In short: Second year doing this and will come back ! In full: I am local and it made sense for me to go do this run. I enjoyed it more than last year but mostly due to my training. However there were a few changes made since last year which I could see would be a problem for those who didn't know the route. The slippy hill down through tree onto tarmac path was weird...no marshall and definately potential to overshoot and fall over the edge ! Last year we went around that headland and on the return route I saw a few do that as no marshall and that slippy hill was easy to not see on return. Bit daft really to not have a marshall at a crucial point for obvious reasons but mainly as it could have been nasty if someone overshot downhill. The bit on the road and having to climb over the fence - again not a problem for me as have done it before, but I had to call out to others to direct them. Easy stuff to sort out with better marshalling and there was a marshall there last year. Not sure wwhy there was not checking of numbers at 13 miles....am not suggesting that anyone would 'cheat' but it has been known at other bigger runs. More runners this year which caused bottlenecks which I actually don't have a problem with as we're all in it together and I was out for enjoyment. Beat my time for last year so happy enough. Better finish than last year as it just kind of fizzled out in 2010. The water stations were great and lovely to have such a good supply of jelly beans. Very friendly manning of those stations and some very enthusiastic children which is always great to see. I do kind of now love this run. Very friendly, great atmosphere, good stuff and bling at the finish, free soup, roll etc. Please just tweak the couple of areas that were of a concern. Weather was just perfect as having run along Portsmouth prom on a number of occasions, it is a mare if blowing a hoolie ! I will be back as yes, now one of my favs. Date of review: December 21, 2011
In short: Very good event, a few tweaks and would be excellent. In full: A couple of extra marshalls along the course to ensure correct route is taken would make all the difference. Very good value and goodies at the end, including tea and bacon buttie. Date of review: December 20, 2011
In short: Fine as a race - shame about the marshalling and race directions In full: Decent race, and some nice coastal views along the path, but there could have been improvements. At the start, I got my timing chip successfully at the race centre, warmed up, and then was chatting with some fellow runners to await the start. But suddenly: off! Usually, you get a pre race briefing, a countdown, and then a horn blast to start, but all these were AWOL. Maybe I was just too far back in the pack to hear them, but then other people I was with heard nothing either.
The coastal path is very narrow in places, which lead to a lot of bottlenecking. Also some narrow gates to pass through at times, and a very odd climb up a steep hill by side of a river: you had to wriggle through trees uphill in a stopped queue of your fellow runners, and climb over the fence to get to the main road. Not marshalled this bit at all, and if you hadn't been following other runners, you wouldn't know where to go or what to do. Def bit of an oversight on organiser's part. Glad other people have echoed my thoughts about marshalling and directions - I got lost and disorientated at one point as well, and wondered if I'd done the right route exactly. Definitely would have helped if there had been some more on the course to help.
Perhaps linked to this: was it just me, or were there a few mile markers missing along the way? (which I was timing my progress by, so that hurt!). Stolen by local scallies? Chances of a PB then were not looking too promising, and I didn't get it.
Some good points though: good water stops, nice reception at the end finishing, good medal, scrummy vegan friendly energy/protein bars at the finish (which i was pleased about: I'm vegan, and races don't usually cater too well for it), and the best race t-shirt I've yet seen. Lovingly made, and one you'd be proud to wear at the gym a few days later.
However, just when race may have redemmed itself a little at the end: no showers!!! Not just this race I've got this barney with, to be fair. I'm getting a mite fed up with race organisers everywhere generally ignoring this. If you're travelling many miles sometimes for a race, you can't always jump in the shower at home that afternoon! I'd wait half an hour for one after the race if need be, but provide them. Please!
(I did find some nearby with some effort in the end, but had to pay extra. Really, no "spirit of Xmas" generosity, or "season of good will" from local leisure centre staff, for some hot water...)
Might do this again, but I can think of other better races I've done. If you're local though, probably worth a shot. Date of review: December 20, 2011
In short: Nice flat trail run around Langstone Harbour and back In full: Lovely weather and very friendly people made this a great event. Could be tough in wind and rain though. Date of review: December 20, 2011
In short: Pleasant race, but needs tweaking In full: Many positives: Good race HQ close to the start, friendly race, reasonable course with a lot of variety, good value for money, regular and well stocked water stations, fair amount of support.
There are other points needing attention. The marshaling was non existent for long periods. If someone had come along and removed an arrow the whole race could have fallen apart. There was no marshal policing the bank towards the canal, which was positively dangerous.
This is not a PB course as there are too many slow sections and obstacles - adding about 10 minutes to a tarmac run.
In short: Delightful winter marathon In full: Very enjoyable marathon. A few improvements on marshals and directions needed for next year - one part where everyone I knew took the wrong turn. Lovely scenery and location. Terrain makes it tough for PB but still fairly fast with zero hills to disrupt pace. We got lucky with the weather this year but a bit of rain/wind/ice shouldn't be enough to put off a marathon runner!
In short: Good race - A few tweeks required In full: Nice flat course & off road section was nothing worse than a bit of gravel. Granted it's a fairly new race but having more places than the advertised limit surely gave a clue to having more toilets. Navigation fairly obvious except at approx mile 18 which was the one place marshalling/signage was definetly needed but nothing was there (Except for trail of empty gels - Are they that difficult to carry to the next marshall!!!) Date of review: December 20, 2011