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
In short: Felt different this year with 3 times as many runners as last year In full: Nice to be able to pop out of race HQ right to start line, and ditto at the finish. Nice mix of terrain, nothing too challenging. Great value for money, when so many races are not! friendly and helpful at the water stations. glad the sun was shining though, as could be not so fun in the rain! Date of review: December 19, 2011
In short: Good race mostly off road on varying terrain. Hard but loved it In full: Although flat the varying terrain makes this a difficult race to get a good time. The course includes mud, shingle, seaweed and single file tracks which make keeping to a pace difficult. On the positive the weather was outstanding (could be very grim in pouring rain), the water stations were numerous and friendly. good medal and T shirt, the free soup etc was a nice touch at the finish on such a cold day. The race was a reasonably low price and I'd be happy to do it again (although definately with trail shoes next time) The only 2 negatives were the completely inadequate toilet facilities (the only race I've attended without portaloos)and also quite easy to get lost on the return leg because the signs were either missing or not visible (I got slightly lost and so did quite a few others. Overall a really good race that I would love to do again Date of review: December 19, 2011
In short: Very good except directional signs around course were inadequate. In full: Good in all respects except directional signs were either missing or not big enough and I went wrong on two occasions and ran over 27 miles :-( Excellent fuel stations. Date of review: December 19, 2011
In short: Great event, shame about the toilets In full: Really enjoyed the course, varied and interesting. It's obviously a race that is growing in stature. I agree with all the previous positive comments, my only gripe would be the lack of toilets at Race HQ. They only had two available for the men, one of which soon became out of order! The queue was at one stage over 40 deep.
For a race that size they really do need to get some portaloos in. The nearby public toilets were quite disgusting, the flushes were not working and the stench made your stomach churn. Admittedly not the organisers fault, but it didn't help the situation.
One other little moan; what stopped anyone walking into race HQ and helping themselves to any bag they liked from the baggage store. It really should have manned.
That said, I would certainly not rule out a return, despite the 7 hour round trip. Date of review: December 19, 2011