In short: Bolton 10K - taming the psycho-path! In full: Different course this year, and the infamous climb up Radcliffe Road was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a two-lap course almost entirely contained within Leverhulme Park provided the setting for the Bolton 10K.
It wouldn't be a race in Bolton without a tough hill somewhere, and the hill was quite steep but short. I felt the course was quite fast and flat, but the changes in surface (track to trail to cobble to tarmac etc.), the relative narrowness in places (especially turning into the only residential section of the course down a few steps) and the somewhat wet conditions made it somewhat tougher. Still, it seemed far easier to me compared to last year at least.
The calling out of names when coming into the finish was a nice touch and the more compact nature of the course meant there was more support all the way around. Also, the finish was well-organised with T-shirts, sweets and timing chips being given / taken away. Last year there was a bit of rummaging through boxes, so credit to the organisers for working on this.
As I said in the reviews last year, this is my local run. I think they've improved the organisation, but the new course is an acquired taste. It is fast and flat and a bit more dependent on the weather conditions in terms of really making a good time. If I hadn't had a problem with the chip ties I felt I could have ran very close to a personal best (did 46:03, so just under 45 seconds away).
Still, it's a good-value, accessible and most importantly fun event. It doesn't try to be anything else and long may it remain so.
See you on the starting line next year. Date of review: April 29, 2012
In short: What no music!!! In full: Telling people that they would be disqualified for wearing an ipod and then marshals shouting at people who still wore them was a bit OOT. Running is supposed to be fun and music can make it fun - let people have music if they want to, we can be sensible with it and listen to instructions! Route change to a trail run was unexpected and not to my liking, but I can see why some people would like it. Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: Really Great race this year, can't wait till next! In full: Organisation was really good, I'd say better than last year but it always seems organised. The route changed again and the steep hills were both welcome and challenging. Not a flat 10k which a beginner might struggle with but it's better than plodding along.
This year we got actual tech t-shirts, whereas last year I felt jipped. Kinda wish there was a finishers medal as well- like the fun run, you can't have everything but for the price definitely worth it. Got a 10k PB today and very muddy- so worth it!
Can't wait till next year! Date of review: April 22, 2012
In short: Great organisation. Great race. In full: This is the first time I have run this race and hopefully it will not be the last. Friendly, well organised and apart from the weather a really enjoyable morning. It was tricky where it was muddy but overall it was a course that was not too strenuous. The stewards were great and they gave the runners a lot support.A great tech t-shirt which is always a bonus.I will be coming back over the hill from Yorkshire next year to do it again. Thank you and well done Bolton. Date of review: April 22, 2012
In short: My first 5k race - I might come back :) In full: My 1st 5k race was a bit bonkers - but it was very friendly for this new runner. The hills were horrible, the mud was muddy, lovely stadium/track start and finish.
Boomerang was a quirky memento...would have really liked a proper chip time but for the 1st time racer, it didn't terrify me! Date of review: February 19, 2012
In full: This was my first 10K with chip timing. The course was quite twisty and undulating, but only a problem if you flew out too fast early on. I did, and struggled up the second hill in particular around Radcliffe Road.
I don't think the course is that difficult (I live locally), but it does require reasonable judgement of pace so it is a good test for a beginner, but not one to be fearful of. Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: August 13, 2011