In short: A race of two halves! In full: This was my first ever race so i've not got anything to compare to but overall It was pretty awesome, my only gripes where when you got around the harbour area and everything tailed off a bit
Positives * Mostly Flat * Great Entertainment ( The Pentacle Drummer under the band stand were amazing) * That Hill * Great Crowd * First 8/9 miles is top notch
Negatives * Last few miles around the harbour, felt a bit lost, no crowds, sharp turns * Medal was a bit rubbish * That hill * Only about 3 Gents portaloos * Kids handing out water didn't quite know when to let go * No one handing out water at harbour, having to take your own out holders
In short: loved every inute of it In full: for my first half-marathon it was tough. the cold head wind sapped me for the last half. i must thank a fellow female competitor for her vocal encouragement, but i had to take a step back and let her race at her pace. i stopped only once, three quaters on the way up the hill- for that i am extremely proud. as some others have mentioned, wonderfull and sympathetic organisers- one pulled up a chair up for me at the end. loved every minute of it- and the choclate at the end was worth waiting for. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: An enjoyable, friendly race, that's improving well each year In full: Overall it feels like this event has improved since last year, when I think I described it on here as good, but could do better.
That pesky hill between miles 2 and 3 felt a lot longer this year! Such a relief to reach the top and then take a well-earned breather and loosen the legs on the subsequent downhill stretch.
There was an irritating headwind back along the sea front which meant it was another relief to enter the marina area which was a bit more sheltered.
Thanks to better weather conditions the support was a lot more noticeable this year - always good for a boost if required.
Nice to see pacers this year too. The 1:45 pacer chased me all around the course - I just couldn't shake him off ;)
Can't fault the organisation at all. Lots of marshals around the course. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Really enjoyed the run (organisation and support was great), but not keen on the course In full: Really enjoyed the run (organisation and support was great), but not keen on the course: the hill which starts at around 4.5km is really tough (my Garmin reckons a steady 118m climb over 2.3km); headwind all along the seafront was draining (OK unavoidable); but main gripe is the numerous (5-10) tight, sharp turns (e.g. through the harbour area) where you lose time and more importantly, rhythm. Definitely not a course for a PB, but great fun and a challenging workout! Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: Excellent race and course, well worth the travel and money, huge recommendation In full: Everything that could have been controlled was controlled brilliantly. The uncontrollables, dog walkers, weather were the only negatives, but this didn't detract from my opinion of the event. Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: One of my favourite courses, but small changes could make it a great race instead of the good race it currently is In full: Postivies * Support at mile 11, everyone else has mentioned it, but superb effort from the girls once again. * Bagpiper - what a hero standing out in the rain for at least an hour * Toilets - I arrived an hour early and they were deserted. If you need to go 10 minutes before the start, you've timed it wrong. * Parking - overlooked in other reviews, but brilliant. Plenty of space, easy to get in and out for those at the front. * Course - I love the hill at the start, then the winding hill down to the start again. Brilliant test, and brilliant fun. From eight miles onwards gives the impression of 'winding around to make up the distance', which brings me on to my negatives
Negatives * 21.3KMs is not a half marathon. It is a half marathon plus 200M. * Muddy field was in my opinion dangerous, it is lucky that noone got hurt slipping into the finish, it was a mudbath when I finished in 1:33, must have been AWFUL for those behind me.
My advice for next year to make the distance correct - Move the start/finish 100Ms closer to the exit of the field, eliminating the field as much as possible. Other than that small whine, which should not put anyone off doing this race if you're considering it in future, I love this course, love the atmosphere and will definitely be back for attempt #3 next year. Date of review: March 7, 2012