In short: Not how to run a marathon In full: With around 30 - 40% non finishers my comments to the race organiser regarding their hydration and refuelling strategies proved well founded. Water in plastic cups, pathetic! One energy drink for the whole race, pathetic. People were dropping like flies, and most appeared to be due to dehydration. When you drink from a plastic cup you manage to consume about a 1/4 of that supplied i.e. around 50ml, no where near enough to hydrate a marathon runner. A lesson in profiteering - well done RC of Stratford---NOT Beginners stear well clear. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Very well organised, good event. However if you are looking for a PB don't do this event - the hills are longer and steeper than you think and the support is very very thin on the ground. It is good in patches but most of it is like a training run Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Well organised marathon, scenic course but hot In full: Overall, a well organised marathon. I feel some of the previous reviews are a little harsh, if you're a quicker runner, get yourself to nearer the front of the start.
I liked the course, it was scenic with great support in the town and well marshalled all around. It was quieter around the country lanes and just before hitting the Greenway for the second time it was quite lonely, but I was expecting quieter sections. Nice finish area in the rec area, great for supporters to sit out by the river, watching the runners come in. The worst bit of the course for me was the main road after the Greenway, with the slight incline and then the turn back onto the narrow path, under the road. It was very narrow... and the legs were screaming by this point, just had to hang in there!
There were two or three hills, which by the second lap took their toll. Although the second lap on the Greenway was mentally and physically draining, I think I am in the minority to say that I enjoyed it. It was hot, but it was flat, a decent running surface and good support.
A few criticisms: needed another water station with bottles instead of cups and a second water station with energy drinks.
Thanks to all organisers and marshalls. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: It was a great first-time race. For a run based in a countyside setting, I was impressed with excellent support. The DRINKS stations were worryingly scant and knocking back water in cups whilst running was difficult!I would have prefered bottles. In full: I really had a great time throughout the race. I didn't expect that many supporters in a country event, and I was truly impressed. This really helped me throughout the race. There was a lot of variety with the hills and dirt path. I have to admit that the Greenway was tortuous. It was a good mind game, and I'm glad I got through it, but it was very hot. What can be improved is setting up more drinks stations with bottles which runners could carry until the next station. I don't think the cups were a good idea.
Thank you to all the supporters and race organisers. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Very well organised & friendly, only real issue was water given how hot the day was... In full: First marathon and pleased with 3:25, but pace deteriorated badly in the heat during the last 5 miles. Marshalling and support was excellent. Only real gripe was the water mainly being in cups which meant stopping to get a decent drink. I'm not sure why the only bottles station was at around 2 miles (too early on) and 15 miles (just aftter going through the town where I picked up a drink from family) Bottles at say 6 and 18 miles would have been much more appreciated... Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Well organised and friendly In full: Some of the previous comments are a bit harsh. I suggest if you don't want to get held up at the start you should go to the front. I thought the organisers and marshals were encouraging and helpful. The Greenway on the second lap for the marathon was absolute torture and a great test of mental streangth. I think I prefered the hills! Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: LOVELY COURSE: POORLY ORGANISED In full: The organisers may not like this reality but races such as this are a product and in this case an expensive one. They must deliver. It is cheap to not offer water in bottles and the rationale for no isotonic drinks was risible. Runners want PBs so help them by penning runners at the start. The slowest had all pushed to the front. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Bit disappointing, a few tweaks would make it a lot better In full: Did the 1/2 and have mixed feelings on this race.
Good bits - the BEST marshalls who were friendly and supporting, good support in the villages and at start/finish, lovely medal, easy parking, good supply of loos
Bad bits - roads not closed other than at the start, half marathoners only get water, no time indicators at the start so you could line up appropriately and not be weaving in/out of slower runners or be annoying the faster ones
Overall I have to say I found it poor value for money. I recognise it's for charity and am not bothered by things like goody bags, but do think they should look at making some changes. It is an expensive race given that the Coventry 1/2 is much cheaper, closes all the roads, provides bottled energy drinks and organises the start better.
Also found the course slightly, well, boring - long stretches on country roads/Greenway which stretch miles in front of you and have little supporters on to cheer you up.
Don't know if I'd return. Date of review: April 26, 2010