In short: Not for the faint hearted... In full: The help around the course was great, though on as hot a day as it was, I couldn't understand why runners didn't walk through the drinks stations to load up, especially those doing 2hrs+ like myself.
If I do this again, it will only be because the start time has changed to a sensible time. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: Dreadful organisation In full: I trained all year for this, my first half marathon. What a bitter, bitter disappointment.
In training I managed 2.18, over undulating terrain.
In the race, I struggled to do 2.45, having to walk at least 3 miles. I've spent the last 36 hours recovering from dehydration.
* Too hot. The start time is in urgent need of reviewing - just look at the number of casualties during the race. * Too hilly. I never *ever* stop and walk because I can't get going again. When I did stop, I realised that everyone round me was walking, and that they were walking faster than I was able to either walk or run! * Not enough toilets in the arena, at the start, or around the course. * Not enough drink stations, especially on such a hot day. * Water cups difficult to drink from, not big enough and unpleasant taste from whatever's been added to make it hygenic. Use bottles! * Too slow to cross start: 7 minutes from where I stood at 2hr20 area. Stage the start, like other, bigger races. * Don't delay the start: we're warmed up and ready to run. You're never going to get the race on the TV if it doesn't start on time. * No organised warmups. Just standing in the midday sun. * Don't mention exiting the car park.
Wonderul location though.
Hopefully the extent of the casualty list will encourgage the blinkered organisers to consider the runners next year. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In full: travelled from gloucester to do this one.thought it was great.only my 2nd half marathon,and i found the course very hilly and tough.the long stretch after 7 miles with the sun beating down was torture!great crowds at the finish spurred me on and i felt a real buzz finishing this one. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: Amazing scenery, great crowds, enthusiastic marshalls. In full: We parked in town and walked to the start, thus avoiding the post race parking problems, would suggest that in future having read other reviews. The start needs reviewing, proper time pens and a staggered start are required for such a large field. Once on the course the scenery is beautiful and I thought the course was fairly flat, unlike many other reviews, and did a PB. Large crowds at the finish are a great buzz. I thought there was plenty of water stations and toilets, though I thought the athletes village could have been laid out better. The medal was very nice, as was the Mars bar. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: Tough on a warm day In full: I have competed in this race on and off for more than 10 years so I know what to expect. I run it because it is a special venue but the race itself it very much designed for the charity motivated and corporate runner. That said, I did think the people helping on the course were great, very enthusiastic. Special mention to the girl with the hose. Probably saved me from passing out - I'm not kidding! Great finish through the crowds as well.
My tips to enjoy the day (for future participants)
1. Get there early - very early 2. Get to the start line in plenty of time or you are going to have to pass a lot of shufflers 3. If its sunny take something to cover your head on the start line. The start will be late - always some delay on the M3/M4/M25. 4. When you have crossed the finish line don't stop! Keep running and head straight to your car and get out of the car park - I got out in a couple of minutes (very important this one). I probably ran this section faster than any part of the course.
In short: Great scenery with changing landscape. Enjoyed the run all the way. However getting off the premises with the car did take as long as getting around the course - some room for improvement. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Run this one many times and it's often hot. Earlier start would be better. In full: Very hot this year, delayed start didn't help. Good crowds at the start/finish. Bottled water would be much better than plastic cups and a goody bag would be nice. Cadets did a great job along the route and carpark was well organised. This is my local race and I'll be back next year. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Hot, hilly and not well organised In full: What a shame the poorly planned start time,dreadful car parking, lack of toilets and too few drinks stations almost managed to spoil what should be a fantastic event.I did the Windsor triathlon this year and the organisers there did a much better job despite triathlon being 3 sports and right in the centre of Windsor. Please get the organisers to read the feedback. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Tough, hot In full: Great support from the sidelines. Should have more water stations in that heat and the parking instructions could be a lot clearer. A tough one for my first time!! Would love it if it was earlier but would still do it again. Watch out for the hills... Date of review: September 28, 2009