In short: A great way to cap the year off and enjoy the festivities guilt-free! My local marathon so I may be a little biased! In full: The heavy rain cleared before the start, and it was good to see the event take place successfully after the disappointment of last year.
Lucky with the weather (dry and cool) but the 20mph headwinds made this anything but plain sailing. For December, I would happily accept what we got!
The pre-race arrangements, e.g parking, changing, number/chip collection, and baggage were efficient handled. Good communication before and leading to the start.
A varied three lap course ranging from some threatening looking council estates to rolling farmland. A few twists and turns to keep the runner interested, and convenient for supporters and onlookers.
Marshals and drinks stations were brilliant, and good crowd support dotted around the course.
Reasonable flat with some undulation, but the wind was the main reason not to challenge a PB.
Proper finish gantry, and a walk back to race HQ proved to be a good way to warm down. Lovely medal (as usual) and a goodie to conclude a satisfying day.
Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation. Date of review: December 10, 2009
In short: An excellent marathon to finish off the year. Marshalls and people manning the drinks stations were excellent. Windy again this year but OK. Great to have run it again this year after last years disappointment. I'll be back next year. Date of review: December 9, 2009
In short: Splendid event, just a tweak or two off perfect. In full: Positives, course faster and less hilly than I expected. Number/chip pick up was efficient and fuss free. Marshalls lovely all the way around. Police efficiently stopping vehicles at one junction. The right amount of water/isotonic drink stations. Half mile or so from finish to pick up bag etc no real hardship. Scenery was varied, from housing to rural, and was better than some comments say, once we were out of the built up area and on the higher section there were some splendid views across the farmland. Negatives, only small but for first timer the way into the sports hall from car park wasn't too clear, and once in the hall it wasn't clear where the number pick up was. After the finish, it wasn't too clear where the chip removal, goody bag, medal stuff was. So I'd say all the organisation was fab with the exception of marking up info in the sports hall itself. Over all glad I took part and wouldn't discount another visit in a future year. Date of review: December 9, 2009
In short: Great organisation and marshalling. Love the three lap format. In full: First standalone marathon (so a PB guaranteed!)and I'll definately be back.
Good race HQ -somewhere to keep dry! Good organisation, great marshalling and feed stations - encouragement at every turn. Three lap format worked well for me mentally. Even got encouragement from some of the relay runners as they seemingly sprinted by (thanks Tash?) Course was varied and more on the 'undulating' side than the 'hilly' I'd been warned about.
Altogeher a great end of year race and highly recommended. Date of review: December 8, 2009
In full: Bit torn on organisation some aspects were fab, the race organisor seems to work like a trojan and some of the marshalls were fantastic. Anything else didn't really detract too much as I enjoyed it as much as you can enjoy a marathon I guess. Date of review: December 8, 2009
In short: The course was a bit dull, but it was varied and I found the lap format mentally useful. Brrrrrrr but hey it is December In full: The laps format helped because you could visualise what was coming and think of lap chunks rather than individual miles. Very cold wind for the third lap, which took my breath away on the exposed areas of the course. Probably my own fault though for running in shorts and t-shirt in December!
Only grumble was that I didn't feel very looked after at the finish line - no foil blanket or water, had to walk a little way to get back to the sports hall to get drinks etc.
Good chance of PB - not really hilly at all. I got a PB but not the overall time I was looking for. Always next time!
I probably won't come back to this race, but thats only because its a long way from home for me - never say never though. Date of review: December 8, 2009