In short: Great Support on this tough course In full: This race seems to be nothing but hills, although some people point out two in particular the whole course seems to be littered with them.
Organisation was good with plenty of water on the course in bottles, it was hot and plenty of locals had set up their own water stations, jelly babies, hose pipes, etc. Only gripe was at the end it seemed to take an age to get the goody bags with masses of finishers all desperate to get some water crammed in a pen for ten minutes. When I eventually got to the front I couldn't work out why there was any delay. Nice t-shirt and souvenir plate to all finishers and a goody bag with a few freebies from a building society, no food.
It finished right in the centre of town which made for plenty of choice to get some food after the event. Parking was provided free in a nearby multi-storey that had been closed off for the event, nice touch.
Considering the price and what you got and how it seemed that the whole of Stoke came to a standstill with road closures it was a good value event with a decent keepsake.
The support enroute made the event though, it seemed everyone came out their houses to watch the event or provide icepops or water unofficially (and it was needed and appreciated). Pubs on the way provided special openings for customers to watch the event, some laying on music for the runners. Never seen support like it and it puts a lot of bigger events to shame.
I'll be back next year with a bit more hill practise Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: brilliant race (apart from the last killer hill) all the locals were so friendly giving out free sweets and having unofficial water stations, hosepipes etc. There was great support ll the way round. The race was really well organised and I really In full: enjoyed my first half marthon Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Challenging arf with great atmosphere In full: This was a tough run, with lots of hills, the Milton Road hill was a killer, but the crowds got me through it. The crowds we're brilliant throughout the course and I have to say the people of Stoke are the best. The hoses on certain stages we're a big help as it was very hot. This race seemed very good value for money, for a half marathon with a souvenir plate, medal and t-shirt. I will definitely consider doing this again next year. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Hilly, hot, well organised and superb locals In full: This was my first half marathon and therfore the hilliness and the heat made it a challenge but makes me all the happier for finishing! The organisation of the event was excellent, free parking close to the start, good marshals and encouragement througout. The one thing that stood out for me was the local people. The course had a good number of spectators cheering us on. There were also people giving out drinks, ice pops, jelly babies etc. There were a number of people who had hosepipes set up in their front garden offering a shower which was very very welcome given the heat.
A few people have mentioned medals in their reviews. Unfortunately these were only for people who finsihed under a certain time which was a shame but as the entry fee was very reasonable and the goody bag included t-shirt i shouldn't complain :-). Great event!! Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Very good value for money. In full: A somewhat demoralising course. Very well organised, marshalled, policed and first aid supported. Crowds along virtually all of the course. The occasional shower and jelly baby were much appreciated. Medal,Plate, T-Shirt and goody bag, coupled with free parking and an interesting magazine were far more than usual. This event deserves to do well!! Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: A tough course, made bearable by a great atmosphere. Very good! In full: In spite of living in the area for the first 18 years of my life, I never realised that Stoke was just quite so hilly! What I did realise was that the friendliness of the locals was second-to-none. Together, these two things summarise the Potters Arf.
A great city centre start quickly spread the elites from the good amateurs and the good amateurs from the fun runners, and allowed a good race rythym. From then on, it's pretty much up (and up!) and down the whole way. Even the flat between miles 8-11 didn't feel flat! The final hill at Holden Bridge is an absolute killer, but the support through the centre to the finish is incredible.
This is definitely a hard half-marathon, and PB potential limited. However, it is a great challenge and very rewarding to get round. The support ALL of the way is brilliant and really helps.
The only negative is that I think one more water station would help, but that's a real minor negative.
The prizes at the end are excellent (goody bag, plate, T-Shirt & medal) and I would definitely do it again. If you only do one half marathon next year, this should be it. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Fantastic race, cannot wait till next year In full: The support from the people of Stoke on Trent all the round the course was unbelievable. I did the London Marathon this year and found that the support at this race was 100% better than FLM. The marshals, PCSO’s and Police Officers were fantastic. One of the safest races I’ve ever took part in, thank you all.