In short: Well organised and well marshalled In full: The race was very well organised and marshalled. There are quite a few underpasses and twists and turns on the two lap course, but with lots of marshals there was no worrying about where to go. (A special mention for the encouraging marshals at 10.2 and 11 miles.)
The course is a mixture of urban cycle paths and parkland and almost entirely off-road. The first couple of miles of each lap are on a gentle, continuous, but manageable climb. A track finish is always welcome.
I am clearly in a minority, but I prefer a technical t-shirt to a medal. Date of review: November 9, 2010
In short: good in some areas-average in others In full: quite a few firsts for me in this race 1st time I have ever got a shuttle bus to the start 1st time I had to queue for chip-number 1st time I have not received a medal for a half-done 8 now? great PB so not moaning too much Organisers and marshalling was great though-seemed to have so many marshalls-credit to their club
In short: An enjoyable race but tarnished by a lack of a medal. In full: This was my first half marathon and I was looking for a fairly flat course with not too big a field. Apart from the exits from the underpasses this met my requirements. The weather was ideal. The marshalling was very efficient although I find it annoying when the marshalls call out encouragement to a Spartan runner and ignore you, they should be impartial with their praise and encouragement. There were two very enthusiastic young female marshalls at an underpass towards the end who gave great encouragement even though they must have been standing there for getting on for two hours on my second circuit. The last section around the track with the finish in sight gave that extra encouragement to put on a final spurt. I was sure that I had read that all finishers received a medal so I was rather dissappointed to get a t shirt (I already have quite a few technical t shirts), a banana and a bottle of water. Being my first half marathon a medal, however cheap, would have been a nice momento. Not a perfect race, but pretty good, thanks to all the organisers. Date of review: November 8, 2010
In short: Superbly organised half marathon...but no medal!? In full: Well this was my first half marathon and I have to say it was a really enjoyable experience. The organisation was first class, especially the coaches from the city centre. I felt the marshalls did a good job, and certainly encouraged me in the final mile or two! Nice scenery, and great weather - and a nice running shirt at the end too. The only downside being a lack of medal. I'm not normally fussed about such things, but to me a half marathon was a real achievement and it would have been nice to mark it with a proper memento - put a dampener on what otherwise was a great morning. Date of review: November 8, 2010
In short: Enjoyable but could be improved In full: A very well organised half marathon. The course isn't flat but there are no big hills either. The finish on the athletics track is enjoyable. Not the most welcoming of races....I got the impression that some of the Fairlands Valley Spartans runners/marshalls seemed to resent the fact that non-club runners were taking part. Also, personally, I would have preferred a medal rather than the T-shirt. Date of review: November 8, 2010
In short: Excellent organisation, super facilities but where's my medal! In full: Freezing cold but sunny morning, no wind to speak of at first but half way through it picked up to 20 mph in places so was a little on the cool side. Marshalling was extremely well organised and lots of them, water at 2, 5, 7, and 11 miles and a jelly bean station at 11 miles too (one large box of jelly babies, one lady, by the time she's got one out I'd passed her). The course is two laps on tarmac cycle tracks and underpasses around the town. The first lap is a mile and a half shorter than the second so the second lap is psychologically tougher than the first. Did a good time, a steady 9:50 minute mile all round and a sprint finish so knocked four mins almost of my PB. The last 300 metres was on the Ridlins running track, cinders, tannoy man called out your name as you entered the stadium and you finished in front of the "grandstand" (seats about 150!). Finish funnel was well organised, lots of bodies with wire cutters to remove your chip, lots of drinks and huge boxes of bananas. Lovely fluorescent yellow tech t-shirt (great for evening runs). Great changing rooms, plenty of loos, courtesy bus back to railway station and town centre car parks. I'd recommend this one.
In short: Fast Scenic race got a PB In full: Looking at the positives the race is definitely scenic and undulating which makes it an interesting race the 2 laps around the course didn't seem too hard got a PB of 1:27:03 so can't complain about the course.Not too much support for the non -FV runners and personally for me the biggest disappointment was no medal. Date of review: November 8, 2010
In short: where is the support? In full: The race is poorly supported. When the few supporters are present they only offer encouragement to the local running club members. If you do not run for FV spartans do not expect any encouragement. No energy drink stations only water. Come in people how much does powerade cost? Sainsburys have an offer currently. When you finish all you got was a bottle of water, one banana , echinachea seeds and a technical shirt. An energy bar like previous year would be nice. Overall very poor value for money. Date of review: November 8, 2010