In short: My first and definitely not my last. In full: My 1st marathon, chosen as it's local rather than for it's route profile which, as I found out, is 'undulating'. To be fair, there are some ups and downs but not really any hills.
The race was brilliantly organised and the marshals and supporters all need a huge pat on the back as they were incredible, from the 1st to the last checkpoint, with clapping, cheering and waving the whole way.
I wasn't fast, quite the opposite, but I felt as welcome and important as the PB achieving top 10 finishers.
In short: A warm, friendly superbly organise race - fab atmosphere In full: This race celebrated its 20th birthday this year and it went all out to make the celebrations go with a bang. It's a small race but the whole club had obviously come out in force, in the rain, to support us. The marshals were some of the nicest I've ever met, and stayed out in the cold to the very last runner (me!) shaking their clappers and offering jelly babies (on the subject of which, I was offered so many by so many friendly kids and marshals that I couldn't refuse that I felt a bit ill - lesson learned). The course was well marked, and of course a bit too hilly for me, but then I don't train much on hills. The way the race celebrated achievements by Andy (who was running his 600th) and Nick (who'd was running his 200th) was also special - they got to run in the numbers 600 and 200 respectively. And the tea, coffee and sarnies at the end were a major highlight. Finally, did I mention the goody bag? A gorgeous bottle of birthday ale designed specially for the occasion, and fantastic post-race snacks - one of the best ever. Truly a race the club can be very proud of! Thanks to everyone for a very special race. PS And to Jim Mactaggart, who wobbled behind me on a bike for 6 miles, and is about to cycle across America, you are a legend and I couldn't have done it without you! Date of review: May 14, 2014
In short: One of the best smaller races I have done In full: The support and organisation for what is a smallish race was first class. Great medal, goody bag, drink stations. And as for scenery, the best country lanes with hardly a car to interrupt. Wasn't sure about 2 lots of figure of 8, but meant I saw my supporters 6 times. Well done to the Halstead runners club. Date of review: May 13, 2014
In short: Amazing day, well worth the effort. Whole experience thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end In full: It was extremely well organised. Very friendly & relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was so friendly & helpful. Lots of happy & enthusiastic helpers, Marshall's & volunteers playing very important roles to make the day perfect. Loads & loads of work had been put into the day which all ran smoothly. Loved it First class Date of review: May 13, 2014
In short: Lovely setting,lovely people. In full: Such a lovely marathon, mind you it was my first. I loved the rural setting, especially seeing the alpacas,,,,Marshall's were very supportive. Liked the pipers piping at the start. And the jazz band at the end. lots of goodies in the bag. Date of review: May 13, 2014
In short: Fabulous organisation, fantastic marshals, beautiful countryside, what's not to like. First timer but will definitely be back next year. In full: I've avoided this marathon for years because of its reputation as being hilly - hills and I don't mix - but I took the plunge this year and was so glad I did. I loved it. I've done London twice and Brighton (pancake flat) for the last 3 years. Can't say I've "enjoyed" any of them but this one was different. I didn't want to waste the fitness I'd built up for Brighton so I thought I may as well have a go and not worry about times or PBs. On the day I had incredible knee pain from 4 miles and thought I'd have to pull out but with the help of some strong painkillers provided by a very kind lady who was supporting her other half who was running I finished and, for the first time ever, I can actually say I enjoyed it. As a person who hates hills I'd say it was undulating rather than hilly, with seemingly more downs than ups if that's possible. Excellent organisation, plenty of water stations, fantastic marshalls and great support from the local villagers. It's a must do on my calendar for next year and hopefully, without the knee pain, I think I might do quite well. Date of review: May 13, 2014
In short: Second time I've run this and will be back again next year! In full: Previous comments have covered it. Marshalls all around the route were amazing. Choice of drinks as well as chance to have your personal drinks placed at stations. Beautiful route. Date of review: May 13, 2014
In short: Great experience for my first marathon In full: I am really pleased I chose this as my first marathon. Partly due to the positive reviews on this website. It was friendly, welcoming and very we'll organised. There was plenty of room to change and wait, loads of toilets and a good PA system. Everyone was friendly and helpful. I'd heard the course was hilly, but I didn't find it too bad. Great marshalling and support just added to the enjoyment and I even managed to finish with a smile on my face. Date of review: May 12, 2014