In short: Very good race - big improvement on course route but finish area problemss need sorting! In full: New Course route million times better than old main road route. Lots of shade a godsend on hot day & scenic to boot! Organisation excellent apart from shambles at finish! Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: Shady lanes and plenty of water stations very welcome on this hot day In full: Well organised as usual with excellent marshal support. The course is so much better than it used to be, lots of mild hills. As usual it was very hot and this detracted from the chances of good time. Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: Hot and lumpy but worth the effort In full: Enjoyed the race but I could have picked an easier one for my first half marathon, seemed like there wasn't a flat section anywhere. Good marshalling and support along a pretty scenic route with plenty of water stations. The only things I didn't like were the 2 bottlenecks immediately after the start and the lack of sports drinks at the end, though the ice-lollies were a good idea on a hot fairly humid day. Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: Great (except for the finish) In full: First half marathon and got round in 1:56 so was chuffed. Marshalling (and general crowd support) was excellent as was organisation at the start. Poor organisation at the end was a blight on what was otherwise a really great experience. Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: really enjoyed this race In full: Loved the new course, thought it was slighty harder but much more scenic. Loved the walkers being there and loved the amount of water stations. i think this race IS good value, T shirt, medal, lolly and chip timing...see you next year. Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: Pro's and Cons In full: I always find the rating criteria too rigid and not flexible enough to really reflect my impression on a race, and this is a prime example. I gave organisation a 3, but there are parts of this race that deserved a 5 and others a 1. Marshall's were a plenty, were very supportive and noisy in places and the amount of water stations on such a hot day is second to none in any Half Marathon I've been in so far. The start and the expected finish times was well organised. That's the good stuff. The bad; the finish area was shambolic. You finish and then you have to remind yourself to get a medal (generic for all distances on the day is a cop out). You have to remind yourself to take off your chip. You have to search out a t-shirt. I finished top 10, and came into the finish area wondering where to go and what to do. It was stacked with people getting ice lollies and medals from the earlier races and no directions to what you need to pick up as your finishers reward. Why not clear the people out the way in time for the mass of Half Marathoners coming in? Some kind of system at the end would be wise. Still no results on Monday, I know it's soon but that's what chip time is for - I have been in other races that have results almost immediately with chips, so if I'm paying for the use of the chip it would be nice to get an efficient service out of it. A big bug bear of mine was the route map. I never received the updated one in my race pack and the old one was online until only very recently. My Aunt and cousin went to a point to cheer me on to find out we were not coming past as the route had changed and a lady drove round to tell them and others we were not coming by. Thanks for that organisers. The car parking - well that's my fault in a way. I last ran this 3 years ago and the exit was a nightmare then and it was just as bad yesterday, obviously no measures taken to sort that out. We left the cars, went for a walk to get something to eat and came back when it was quiet. Must remember to not park there again.
Some great views during the race through lovely greenery, it is certainly undulating and I enjoyed the actual run itself a lot. No faults there at all. Great to have the roads closed for us. I have the feeling they want to make this event even better year on year, and it has much potential, just need to iron out a few creases first. The main website could do with a revamp for a start, but if your looking to do a Half to add to your ' have done' list then this is worth a go. Date of review: June 9, 2008
In short: Rewarding race, great atmosphere and lovely marshalls! In full: Hills and heat made it a challenging first half-marathon for me, but I had a great day out and would definitely do it again. Bit miffed that the ice-lollies ran out though (will have to make sure I run faster next time!) Date of review: June 9, 2008