In short: A bargain half marathon! In full: I've completed this race before but only the half marathon. I have got to say that for the price it is a good morning out. Not the greatest of scenery I admit, I would not fancy two laps of it. However, many of the city events do not have panoramic views!
The organisation of this event is good and the atmosphere at the start and finish was good. Close parking facilities made the start smooth and hassle free. However I agree with many of the reviewers who commented that the local support was a bit 'thin'. It was sparce to say the least in certain places, which was a shame. There were plenty of water stations on the route - in bottles which i was very grateful with the clammy atmosphere.
The goody bag was all I wanted, bottle of water and a sports drink, t shirt, medal, banana and a caramel shortbread!
This will never be a 'classic' event but if you enjoy competing in half marathons and like a bargain this is as good as any. I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: September 7, 2012
In short: Organisation was pretty good - but marathon runners seemed to get forgotten - marshalls disappeared or werent paying attention on 2nd lap In full: Generally good, but as my first marathon only had half marathons to compare it to. i quite like going through the residential bits as there were a few members of public out supporting and handing jelly babies out. Marshalls switched off a bit and let me go the wrong way on lonely second lap but that indiscretion aside generally well organised. Could there be a seperate section on these reviews for "goody bag" ranking? As it was very poor - 2 bits of shortbread and a drink. At least got a cheapo tshirt and what looked like a kids toy medal - but guess this was reflected in relatively low cost of marathon Date of review: September 5, 2012
In short: Good value for money In full: As others have said lots of twists and turns. Was not that flat either, some quite long drags which were hard going on the second lap. I wouldnt write it off as a Pb course if your current PB is soft but it is not the fastest of courses. Parking was close to the start which was easy to find and there was bag storage too which was well organised.
The start was a shambles with slow runners starting at the front. I started near the front but was still obstructed by a lot of selfish people in the wrong place, that is the main area which needs working on.
Plenty of water stations ( water in bottles) and a little support on the course. The second lap was quieter. I was leading lady so had a motorbike escort who rode behind me most the time but occationally went ahead to stop traffic. There were a few places where marshals were stood but I had to ask where to go as they were not always directing. On a lot of turns there were arrows which were easy enough to see but I did see someone ahead of me miss one then double back so you had to be concentrating!
The medal and t shirt where not the best but considering the entry fee you can't really complain. At the end there was more water, banana and some millionaires shortbread so I think it was good value for money.
Overall I would say that apart from the start it was a well organised race which I would definatly do again Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: You get what you pay for In full: This was my 7th Marathon of the year. It was what i expected. It was never gonna be london but with a few small tweaks could be really good. The second lap was very quiet and runners were well spread out. Which was not a bad thing it felt like a training run. If this was your one marathon of the year you may be disappointed but as this is my 7th of 12 this year it fell into my schedule it was good. The medal was abit naff after 26 miles of running. Improve that and it would be fine. Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: OK as a half, not enjoyable for a full marathon In full: I ran this as a full marathon for the first time this year and I have to say it was the least enjoyable marathon I have done (previous events include London, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Chester, Lancaster). As a two lapped affair I was always expecting the 2nd lap to be more of a mental challenge but putting that aside this marathon experience was spoilt for me by:
1. No sooner had the 2nd lap started and I was running against traffic where a previously closed busy road had reopened. I even had to cross this road weaving between traffic to go down a different street.
2. There seemed to be far fewer marshalls on the 2nd lap, relied more on the signs.
3. As I ran past the finish line at half marathon stage I could hear the finishers names being called out as they approached the line - none of this for marathon finishers, just a bit of background music playing.
Overall this is a fairly decent half marathon but it just does not seem to work as a full. Next up is Chester in a few weeks - not that's a marathon! Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: whats with all the moaning In full: the scenery is no worse than brum half, the course is positively flat with pb written all over it, the race was well organised with a good start/finish area,ok its a little quiet out there but thats it and as for the goody bag you get a medal, a tee shirt and some food and drink for half the price of the bupa runs. not really sure where all the negativity has come from but i would suggest its a little unfair to the people who organised everything also bare in mind the main sponsor lost everything in a recent fire and still turned out for us all. cheer up folks it weren't that bad now was it Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: twisty- needs the council to really get behind it In full: if they dropped the overly twisty detour through the estate all the negatives would disappear. this could be a cracking mid size race if the council committed to a few road closures to ditch the housing estate detour. if you ignore those couple miles the course is undulating, varied and about as good as you re going to get for a city course. I am biased as its my childhood town and I can remember the heady days of thousands of people with jimmy saville trundling past the family house. I'll definitely be back and hopefully with a few more speedsters to chase.(i ran the 1/2) Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: Great value, but a very quiet 2nd lap for the full marathoners. In full: Good price in comparison to some marathons, and although this is partially reflected in the goody bag it doesn't detract from what was a well organised event. 2nd lap was a bit like a solo training run, but the marshalls all offered encouragement as you passed. Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: Lots of twists and turns and much hillier 2nd time around! In full: Not a bad marathon for the money but I have to agree with other posts about the less than scenic route and the many twists and turns around housing estates, parks etc to make up the miles. The 2nd lap was pretty lonely but you have to expect that with a 2 lapper. Nice finish with good background music but the medal was terrible - very cheap and tinny and doesn't even mention the marathon! Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: overall well organised- but I'm sure the hills were steeper on the 2nd lap. In full: Slick organisation- started on time- plenty of marshalls and good crowd support in places. Lots of water stations and nice finishing funnel with DJ shouting out finishers' names was a nice touch. Goody bag a bit poor. Big down side was the fact that the race wasn't closed to traffic- so especially on the 2nd lap you had to check and sometimes wait whilst crossing roads, mavouvre around cars and parked vehciles, buses etc! Date of review: September 3, 2012