In short: Loved it for the weirdness In full: Just so different to a normal race everyone should do it at least once - I loved the experience and the adventure of running from one place to another. Nice to get a shower in Bannatynes after. I think I liked it more because of the concept of it rather than the reality - the marshals that were around at the start and finish were helpful - the lack of marshals on the course was a concern - I agree the route wasn't difficult to follow but that's not the only reason they are there - with a potential 3-4 mile gap between the drinks stations it would have taken a while to get the message forward for anyone needing help. The finish line was poorly marked. Having said all that PLEASE DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR - a few tweaks and this could be a great race. The wave start worked for me as there will always be people that estimate badly so there was the added incentive of chasing people down who were initially a long way in front - rather than a normal race where once the first mile is out of the way the majority of positions are settled. Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: very enjoyable race- enjoyed it very much! In full: Great scenery (surprisingly) along the towpaths. The miles rolled by really quickly! Could have done with toilets at the start. (1 toilet was definitly not enough)- but only a minor point Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: A most enjoyable race, but the worst goodie bag and medal everr! In full: I for one take my running cap off to the organiser's - I think they've done incredibly well to grow the event to this size so quickly and to overcome what must have been quite a logistical headache. The course was fine - it did exactly what it said on the tin. If you want hills, don't run a towpath race! It was occasionally difficult to get past other runners, but with a little prompting all were happy to make way and to give a smile or a wave. I even found runners moving over for me when I was quite happy to carry on behind them for a while, but it was easier to pass than to explain! The overnight rain had caused a few puddles, but nothing most of us aren't used to. We were warned as we approached the tunnel that the lights had failed. There were a few toward the end, but in all honesty it's a short stretch and dead straight, there is a handrail, and though I'd heard that it was slippy in there the ground wasn't particularly difficult. More lighting would have been nice, but wasn't essential. The marshalls I came across were friendly and helpful, and plentiful where needed. As the course had no road crossings etc there was little need for marshalls on the course, and the signage was adequate, though I think a few mile posts had disappeared, unless I missed them while taking in the scenery! Yes only one toilet, and the overspill (if you'll excuse the phrase) apparently caused queues at the station toilets too, where it affected Joe and Joanne public as well as runners. A couple of porta-loos next year please! I didn't realise that Mr Bannatyne had been persuaded to give access to showers (& loos?) at his club, so I missed out. While it was quite clear from the crowds when approaching the finish it was difficult to judge exactly where the line was until you saw the timing mats. After doing my best to sprint, I thought I was going to have to continue up the hill into Brindleplace! I'm calling this a PB, since it's my first half in many a year, and I think I just about beat my 1:45 target. All in all a most enjoyable race, but the worst goodie bag and medal ever! Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: A superb half - only the 2nd running and 10X the runners!! In full: A fantastic half - I ran it last year when there was just 35 people taking part. This year there were at least 500!! How to get all those people safly down the canal? With wave starts which was great fun - it meant we were spread all along the towpath evenly, with chiptiming there were no worries about timing. An unexpected generator problem appeared to stop some lights in the tunnel but it wasn't so bad and I lost no real pace. Suprisingly SiS sports drink was available at the three water stops which was superb.
With loads raised for Anthony Nolan trust, Macmillan cancer and Row ahead it made the day so worthwhile!! Pity I forgot my hat and had to improvise a knotted hankie!! Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: A bit dull and and more of a good group training run. In full: I thought the organisation at the start as pretty good aprt from the one toilet - although i used the train station. The on course marshalling was non existent really, and if their had been problems it could have been dangerous. I heard several comments from runners at the finish that they thought the course may have been long - not sure myself. The goody bag and medal were worthless, but i did enjoy the shower in Bannatynes gym. A bit disappointed overall. Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: A very dull boring run, with a distinct lack of marshals, poor organisation, a dangerous dark tunnel and only 1 toilet at the start! The finish was confusing with hardly any marshals and the medal was laughably cheap, where did the £13.50 get spent? In full: I was really looking forward to this one. But it turned into a flat uninspiring race. There was only one toilet at the start for every runner to use. Starting in waves works fine on paper, but as not everyone who entered ran, some waves had hardly anyone in them - so it felt lonely on the course. There were no marshals around the course (other than the start, finish and the 3 drinks stations). There were only first aiders handing out drinks at the end. The Cosely tunnel was not properly lit - they decided to put 3 lights at the end of the tunnel, where the daylight lit the path anyway. The path through the tunnel was pot-holed, uneven and dangerous. The finish was confusing with no signs, few marshals and no 'finish' line marked (none of the usual banners that say ‘Finish’!). The 'goody' bag contained a very cheap medal and some adverts. There were no bananas, chocolate bars or t-shirts. My kit bag was returned, but had somehow been damaged. It looked as though it had been sent through an airport carousel! Where did the entry fee get spent and what did any of the sponsors contribute????? I did a PB, despite the headwind for 13 miles and the unexpected hot sunshine, but I’ve walked away feeling very disappointed that the run was so badly staged – I can’t think of one positive to write here. Date of review: July 5, 2008
In short: Great first running of this race, absolutely loved. In full: The distance (by common consensus at least) was a bit further than 13.1 miles, but for me that adds a psychological edge to the race. The small crowd at the beginning meant this had an absolutely brilliant atmosphere.If you were an experienced runner or a returning runner, Im sure everyone would agree, everyone was welcomed by the very friendly atmosphere. I think a 'normal' July day would hold different challenges than faced today i.e no puddles and plenty of heat, but either way this was a great race. Well done Andy, you definately pulled this one off!! Date of review: July 15, 2007
In short: A cracking good race - great course , a good challenge In full: A fantastic race indeed - slightly longer than 13.1 more like 14.5 but thats the canals for you. Torrential rain in places but it didn't detract for a superb race .
SA big thank you to all organisers and marshalls. Date of review: July 15, 2007