.
Although there has been some criticism of the price of the event it was worth every penny. No expense was spared at any point, whether it was water stations or the banners at the starting line. Yes maybe you could run the Skinflint Half Marathon for half the price, but at such events you get a small amount of water in a plastic cup and your finishing momento is probably a punch in the crotch.
From the very first English Half Marathon it shows that the organiser wants this to be a big event, rather than just say so it has been set up as a big event with all the facilities you would expect.
I'll be booking early for next years event as this was the best organised event I have done, I recommend others do as well as it won't be long before the maximum entry of 5000 will be sold out! Date of review: October 4, 2009