In short: Marshalling was excellent, facilities excellent, the course not so. In full: The biggest downside was the start/finish area which was on grass (mud) which was also had a side slope. I ran by two people in the finishing straight, one fell over, the other stumbled and lost balance on the wet grass. Maybe tinker the route next year to start somewhere safer?
The route just seemed to be constantly running up and down subways and under or alongside roads. A heavy downpour at the start didn't help matters but that can't be helped. However, the marshalls were excellent, encouraging (despite being out in the rain) and the facilities on offer (showers, refreshments, a warm sports hall to change and prepare) were all fantastic. Despite getting a PB, it was far from flat so if you're one of those people that needs a PB to make a race worthwhile, I would perhaps consider elsewhere. However, if you enjoy the run for the challenge, I'd probably do it again. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Organising a marathon in Stevenage deserves some credit In full: Well done FVS for organising a marathon and half marathon in Stevenage. The course is rather tougher than I expected and not the most scenic, but at least the race was traffic free.
A few points to help. The start was chaotic. I think there were announcements from somebody shouting, but some form of amplification is required. I didn't hear anybody at the HQ urging runners to go to the start.
HQ - the doors to the sports hall should be wedged open and so to the doors to the outside if allowed)
The signage was amateurish. Signs that point to HQ the start and even those at the start held up by marshals to put runners in appropriate time slots were A4. I didn't know my way back to HQ from the finish as there were no directions (a bit disorientated after a marathon). Signs need to be bigger and professionally made and put up from a runners viewpoint and not be laminated A4.
Some of the marshals were a bit dozy and had left their marshalling point for those of us running the marathon. Some had walked through the underpass to chat with their mates and expected me to know the way. But fair dos to the marshals for standing around in the rain for hours and hours. I thought they were exceptional, especially those that pointed the way clearly. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: sloppy organising and marshalling on what is a fairly rewarding if somewhat ugly course In full: The race was started 3 minutes early, meaning people missed the start. The lead bikes took us the wrong way resulting in a bit of off roading to get back on course. We had to ask the marshalls for directions on a number of occasions - some of them seemed fairly indifferent and almost uninterested. To cap it all they held the prize giving earlier than advertised so not able to pick up the winners trophy - and these were only age group prizes, so no overall winner's trophy which was a bit strange. I've done this quite a few times and this year was a one lap course which is better and normally it is better organised than this. Date of review: November 3, 2014
In short: Very well marshalled In full: The weather was not great but a big plus was the marshalls who were fantastic and plentiful along with the police cadets. Very much enjoyed the flapjack at the end as well :-)
Now the bad. The medal wasn't great, expected better for an anniversary event. Didn't like having to walk back to race HQ for the t-shirts at the end. The biggest issue though was the lack of portaloos. I can understand if it was a new event but very disappointing for one that has been going for a while.
One of the few I wouldn't rush back for to be honest. Date of review: November 2, 2014
In short: Cracking event In full: Having lived in St Evenage for a few years I finally did my 'home' event. Never bothered previously as I really didn't like the old course but this year's new course was much more appealing.
The course was pretty much all on cyclepaths which are perfect for a race of this size. The marshalling was fantastic and considering the weather they were almost all remarkably cheery and supportive as were the few supporters scattered around the course.
Not the flashiest of medals (I do like my bling) but acompanied by a t-shirt I'm not complaining.
Definitely an event I'll do again Date of review: November 2, 2014
In short: It's a half-marathon in Stevenage In full: It was a bright but chilly morning and once you had got warmed up and into the race a nice day for running. The route was 2 laps and fairly undulating; nothing too sharp but with the twists and turns added in it not a course you would necessarily associate with pb's although a few from my club managed just that! The headwind turned into a tailwind half way round the lap so any losses could easily (?) be made up. Finishing on the track was a nice touch and post race drinks and eats plentiful. Marshals were helpful and alert and being reunited with you bag smooth as... Date of review: November 11, 2013
In short: Very well orgainsed event, challenging but definately worthwhile. In full: For the fee, this is a very well organised and generous package. Transport, medal, goodie bag, support, organisation - even the weather was decent for November! Massive credit goes to the race organisers and marshalls for their support throughout - always clapping and encouraging. This was my 4th consecutive outing to Stevenage and will be glad to do no. 5 next year. Marshalls held traffic well although despite the warning, a lot of runners wore earphones. The inclines were energy sapping which is more a statement about my current level of fitness although the last 0.1 mile around the track is fun! Date of review: November 4, 2013