In short: good alternative to london for the experienced runner In full: started threee rows back from the front so no delay for me, just had to run a 6 min 1st mile to avoid looking silly! then 7 minute miles. The only thing I have to add to all the comments that has not already been stated regards the announcer! BBC 1950's, wouldn't be stratford without the fellow. Date of review: May 7, 2006
In short: Excellent small-town marathon In full: Not getting in to London, I wanted to find a marathon with a reasonable size field for my first attempt.
This is a good small-time race. Not quite the atmosphere of a big-city half or full, but some good, enthusiastic support all the way round both laps. Enough people in the Marathon field not to feel too lonely.
Water stations every two miles, with the one at 2/13 miles serving it in bottles. No sports drinks, but as pointed out elsewhere, it is rarely the organisers that pay for the drinks, but the sponsors, which is why you only tend to get them at big events. Part of the challenge of the marathon is planning how to get carry your nutrition with you.
The course certainly isn't hilly, but there is a reasonably longish hill at 7/17 miles that doesn't seem bad the first time, but bites the second time.
Yes, the start is a bit congested, but not too bad. If you don't want to be delayed, get to the front. There is no banding according to time, but hey, when does THAT ever work!
Nice medal, no free T-shirt, but I picked up a nice one for a tenner (I likes my souvenirs).
I'd certainly recommend this to somebody looking for a spring marathon that isn't London.
In short: well organised, plenty of water & loos en-route, silly cut-off time at mile 12! In full: Good things: - lots of water stations - mile markers were clear - friendly encouraging marshals
Not so good: - a 2hr 15 cut-off at mile 11.8....but an overall 6hr limit. Means the first half has to be pushed if you (like me) are a plodder - start very congested - maybe send the marathon runners off first? Date of review: May 7, 2006