In short: Really disappointed with baggage area and getting out took 1/2 hour to get off campus In full: Arriving at the site over an hour before, got stuck in a queue for ages and then marshall redirected up to another entrance. A sign might have helped and saved everyone a lot of frustration. Limited signs to the event. Baggage area was a joke, went back to car and got ready instead. The race was ok, but with so many people the start could have had time signs so people could have seeded themselves better. The course was good and the marshalls helpful. The finish funnel was a bit slow, a couple more people helping hand out drinks from both sides rather than one and perhaps a longer funnel would have helped. Getting back from the finish to the car was interesting, many of us had to find a uni campus map. Then came the car park. Cars coming from all directions and over 30 minutes to get less than 500m off the campus. Fortunately most people were patient. It was such a shame for the marshalls as a few changes and this would have been a great event. Date of review: March 10, 2009
In short: good run but getting out was rubbish!! In full: We arrived early, so no probs with parking or toliets, grabbed some lucazade from the stand near the start and wandered about til the start. Signage not brilliant, but found our way without any problems. Race was good, went the right way & had water on the way round! Afterwards however we spent AGES queuing to get out, took us longer to get out the car park and drive back to bedford than it did to run the race!! Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Great PB course, a shame about the traffic problems though. In full: I thought the course was pretty pleasant and definitely a fast course. Lack of parking signs and traffic congestion, would be my only grumble. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: both very good and exceedingly poor In full: I always feel sorry for the marshals. they do such a great job yet it is the wider organisation that leaves a memory. It is not acceptable to advertise a 'manned' baggage area then expect people to leave their belongings in a room to which anyone can access. I travelled by train and was forced to leave my bag (incl. housekeys/phone/money/credit cards) for the duration of the race in the corner of a room - a worrying prospect. liked the medal. seemed a long race but then maybe that was the worrying over leaving my bag! an average day out. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Absolutely dreadful In full: Yes - absolutely dreadful!
Ok, so the chip timing was excellent; the results were prompty posted on the web and the mile markers were clear enough.
But with over 3,500 customers paying well over £50,000 to take part and sponsorship from Nike as well, someone's made an absolute fortune here. Because the race budget certainly wasn't used:
1 - to provide enough signs telling people where to park;
2 - to provide enough signs telling people (a) where to leave their bags and (b) that someone would probably have a good rummage through them while we were out running;
3 - to provide any time zone signs to tell people where to line up at the start, or a starting hooter for the poor guy on the PA;
4 - to provide a marshal at every point on the course where the paths of runners and traffic might (and did!) collide;
5 - to provide anywhere near enough staff at the water stations and signs telling us that a water station was ahead;
6 - to provide anywhere near enough staff at the finish to hand out the drinks and the medals;
7 - to provide signs helping folk find their way back to the baggage store;
8 - to provide any sort of traffic management on the way out.
When you do a "big city" race you expect it to be crisply organised and efficiently delivered. Arrangements akin to those made by a scout group for a small-time 10k from the local village hall with a few hundred runners just don't pass muster when the field gets bigger. The race director shouldn't simply do the best he can with the volunteers who turn up - all bases need to be covered.
If this had been a meal in a restaurant I wouldn't have paid.
But then perhaps I should have realised beforehand that it would all be a bit amateurish, as the 12 stage road relay always underwhelms as an event when it's held at the Open University and that's organised by the same crew I think.
And what are Nike doing, allowing a dog's dinner like this to carry their name?