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.
In short: Excellent race. In full: Completed this for the second year running, and this is by far the hardest race in my calander. Don't expect a PB, just a very challegning, well organised and support run. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Challenging hilly race but brilliant atmospher In full: The crowd and supporters totally made this race. There were so many supporters sitting in their gardens cheering you on, or watching from the pub. Along the route the I was given an ice popsicle, fruit, sweets and water all from locals! And as it was a hot day lots of people held out their hose pipes so we could run under the water and cool down. It is a challenging hilly race but that made it feel even more of an achievement at the end. Well organised too. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: good race In full: fantastic support !all the way round.challenging course with steep hills up and down ,your hardly ever on the flat.organisation very good but the finish line collection of goody bags etc was a bit chaotic.well done stoke on trent Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: You know you have run a hard ARF! In full: The finish was really well organised & the goody bag makes it feel quite special. The down side for me was seeing a fellow runner lying on the ground with a member of the public nursing him and No marshalls or Emergency services for at least 1/2 mile. And when i did inform them they just told me an ambulance is on the way. We all enjoy the challenge but if i have taken anything from my first year in running is everyone is looking out for each other. I would do it again i just hope someone reads this and takes it on board Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Well organised with exception of finish where we had to queue for water from a black bin - bottled water would have been preferable. Not much of a goody bag . Good suppport from the crowds and the hosepipes were wonderful! Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Excellent event, great friendly support and needed as tough run In full: Excellent organisation and brilliant crowd support again this year, gives you extra boost but not quite enough to run up the last hill, had to walk it again this year but be back for a gold medal next year. Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: GREAT RACE - HARD WORK - BUT FAB SUPPORT In full: WHO TURNED ON THE HEAT AGAIN??? IT WAS HOT HOT HOT - THANK GOODNESS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WITH HOSE PIPES, WATER & ICE POPS - THE PEOPLE OF THE POTTERIES ARE EXCELLENT SUPPORTS EVEN CHEERING ON THE BACK MARKERS WITH "COME ON DUCK - NOT MUCH FURTHER" EXCELLENT. ONLY ONE COMPLAINT - AT THE FINISH THE ORGANISERS WERE TAKING AGES TO DISH OUT PRIZES/BAGS - AND I STOOD FOR AT LEAST 5 MINUTES AFTER CROSSING THE LINE 0 NOT GOOD ON ACHING LIMBS - NEED TO GET THAT SORTED FOR NEXT YEAR - PERLEASSEEE Date of review: June 14, 2009