In short: Beautiful run, well organised, great day out In full: This was my first half marathon although I've done a few shorter runs before. It was very pretty run, helped by wonderful weather for November and more interesting for being point to point. There was a long but reasonably fast moving queue for the loos, and baggage storage was very smooth. Apart from a slightly delayed start I can't fault the organisation. I was just pleased to finish but like other reviewers I did find it harder than I thought I would perhaps because of the uneven surfaces, bridges and final up hill mile through an avenue of trees. But I would definitely recommend this one, and as a beginner I found it inspiring. Date of review: November 15, 2011
In short: note to self multi terrain is not the same as road In full: Entered this thinking a flat autumn half would be PB potential. How wrong I was. I didn't allow for the terrain in my pacing strateegy and boy did I pay for it. It may have been 'flat' due to the absence of hills but the terrain was bumpy, stony, slippery, narrow and deceptively challenging. A tougher than expected race with a long uphill finish making us beg for the end which we couldn't see. I can see the appeal of the race as it's an unusual setting but if you are after a time try Stevenage instead! Marshalls, organisation, fellow runners were great though. Date of review: November 15, 2011
In short: Great weather, great scenery, great organisation. In full: Did this last year and ran a PB, ran a new PB this year. Trick is to get ahead early on when going round the hill and to be patient during the first few miles. Rained last year so did not notice the towpath stones, they were a killer this year, striking one mid foot first sends a jolt right through your leg. Overall a good race, enjoyable but paying for it now, where did that sun come from? Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: enjoyable race, good atmospere but not good for PB In full: Great race, lovely route. Shame not PB potential. All pre race organisation was well done: pre race e-mails, number collection, bag drop etc. Well thought out start of the race which took you round the park to space runners before going on canal path. This was spoilt however by the first gate which slowed the crowd right down and created a bottle neck within the first mile and cost me 4 mins of standing and waiting. Quite stressful running the first 6 miles as high numbers of runners all trying to space out but difficult with width of paths. Great marshalling, very friendly and supportive. Really enjoyed route apart from the killer hill towards the finish!!! Brilliant commentator welcoming your arrival to the finish made me smile at a time when I was shattered!!! Enjoyable day ...just need to forget my time!!! Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: Great race! In full: Loved it :-) Glorious autumn weather running along the towpath with fellow like minded runners. Baggage worked out really well this year PP so thanks for that. Personally I thought there were plenty of toilets - the problem was that everybody stood in one queue when there were 14 toilets. One of the PP marshals sorted this out though and after that it was fine. Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: Fabulous scenery but why not get more portaloos, Purple Patch? In full: Amazing scenery the whole way along the canal. Marshalls that actually look you in the eye and smile. Queue for the loo at the start was like nothing I've ever seen before and meant the race had to start late. Baggage system seemed fine to me - got my bag in under 60 seconds. Was forced to walk some of it due to bottlenecks but wasnt too bothered. Great race overall. Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: Overall a good run for a challenge to the body (I'm aching like mad.) jusy don't come to get a PB. In full: You need to come to this not expecting PB as narrow track does mean you will get stuck beind people. The surface is uneven and slippy and bridge and lock sections make for hard going the further you get on. The final climb to the finish just about finished me off. Water stops with plastic cups of water made drinking without stopping impossible (for me anyway), at least one bottle stop would have helped. Some stops not well enough manned to hand drinks out which meant snatching trying to snatch from the table whilst going.
Overall a good run for a challenge to the body (I'm aching like mad.) jusy don't come to get a PB. Would I do it again? Maybe but perhaps when it goes in the opposite direction. Date of review: November 14, 2011