In short: Nice race, superb organisation. In full: Nice course,deceptively tough, enjoyed the scenery, but not the Greenway (especially the second time around).
Water in cups was a bit of a pain, but not the catastrophe that others have stated. I actually thought there were really quite alot of water stations.
A couple of hills that broke up the monotony and some great marshalls (although I think some thought we were quite mad).
Overall, a nice race, but probably not special enough to keep me coming back year after year. Interestingly, i didn't meet anyone doing it that had done it before.....I wonder if that tells a story. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Third time, and as good as ever In full: This was my third time doing this race. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed. The marshalls are really good, supportive and friendly. Plenty of water stations and extra porta loos this year. To all the critics, a few home truths: 1) Bottled water costs a lot more than using cups, and most of you throw away at least half the bottle away anyway. 2) Why should they provide energy drinks? Again they cost money, and there are so many options, you will never please everyone. - Bring your own. 3) Goody bags, most of the contents get binned. 4) T-shirts - how many of you complain about the fit, or just put them in the bag of a draw. 5) This event is run by a charity to raise money for charity. If you want all the bells and whistles, go to a more expensive and less friendly event.
Well done to everyone involved in staging this run. I WILL be back. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Well run race but not run by runners In full: I would like to thank the team who put this race on, I loved it. It was well organised, loads of water stations which had lots of people on them. Great first lap of the town centre to get you moving slowly and I liked being in with the half marathon runners so you could ignore everyone round about you's pace and just run at your own. I should have spend an extra ten minutes understanding the course map as lap two was quite a bit harder than the first one but I know now.
Okay time boxes for the start would be nice but so not everyone is honest in other races where they are used so it is a moot point. As far as feeding stations go I carry my own gels so I have no need for them. I did feel a bit short changed getting only a banana and the same medal as the half at the end, something else to eat on the way back to the car would have been a bonus.
But overall there are not that many marathons about so I am not going to knock the guys who put this one on but I would say to them please take a look at how much you need to spend on the runners to look after them as I think the balance need to redressed even if the event is over subscribed by a long way.
In short: Marathon comments.... In full: Good: Marshalls, Drink squads (all types of groups), Route signs, Traffic control on the Greenway junctions, Atmosphere at the start, toilet provision all round route, course end FANTASTIC (Stratford Park)
Not so good: I had read the comments from previous race years about lack of sports drinks etc (so I went prepared - Own bottle, own sweets and own gels - not a picnic but not far off!), shame to say it appeared not too have improved either. Also, as a first time marathoner, I must admit to being a little shocked at the end (Nice medal) but 1 banana, 1 bottle of water...mmm.
Might do it again - but would hope that organisers take a little note from the feedback. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: A good race, with some challenging aspects In full: A very pleasant race, set in some glorious countryside! There are many posities to report from the marathon - in particular, the organisation was very good throughout, with helpful stewards and marshalls across the course. The route itself is pretty challenging (the greenway from miles 20-25, as many people have commented on, was a real test of mental strength and resilience!)whist the finish was particularly nice - with a good crowd turning out to cheer us on!
Overall, I would recommend this race to others - and have done so! A slight niggle was that the water stops could have done with some more bottles/energy drinks - rather than cups and water (a 'problem' which may have to be addressed through the raising of entry fees to cover the cost), but overall, a thoroughly pleasant mornings' work! Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Well marshalled, and great run. In full: Extremely easy to park here! Not sure about the issue with the pens as no-one ever adheres to them anyway!! I get sick of overtaking plodders!! Very well marashalled! Cups are an issue, but does keep cost down. I enjoyed it, but not sure about running right next to coach on a main road - This does really annoy me! Apart from that - a good race! Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: A corker of a half marathon In full: My 5th half marathon of the year and definitely the best. I've done this race several times now and am always impressed with it. Organisation is good, marshals are friendly and encouraging, course is varied and challenging, but apart from one hill pretty flat so has PB material. From the other comments I would suggest that this is a better half marathon than full marathon, which given the fact that the full course is more or less the half course twice is perhaps not surprising. Improvements for next year? Having timing pens at the start to make sure there are less bottlenecks in the first mile.
Well done organisers - another great occasion Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: A few minor niggles, but a well organised event that could be slightly improved. In full: My second marathon after London last year. And I'm a slower runner than some of the other commentators here. I managed an 8 minute PB compared to London last year so despite the heat and everything it went well for me.
The things the organisers could slightly improve.
1 Get the HM runners off to a flying start at least 15 mins ahead of the FM. I spent the whole of the first lap ploughing through slower HM runners. If they had time to spread out first then that wouldn't be so much of a problem.
2 The drinks question .... it didn't bother me as I was prepared for it because I'd monitored the website and found out what was planned. As a slow plodder I walk the water stations anyway which is plenty of time to drink up a cup or two AND refill my own water bottle. If you can't provide for yourself you shouldn't moan about what is given.
3 The lack or otherwise of sports drinks etc en route - as everyone has their own favorite whatever you supply won't suit everyone, so again people should just provide for themselves. A marathon is supposed to be a trial and working out what works for you is part of that trial.
4 The Greenway - twice! An energy sapper definitely and if it was sunny very scorching. Again, a marathon is supposed to be a trial of headology so getting your head and body round the greenway is surely part of the challenge. It could possibly do with a couple more sets of marshalls along it just to give you someone to focus on.