In short: I really enjoyed this race - it's definitely converted me to racing!! In full: For first time racers it's an excellent course -beautiful scenery - I am slightly biased however as I'm originally from Stratford-Upon-Avon. I would definitely do this again - will be signing up for next year! Date of review: May 9, 2006
In short: I loved this race! In full: After some of the doom and gloom I'd read about this race in the past (steep hills, too hot, no annual medal etc) I was more than pleasantly surprised.
The organisation of the race was excellent - it was always really clear where to go even on complicated turns. The 'hill' was not at all steep on the way up (though a killer short sharp 14% descent the other side). The 25th anniversary medal was a nice touch. The supporters were in some ways better than in London (though obviously fewer of them), especially the mad hippy women with the jelly babies who kept yelling 'you're fantastic' and the dancing gent. The Greenway is a great surface to run on and not at all dull - great for overtaking! Even the second loop generally was good for giving me an idea of how far it was to the finish (I like to know these things). And it was amazing to hear my name being called out as I approached the finish line.
My only slight suggestions for improvements would be: - Sports drink on the second lap for marathoners (for those who don't have a handy fiance stationed at the 13 mile mark). - Chip timing (I missed the London qualifying 'good for age' time by 8s!). - More bottles at water stations (doesn't need to be all of them, perhaps just an extra one around the 6 mile mark). Date of review: May 9, 2006
In short: Nice race, improved by morning start. Now; any chance of energy drinks next year? In full: Morning start is a big improvement. Some people grumble about the Greenway but I like it. And dont listen to the compaints about hills; there are only 2 little ones. My second PB on this course.
Agree some of the marshals were a bit austere, but it makes you appreciate them more at races where they are more supportive, doesn't it? And hats off to anyone who gives up their time to do it.
My only remaining grumble is still no energy drinks - maybe a couple of stations on the second lap could offer them next year? Date of review: May 9, 2006
In short: Quite possibly the best event I've ever been to!! In full: I came to racing about two years ago, this is my second Marathon and I can honestly say this is probably the best event I’ve have ever been to!
As some of the other comments attest to, there were some small gripes I.E. on the high price, the muddled start, the long slog up the greenway etc I accept all these comments but feel they are just little niggles compared to the all over glow I received from being involved with this event.
Everything was straight forward, the PA system was clear and the announcer on the ball, the route was scenic and very flat; only a couple of hills, if you think it was hilly you should try the Isle of Wight marathon! the spectator support was good when compared to other races, good marshals, and an excellent atmosphere at the finish.
Highlights?? The old man with the stereo, the hippy lady with the whistle and the jelly babies, seeing the runners in the half peeling off whilst we went round for the second lap, being checked out by some guy on a motorbike making sure I wasn’t about to collapse, finding my bottle that I’d stashed the night before at about 13.5 miles, dipping my feet in the river to cool them off at the finish!!
It was a good job it wasn’t hot, you could just imagine the heat haze drifting across the greenway if the sun had come out!
In short: Great race with "local" feel In full: My first half and far less painful than expected. Just right number of runners - bit crowded at the start but kept me to a sensible pace, lots of company on the way round without blocking the way. Greenway a bit hard underfoot but at least it was near the end and the finish was gorgeous. Really pleasant marshals, enthusiastic kids on the water stations - just a nice day out. Date of review: May 9, 2006
In short: Lovely course, well organised In full: Really enjoyed it - first marathon, but now I'm retiring (bad knees). It was well-organised but the Rotarians were a bit gruff looking - few more smiles from the marshalls would have been nice! Also, my crew were stuck towards the rear around the narrow start and weren't too please at being described by the commentator as 'the fun runners' - I can say with certainty that the last five miles were not fun in any shape or form!! But hey, the box is now ticked! Date of review: May 9, 2006