In short: Good Crowd, loads of support In full: Very nice start towards the back.(i know my place)Friendly crowd. I had driven the course a few weeks ago but seemed a lot harder by legs. Felt like I was running up hill constantly. Loads of support through the villages. Fantastic finish in the park.
Thanks to all those who gave their time for this race. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Good atmosphere and very friendly. In full: Water cups are fine for half marathons, but is a poor show for the full marathon, there were more toilets dotted around than there were water stations! I expect to bring my own energy drinks/gels but in the that kind of heat better water provisons must be provided, preferably water bottles!!! Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Another successful Shakespeare Marathon, and a purer running experience than London. In full: London Marathon isn't the only game in town. Despite the focus of media, charities, runners and the general public on London, the Shakespeare Marathon also has a big-event feel with over 800 finishers in the marathon, and a sizable field in the half marathon which is run alongside. I personally prefer Shakespeare as it is far less stressful, you can run unhindered at your own pace, and you can arrive on race morning (as your race pace is posted in advance.
The course is 2 laps and mainly flat. The one hill of note is at 8 and 18 miles and rewards you with a great panoramic view for miles when you reach the crest. The rest of the route offers good variety, although the Greenway sections do provide a mental test alythough fast and flat if you have some energy left.
Marshalling by the local Rotary Club was excellent and I appreciated their enthusiasm and support. Drinks stations were numerous offering water, with one supplying isotonic drinks at 19 miles as advertised.
Crowd support was great as usual, and a number of houses added to the atmosphere by playing upbeat music. Thanks to the girls with the water pistols (but fire a bit higher next time!) and the lady with the hose pipe - the soaking was very welcome as the day warmed up.
Super runners event, and thanks to everyone involved in the organisation.
In short: Hillier than expected, abysmal water / fueling provision In full: I entered this expecting it to be flat and got a little bit of a surprise. The undulations made for a tougher than expected course.
Also, wasn't very impressed by water in plastic cups. It'll be OK for slower runners, but for anyone wanting to run fast, you have no alternative to break pace every couple of miles to prevent the entire contents spilling down the vest/ going up the nose. The organisers said the decision was based on preventing waste, but I fail to see how dropping half a 200ml cup down your vest is less wasteful than running for a mile or so with a bottle, sipping the whole lot.
Virtually no isotonics provision, so be warned and sort yourself out - the organisers were contacted several times by members of the forum in the build up, whose response was little short of b*gger off!
Other than that, a beautiful run through the countryside, and lots to do in town for your "support crew". Good atmosphere and very friendly and helpful marshalls / officials.
Would love to come back again, but not until the race organisers have a rethink on the water provision. Its 2010 guys, not 1980! Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Tough race, friendly marshalls, could be better organised In full: A challenging course, with hills and the mind-challenging Greenway, made harder on the first lap with the sun blazing down. Wouldn't want to do this when it was any hotter!
Good points: easy parking at the start, lots for the kids to do in town, no rubbish in a goody bag, lots of water stations, friendly marshalls, good signage.
This was my first marathon and was aiming for four hours. I was prepared for the cups at the water stations and carried all my own energy gels and drinks (this was well publicized in advance). However the element for me that most disappointed, was having the marathon and half-marathon runners set off at the same time. The congestion meant that I lost a lot of time at the start, grinding to a halt in places, and throughout the first half I was constantly trying to get past half marathon runners, hence I lost a lot of energy. There seemed to an awful lot running 2/3 abreast, often with i-pods in (dare I mention it!), oblivious to all around them. This combined with the constant traffic made for difficult conditions for me. It improved enormously when we separated at halfway. I just missed my target, that was mostly due to the heat, but I was left with a feeling as to what may have happened if I had run a marathon-only event. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Well organised race In full: My 4th marathon and got a PB. Thought it was very well organised and I was impressed with how frequently the water stations came up. I was also impressed with how much support there was on the route. The marshalls were all very helpful. Found the second loop a bit tedious with the longer section, however all in all a good experience. Nice to be able to park so near the venue. Lovely medal although it would have been nice to have a different one to those who had done the half. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Marshalls and scenery brill, a couple of bumps on course - loved it In full: This was my first full marathon (done loads of halfs) - well marshalled and great scenery to keep you entertained. There are two hills to test you, and the greenway is a little monotonous. That all said I achieved my target time and enjoyed the whole event - loved the whole experience Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Good half marathon but I would not have wanted to do the full In full: I ran the half marathon for the second time. The course is good, but was made a bit more demanding by the weather. Organisation was good for a half marathon - I make no comment on its adequacy for a full marathon. Date of review: April 26, 2010