In short: Shocking organisation & undulating not flat In full: Well, what can I say, this was definitely worse than last year.
Didn't get my race pack 'til about 3 days before the race and even then my number looked like it'd been printed off a home computer since it didn't have the Nike swoosh on it like everyone else's did so made me feel like an outsider when everyone was stood round.
Start was terrible - a 5k and 10k were being run about 2 minutes before the actual HM so the atmosphere was extremely claustrophobic and it was frustrating having to try and speed past slower 10k runners in that very narrow section where the road had been closed off.
No timing pens or even timing signs so you pretty much had to judge for yourself if you wanted a set time. As a result, most runners started out too fast, 500 or so must have passed me and then I passed them at mile 2/3.
From what I've heard from other forumites, baggage seemed to be a problem too.
No mile marker at mile 9 which threw me off a bit and no energy drinks at all - their budget could have surely stretched to this.
Not many marshals for a HM and the final mile had two rather steep inclines and then a swerve round a bend to the finish stretch - which was again, quite narrow and claustrophobic.
No goodie bag and no refreshments after either - not even a bunch of bananas.
Set a PB by 6 minutes - 1.39 but won't be doing this one again. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Really enjoyable half marathon In full: I had a great run so really enjoyed it. The uphill section in the last mile was hard on tired legs, especially as the course description said a 'flat course'(if its described as flat people expect it to be flat). If that part of the course could be altered to be flat then it would be perfect. It would have been nice to have an energy drink station on the course instead of having to carry your own all the way round. Marshalls were great - thanks it must have been very cold standing out there all that time! Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: New impoved version........wasn't In full: Disappointing as did this for 1st time last year and loved - new improved version wasn't. Things to improve: 1) Start 10k more than 2 minutes before 1/2 (its not rocket science!) 2) Start of course needs longer before narrowing - although above would help 3) Don't have uphill at the end. Still - the parking was good.......... Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Really enjoyable race In full: Really enjoyed this race, agree it was odd to start the 10k at the same time but overall, parking and getting there/getting away was fine, I didn't find crowding an issue (just what I would expect with a large race). The route was really pleasant, fab weather helped. Medal very nice! Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: TERRIBLE BAG COLLECTION. 1:20 to collect the bag - the same as it took me to run 10M! In full: terrible organisation, had a 10 K go off just before the main race with not separate pens for that race, nor the differing speeds of the half marathon runners.
The final hill let into a narrow final funnel where there was insufficient space for last minute kicks to get going as being blocked.
Followed by the worst bag collection in history.
Whilst there was no 'goody bag' there were not even any energy drinks during the race.
I would have to think long and hard about entering this race again Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Same opinion as everyone else In full: I haven't really got anything to add to what has already been said (and said far more eloquently than I could manage). It could have been a reasonable race, but was let down by a lack of organisation and a very steep price.
Well done to Wetherspoons though, for stepping in and providing free goody bags to runners, containing a bottle of water, an energy drink and a muffin. Organisers please take note.
In full: For a first time big race the organisation was pretty good, there are always going to be some issues but I'm sure next year will be fine. It's a good course and about as flat as they come. Think there are some unfair comments on here. If you've got a problem with too many people getting in the way then don't enter an event with 5,000 entries! Enthusiastic marshalls too, which always makes a difference. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In full: Generally enjoyed this,though a couple of gripes.Firstly,can you PLEASE sort the baggage system out for next year.This seemed a real mess and the last thing runners need is an hour long wait to pick up their belongings. Also,at the time of writing,it appears that many of my fellow club runners have had their Bedford Harrier status ommitted from the results,causing some confusion. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Terrible disorganised start and tough last mile In full: Too many people on a tight dual carrageway which very soon became one lane. people running on the grass and tripping up each other. did not settle down for 5miles when the 10k people went their own way. Then tough last mile up to bridge over dual carrageway. Too many runners and not organised into groups of times. Organisation committee really need to think again Date of review: March 8, 2010