In short: Good off-road race with testing hills (mountains!!) In full: As a member of a relay team, I found this to be a very enjoyable yet testing race. First time I have run off-road since school xc days while admiring the view (when I could). Brought back great memories. On the whole organisation was fine but would have to question of a couple of the parking areas for the relay transition which meant that you would have to drive past the runners to get to the next stage. Also while I appreciate that the course was run in reverse, the long delays at the stile at approx 5.5m (>5 mins) when the half and full marathon runners joined up and the subsequent narrow paths when overtaking was nigh impossible eradicated any chance of getting a quick time. Overall a good race and I will certainly look to do the half next year at least. Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: Good Race, I will be back In full: Good race , The organisation was fantastic , all except the drinks at the finish, which at best was "poor" . Nice touch with T or medal . The weather helped make it a great day ,If it rains it must be hell.
In short: A tough half marathon In full: On the plus side - scenery, glorious views at the top of those steep hills, marshalling and support along the way, cameraderie amongst runners. On the negative side - hills, hills, and more hills. Path's so narrow you couldn't get past people who had decided to walk them. The stile about 3 mils in - lost 5 mins there. The collection of medal at end - I didn't have a bag, why did I have to queue with everyone else? And leaving the site afterwards - took 40 mins to hit the road. Glad i did it - helped build stamina and leg stregth before I take on the NY marathon in 5 weeks, but nowhere near as enjoyable as other halfs I have done - Burnham Beeches 6 weeks ago was a mile better, and felt about 3 miles shorter!!! Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: I hurt today! In full: Great marshalling. Really good course. I think this reverse run was actually harder than last year. The climbing in the second part may not have been as steep but it certainly went on (and on). Only complaints are the chaotic finish queue for a medal/ t-shirt and the fact that I'd been looking forward to a nice WARM shower...
I took a friend along for his first marathon and consolled him after that from now on most will seem very easy by comparrison! Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: Brilliant race shame the medal/teeshirt handling shadowed the event In full: Everything important was perfect, ie transport/signing/scenery/(time recording - well important for some)/weather. Small glitch with the giving out of the medals teeshirt. I really hope this doesn't put off people in taking part in what was a fantastic race... Note to the organisers: it would have been great to be able to buy hot drinks at the start. Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: My first - and what a brillant expericence! In full: Joined up after Windsor was cancelled and had been keen to try off-road, and it exceeded all my expectations; magnificent views, some challenging hills (which I loved) and very friendly, relaxed atmosphere (especially when waiting to clamber over a single stile!).
On the downside, it was very difficult to impossible to overtake walkers when going up some hills due to the narrowness of the pathways, but this is a minor point, unless going for a PB. I have no other experience of post-race organisation, but was sufficiently tired and frustrated to give up waiting for my medal (once I'd discovered where they were being handed out) and getting out of the car-park took some time. Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: Excellent day out, lovely scenery, friendly marshalls and plenty of water points. Baggage/medal collection needs improving In full: Overall it was a good day out. I was pleased to do 4:04, and really enjoyed the route, which as very well-marked too. Despite the rain at the beginning the paths and trails weren't muddy and the weather was perfect. Plenty of water points, some with much appreciated jelly babies, and helpful, friendly marshals. It was very hard work though getting through the back of the half-marathon field - on the narrow paths with many walking in small groups, and especially people wearing ipods who can't hear someone coming up behind them.
But there surely has to be a better way of handing out medals. The scouts did a good job with the bags, but I waited for about 1/2 hour on very sore tired legs, feeling very shaky, in that stuffy, crowded hall, for the t-shirt. Rather have medals only or t-shirts only and hand out at the finish. Same with the registration at the beginning - why not post the race-number out with the bus pass/race info and do away with that process at the beginning. And then there was the 1/2 wait to get out the car park ....
Despite the negatives I would do it again as the lovely route itself makes it worthwhile. Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: Half: Nice run let down badly by the organisation In full: This was a challenging half with superb scenery. Difficult to see how you could race it with great stretches of narrow, enclosed paths where overtaking is simply not possible. I pitied the full marathon runners trying to get through. Water stations were good and reasonably well positioned. Course markings and marshals were good except at the 9 miles (to go) marker.
However, organisation at the start and finish was piss poor. Why on earth don't they send the race numbers and baggage labels out with the race pack? Especially when the info sheet says that the number is enclosed. That way you'd avoid the need for the queueing and chaos at Broughton, and not need all those helpers.
As for the finish, thank goodness it wasn't cold. Inadequate signage meant weary runners were wandering about aimlessly trying to find out where their baggage was. In the hall more chaos. Long queues with no hint as to what they were for and why there were two. The finish line was split between full and half, so why not have a further split after where you can pick up your medal or t-shirt? It really is a waste of resource having people tick off your name when you collect your memento - how many folk are going to go back again? All you have to do is put a line through the runner's race number with a marker pen and you'll know they've collected. You can never order the right number of t-shirts/medals so it was all wasted effort when there could have been more attention to getting people off home.
This sounds harsh but I thought that for a reasonable size event the organisation of key things was VERY BAD. I am a race director and I do know about these things. Date of review: September 30, 2007