In short: Great day, lovely atmosphere but tough! In full: This was my first full marathon and definately not my last! I thought the organisation was really good and the event is big enough to have a good atmosphere but not so big that you spend half an hr shuffling to start the race. I don't mind water in cups, I managed to keep myself fairly well fueled and hydrated but the greenway almost beat me. I'm determined to come back next year and tackle the greenway again without walking once.
In short: Inadequate drinks provision In full: This race was severley let down by inadequate water and energy drink provision for the marathon runners. I felt sorry for first time marathoners who were dropping like flies on the grenway the second time round, several with cramp, who may well not have realised what they were required to provide for themselves in terms of gels/water/isotonics, etc.
The number of water stations was fine (apart from their sparsity on the greenway) the problem was the plastic cups - you can only get 2 or 3 gulps out of the cup at most, unless you stop running. With a water bottle you can hold on to it and take sips as you need it.
One energy drink stop was also not adequate. On other races volunteers have handed out jelly babies, chocolotaes, etc. along the way. This didn't happen here.
In summary I would have been prepared to pay extra for bottled water and more energy drink/food rather than have to carry my own. I would also give a strong health warning, to first time marathon runners in particular, about the need to bring along their own water/fuel.
Apart from these criticisms I enjoyed the event. Date of review: April 27, 2010
In short: I recommend this race without hesitation In full: Due to illness and injury in the latter weeks of my training I regretably had to drop down from the Full to the Half-Marathon this year.
Thank you to all of the marshalls and organisers for another enjoyable day. There was some great support going around the course too. The encouragement is always appreciated.
The start seemed to be even more bunched than last year - probably due to the new (temporary?) start location. The announcer was urging the back runners to go faster because we were in danger of holding up the front runners completing the initial lap in town. It's difficult to run faster in a bottleneck!
I prefer water provided in bottles, but it's not a major issue.
Apart from those minor niggles I thoroughly enjoyed the run. Date of review: April 27, 2010
In short: Great support team, fantastic course In full: A massive thanks to all the marshalls, drinks teams and enthusiastic local residents who all really made this a great event. Organisation of the event was clear and timely; website had good, clear information before the event and marshalls on the day were excellent (positive, helpful and considerate). As well as being in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside, Stratford is also a very practical event as well (plenty for runner's support teams to do and ample parking). The course itself is great, not too hilly, reasonably varied, plenty of room to overtake, a good number of runners and nicely challenging (The Greenway at 22 miles teaches you something about yourself - superb!). The only criticism I have is the drinks stations. Their frequency was fine but plastic cups are really no good at all when you're pushing along. On a warm day, it's vital that water is in good supply and personally I believe bottled water is a bare minimum for a marathon event (raise the entry fee if necessary). All in all though a fantastic event and highly recommended. Date of review: April 27, 2010
In short: Well run event. the Marshalls could smile a bit more!! In full: A bit dis-appointed after the 09 event. drink stateions frequnet enough, but only cups at most (tricky to drink on run) and only energy drinks (again in cups) for the full mara.
Well organised (almost military precision) but the Rotary guys need to be a bot more encouraging - some were down right miserable!! Date of review: April 27, 2010
In short: Very good race, but found it tough. In full: Like most I struggled to hit target and found 2nd lap hard work. Organisation very good, but would prefer water in bottles as can't run at pace and drink from cups. Only run twice but would love to run it in cooler conditions and a separate Marathon medal would be better. All in all though a well organised race that I would recommend to all Date of review: April 27, 2010
In short: Great support followed by lonely stretches - it's hard work, it's a marathon! In full: Beautifully organised and cheerfully supported, potentially very scenic but much depends on the weather. On a cool day the Greenway would be quiet solace, but on a hotter day like Sunday, it's been described as a Napoleonic Retreat on the last lap, and that's not far off! Be prepared. Brilliant fellow-suffering camaraderie and cheery crowds nearer Stratford took me to the finish. Top event, but a tough one without a doubt.
In short: Hot hot hot In full: Now ran this for the last 4 years in a row though I did dib out in 2008 and finished the half however if you don't make into the VLM this is well worth running............... hell its well worth running whatever. A good course in fabs surrounding but have to say that last 6 miles is hell (pouting in my finests Dr Evil pose) hahahahahaha All the same a very good marathon and another pb by 16 mins............Overall great Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Great organisation, Great surport, Great Race. In full: Firstly i'd like to thank the Rotary Club for organising a great race at a great price, and price is the key for all those critising the use of plastic cups, Â£23-25 is definetly 1 of the cheapeast marathons out there, for me I found the water availiable adequate for the day, anyway the route was ok, although I felt like others that the greenway was way 2 long on the second lap but loved the last mile or so to the finish, did think the water and banana was a joke but I accept this keeps the race entry down, all in alla good day, a nice PB and a great Medal.