In short: VVV muddy, organisation fair, scenery fantastic! In full: After last years glorious weather and solid ground the rain and the mud really dominated this one! Having managed just over 4 hours last year I wanted to break the 4 hour mark, but added another 3 minutes on. With the mud slides, additional distance and muddy bath at the end in hindsight this was impossible! The registration queue, particularly in the rain moved along at a painful snails pace, the reason for which became evident when getting to the front to find 1 person registering names for hundreds of people. Next year, please put more people on! The first drinks station did not seem to materialise so drinks were not available until 6 miles and please please please can you provide energy drinks rather than orange juice next year?! The Paula Radcliffe ice bath we endured at the end may sound awful to some but actually lifted my spirits as it was unexpected and actually quite funny running in filthy muddy water over my knees and it also cleared the multiple layers of mud off my trainers! Please organise medal and T Shirt collection at the finish next year. Queueing for 15 mins after running 26 miles is not a great way to finish a race and hurts like hell. Marshalls were fabulous!!! The rain was a challenge for the runners but at least we were moving and keeping warm. They definately have my vote as heroes of the day! Roll on next year, still need to break the 4 hour mark for this one, but not having 10kgs of mud attached to my trainers might help!!! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Fun-tastic first marathon! In full: Ended up be quite a challenge for my first ever running event....! Lots of wind,'sideways' rain at times.....plus the mud! I was loving it! Finished a half hour slower than i hoped in 4hrs15....my poor choice of footwear saw to that, plus I unfortunately suffered from lack of water in the first 7 miles. Anyway, lessons learned and looking forward to doing more events!
Many thanks to the fanstastic organisers/volunteers etc....managed to raise a nice amount for the Guide Dogs too! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: It's tough but I like it... In full: My Garmin had it at 26.47. Mile marking was actually spot on until the half and then varied by about .2 over (not including the .2 that they'd added on for distance to finish).
This was an excellent race. Finished in 4.38. Met some nice people on the way round. Occassionally remembered to look up and enjoy the scenery! Found the mud field a particular killer but 'enjoyed' the spalsh through the tunnel which allowed me to nab a few places off the less intrepid (but probably faster runners) who were pussy footing it through... Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Wet, muddy, tiring but what else would one want to do on a Sunday? In full: This was my first half marathon and I'm chuffed to bits that I've done it. It was well organised and the marshalls were stars for standing out in the rain, making sure we went the right way. Did chuckle at the thought of all the puddle dodgers when we reached the underpass wading. Will aim to do full marathon next year. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Done the marathon twice before but in the dry - the mud and rain added a new (not entirely pleasant) dimension - and another 20 mins on my previous time. Thanks to the organisers. Look forward to a more scenic finish in Winchester next year. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Grate Race - Shame about the new finish In full: Once again, great organisation – must be a big logistical challenge to organise two start venues, the finish, plus all the people and baggage transport in between. Agree a couple of signs at the finish saying where to claim T shirts and baggage would help.
What a shame the finish venue has changed though. What was a glorious rural approach over the last mile to the college in Laverstock is now a dreary urban plod through underpasses and cyclelanes around Churchill Way. I understand the college couldn’t accommodate the bigger numbers – though in truth they probably meant the thoughtless idiots from previous years who left the place a mud-bath.
Oh, and to the five or six twits who came barging past all elbows on a downhill stretch at about six miles proclaiming ‘we’ll make some time up now!’ (hint: do the math!) only to become wheezing wrecks on the next climb 300 yards later – maybe the Flora Flora Flora London Flora Marathon (TM) would be more your cup of tea?
In short: Up-hill, very muddy and an impromptu ice bath near the end !! In full: Nice scenic run, I thought! Well it would've been if it hadn't been raining for the last few days which turned it into a mud bath / slide. Running down the muddy hills was for the brave or people with spikes. Running up them was for the people who were really fit...not like me. Any thoughts there were of being clean went out of the window after about 1st mile.
Overall it was well organised even if the miles counting down did confuse for a part. Will be interesting to do it in reverse next year !!
In short: Can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday... In full: Very close to my idea of the ideal race - wind, rain, mud, hills, out in the countryside and a bath at the end... that and the great organisation and marshalling left me very happy yesterday and pleasantly tender today... Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Great race, great organisation - thanks to everyone involved In full: Loved it. A very friendly atmosphere. The amount of work that had gone into sign posting the route was stupendous - thank you everyone involved. The landscape was tremendous, and the route a good one, although slippery in places due to the showers. It will be fun to run the other way next year! Date of review: October 2, 2006