In short: Great course and a well-organised race In full: Had heard good things about this, and wasn't let-down. Start/finish area very good with lots of stalls and stuff for the kids. Start area a bit crowded but it soon widens out. The rest of the course was great. Undulating with one tough-ish incline and then some shorter gentler ones in the second half. Bit of a challenge but nothing to destroy you. Running through Christ's Hospital school was truly brilliant, and the marshal's and supporters were superb. Will be back next year. Only downside was I only found one men's loo, so plan ahead! Date of review: October 1, 2013
In short: undulating route down country lanes In full: Outstanding organisation and marshalling. Had a lovely village fete feel at the start/finish area. Was a warm day for the time of year so was very glad to be carrying own water as water supplied in cups at water stations. The run through the school with the band playing was a rather nice touch... we all love a little uplifting band after all :-) Undulations made the course challenging (well for me anyway) but would definitely look to do it again. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Well organized, well marshaled and very friendly In full: I loved this run! It had some playful parts to keep it interesting and kept it challenging enough without be too tough to put people off. The start/finish area was really good, family and spectator friendly. Loved running through the school, and the band was really good and uplifting. I found all the marshals and officials to be really friendly and supportive. There were enough supporters out on course that it didn't matter that none of my own had gone, because I was being cheered along the way anyway. It was great coming through the start/finish area after the first loop as it gave a really good buzz to the start of the second half of the run. PB'd by 5 mins 45 secs, more down to a previously soft PB but always wanted to push on with the course. Great event and I will definitely be back. (Not having my name in the programme only means I will book earlier next year). Date of review: September 29, 2013
In short: Local closed road half marathon In full: A well established half marathon with a very friendly feel. Course undulates which keeps it interesting but nothing too steep.
The good bits: 1 - I got a pb by 2 mins! 2 - the band at Christ's Hospital were great, a real lift. 3 - plenty of parking. 4 - great weather and nice countryside course with closed roads. 5 - really great marshals, nice that the route comes back through the start/finish area, great for supporters.
Not good bits: a - disappointingly mine was one of the names that didn't make it into the race booklet which spoiled it as a keepsake of the day.
b - disappointed by how expensive the race photos were especially as there was very limited choice for me. I like to get a photo each time I pb, but there's no way I can justify £17.99 for one photo - especially when it only cost £18 to enter the race! Guess the big corporations need to charge that much for the army of photographers at the really big events but smacks of profiteering at a relatively small local race like this.
c - while I was was fine a couple of friends had a delay getting their official race chip time.
In short: Great course, great atmosphere, great organisation In full: The course was gentler than my previous halves (though certainly not flat) and so was good for maintaining a steady pace and ultimately a quick time. The race HQ was impressive with lots of stalls and people and a real feeling of village community, enhanced by the spectators and marshalls unfaltering encouragement on the course. I was unlucky to suffer from the chip timing failure, so my published time was a minute slower, but no fault of the race organisers. Passing the start/finish at 5M and running through the grounds of Christs hospital with all its pupils and Brass Band was just wonderful and really spurred me on. How about reversing the course so S/F pass is later and the school is at ~10M providing a much needed boost later in the race? Date of review: October 3, 2012