In short: A nice way to end the racing season In full: I was looking forward to this race and it didn’t let me down. The morning was chilly, but that’s how I like them to start with. It was unfortunate that it had rained for several days before as this made the path a little slippy, especially in the last third, but that adds to the challenge. Plenty of places to pass, no problem with the water stops or even the “threatened” angling competition (I think the fish had frightened them away). The marshalling was fantastic, no chance of getting lost and I though the nice lady by the first bridge after the start who gave us a smile on the way through set the tone nicely (thx Di). The mile markers were pretty spot on, which is always appreciated.
Bananas, water and a medal at the end were all in order. However, special mention for the massage tent with Thames Valley U which was extremely welcoming and very professional. A donation was asked for, no problem there. Best post-race massage I’d had in a very long time.
On the organizer's side, I can see that some people felt a bit aggrieved with the baggage/transport situation. I'm sure the organizers will do their upmost to ensure that doesn’t happen again (and maybe a few rolls of bin bags on emergency standby just in case). I was more concerned about the toilet queues - longest I'd seen in quite a while (I was directed to a local café but he made it clear he didn’t want runners in there). A bit more work needed there I think.
I’ll definitely be there next year, if only to try the course in reverse, downhill!!
In short: Great route but slippery and muddy adding new challenge In full: This was my second HM this year and compared to the road race this one was definitely harder - I did not achieve to beat my time from the last time - but I contribute this to the up hill finish as well as the muddy route which made it difficult to have a grip from time to time .... I have run parts of this route in summer and it is definitely "easier" without the mud ....
Loved the relaxed atmosphere and am planning to run it again next year just to see if I can beat my time from this year!
In full: Why did I sign up to run along a tow path for 13.1 miles which linked one dull commuter town to another? Quite a few casualties as they slipped on the fallen leaves/slippery path. This route would be so much better in summer months.
Not much of a view to distract you, mind you you had to watch your footing all the time and the guy ropes of the moored houseboats, otherwise you would have fallen into the canal!
Nice atmosphere at the end, shame about the start. Not one I'd do again. Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: Nice easy 1/2 Marathon In full: I'm going to join in the complaints about the lack of toilets but it's a common gripe about most races. I queued for 20mins having arrived an hour before the start so 6 loos were far from enough. The race is pretty much what you would expect from 13 miles on the towpath. If you don't like muddy, slippery surfaces then don't enter off road races in November DOH! Probably not one I'll do again but I only did it this time as part of my 2009 new years resolution of running one 1/2 marathon a month for a year... so on to Bedford in December then job done! Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: very enjoyable run- would recommend In full: This was my first hm and first time on this run. I thought it was a very good course, and you can't complain about a bit of mudiness when you're running on a towpath in Nov! only real gripe would be the toilet situation which needs addressing. 6 toilets for 400 people doesnt cut it i'm afraid! queued 10 mins nearly an hour pre race, and the queue got significantly longer. Late baggage van was unfortunate but Im sure was a one off. Overall well organised and very friendly marshalls + water stations. Will be back! Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: An enjoyable scenic run, just a shame about the baggage delay at end In full: A lot of people have complained about the course being muddy and slippery but to be honest I was expecting this as it's a run by water in November! Overall I enjoyed the event. The coach organisation at the beginning was excellent, the marshals were great, water stations were frequent so my only gripes were: i)standing at the end for a good 20mins waiting for my kit to arrive in just a vest top - I was freezing! and ii) not enough loos - queued for 18mins as was timing it. Despite this I would still do it again. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Another great Purple Patch race In full: Fair shout about having to wait for the baggage but some of these other comments are madness. If every body waits until the very last minute to drop their bag or go to the toilet then of course there are going to be queues and yes in November running along a tow path there is going to be a little mud. I have done numerous PP events and they are always well organised. Had a great run, fantastic scenery, good cheery marshals, and a mention on the tannoy as I crossed the line - no PB but will be back next year. Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Lovely run, doubtful organisation In full: I loved the run along the towpath. Although I accept the conditions may not to be everyone's liking, they were just what I'd expect from the canal path in November. Scenery lovely, runners friendly, marshalls and water stations great, weather better than it might have been. Just a shame that the organisation from the obviously committed and friendly Purple people was a bit gappy. they must have known how many runners were turning up, so they should shoulder some of the blame for the lack of toilets and terrible baggage check-in system. The real shame was, having run a great race and really enjoyed the camaraderie at the end, we all got very chilled waiting for the van filled with our fleeces. There was no communication about the delay from the organisers and I was left feeling very let-down. Which was a shame. Date of review: November 9, 2009