In short: Lessons to be learnt, will be a great half marathon In full: Lots of confusion with information boards about what route your taking, especially with a board near finish line, that had a turn open but it wasn't part of the course, some runners turned right - wrong way. Also just have one line for start and finish, not 2 20 metres apart. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In full: Lovely scenary,a bit hot for running fast.Could have done with more water stations concidering the weather.I am sure with a few lessons to learn this could become a special race. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Gorgeous scenery and even more glorious weather (certainly not for running though!!) In full: Again, yer some negative reviews but it was a huge race in very unusual (impossible to predict at this time of year) weather conditions.
Positives: I think BHF did a grand job and although there are many complaints on here I had a great day. Although the course was what I would call VERY undulating (the BHF website described it as flat/undulating), this is something BHF should look to amend next year. A welcomed massage by the excellent Oxford School of Sports Massage did me wonders, they were very professional and pleasant. Also marshals handing out gels - a grateful surprise at 10 miles! A shower from the marshal on both laps near the cross point also pulled me through!
Negative: Getting out of Blenheim Palace at the end of the day was a complete joke! I grew so impatient after 25 mins sitting in stationary traffic waiting for people to siphon into 1 lane .... I ran to the exit where my partner picked me up .... picked my car up 2 hours later! Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Decent organisation and hillier than expected. In full: Some harsh reviews here. For me decent organisation in advance and on the day. Course was much more undulating/hilly than I expected so not really PB territory but no major batter your legs climbs either and course rolls around very nicely.
Yes the medal was a big budget and goody bag nothing memorable but it is a charity event and every penny saved is back in the charity. Guessing for some reason they could get Tunnocks wafers cheap/free hence in the bag. Would help to show a bit more running knowledge though e.g. less broad start timing pens, bit more to eat at finish and more enthusiastic marshalls. I'm not bothered about a medal though and don't think a start delay is the end of the world. Good luck BHF for next year.
In full: The delay at the start on a very hot day was unforgivable, as it meant we ended up running during the peak temperature of the day. Lovely uncrowded course, completely apathetic marshalls. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: very scenic In full: a nice coarse in a beautiful setting, with some great history. only downside is the fact that where taking money from supporters entering the grounds. other than than all ok, oh and yes the sun shone, which is great but doest make for great running conditions. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Beautiful setting but felt surprisingly amateur in organisation In full: Pros - great setting which to be honest just about outweighed all the negatives on the day although would have been less relevant had the weather not been so nice - large field but never really felt 'crowded' - fairly nice t-shirt
Cons - lack of water (yes it was unusually hot but the forecast had been saying 25+ for a few days so could have been anticipated - marshals were non-existent and the ones I did speak to were unfriendly and unhelpful (apart from the ones at 4k who told us were nearly there (just a mere 17k to go ....) - lack of toilets - goody bag was a let down - medal was poor (no date or even reference to the specific race - just a standard BHF one) - We were hurried to the start line at 0915 but they still delayed the start from 1000 to 1020 which made a difference in the heat
Overall - I am sure if they fix some of the organisation and cheer up the marshals a bit this could be a great run in the future Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Beautiful scenery, lovely atmosphere and great course - hilly! In full: Quite a low key event considering the numbers, slight delay to the start, apparently down to long queues at the toilets (weren't enough) - great course, stunning scenery and well marshalled, plenty of water and energy gels handed out ever 4-5km, really enjoyable run. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Disappointing. In full: The amazing location and beautiful scenery couldn't make up (for me) for the negative elements of this race. Being held for 20 minutes to start late in the blazing sun didn't help, and then around the course there was little atmosphere or support, very few marshals and pretty much all of them (except the lady at the lap 1/lap 2 split who I do remember) seemed disinterested/bored, and although it probably didn't annoy most people, not having mile markers (only km markers) really threw me. I don't think there was enough water for such an incredibly hot day. The end of the race seemed a bit shambolic, the goody bag pointless & the chocolate bar was a bad choice - needed some crisps/banana to replenish all those sweated out salt & minerals! The medal (and lanyard) are exactly the same as one I got for doing a BHF 10km earlier in the year. What a shame - this was my tenth half marathon, my family came to watch, and I was expecting it to be a fantastic day, unfortunately it really wasn't. Date of review: October 3, 2011