In short: my first 1/2 so a PB. Would have been dead chuffed with my time if it wasn't for Rumwell hill In full: Start was too congested, but soon spread out. great crowds on the way round. from 10 miles on it was a chore- main road and hills. glad i didn't have to go round twice though. not sure what to do with my sponge. Apologies to the lady who I leapt in front of trying to retrieve the top of my water bottle at the 7 mile mark Date of review: April 3, 2007
In short: An event of two halves... In full: In my second year of running and now completed quiet a few Half marathons, I love 'em!
However, I am not one to complain and always like to praise but feel the need to do both.
POSITIVES - Very nice course, has got PB potential and I only missed mine by 27 seconds!, lots of marshals on the course and the second best crowd along the way (the winner still being The Great West Run), but there were far more people along the course than many other greater populated races so this is full credit to the locals, SCAT as a venue is excellent, the course well thought out and nice to have a hill or two but Rumwell Hill robbed me of the vital seconds I needed to get my PB, loads of facilities at the start with take away food for spectators, red bull for the runners (free too!), bouyany man on the tanoy and thankfully chip timing which was requested alot following the feedback left after last year. I will be back.
NEGATIVES - or more like area's of improvements as there is nothing here that can't be rectified. Bag store was a complete joke and very very very infurating 30 minutes before the start of the race and two people trying to put bags from six well stacked lines of runners anxiousley checking there watches was ludacrous and it took me 20 minutes yes 20 minutes to deposit my bag. i was at the event in plenty of time and lost anytime I had to warm up. The start was chaos with no room to get onto the road for the start. Yes with chip timing it doesn't matter but what is important here is that people were in the wrong time zones and soemone could easily of tripped over as there were people pushing to try and get in. There were a few mentions of the start having to be moved because of radio interference but it was in the little lay-by last year and it appears it was going to be moved from what was said at the start. Next year close a few lanes of the large main road and get big time zone signs so people can get in them. The above two factors were the worst i have ever seen and any karma before the race was lost by people dashing from the bag store and trying to squeeze into the start. if someone had of tripped at the start chaos would of been the insued. With so many marshalls and helpers why were there only two at the bag store for 2,000 runners potentially? Why was the start in such a small area? I and many others could be heard complaining and this should not be what people rememebr this otherwise superb race for. i am only mentioning it to help improvements next year.
With these two main changes this race will be truly a great one and up there to rival The Great West Run which comes around next month.
Nice medal and t-shirt and the weather was superb.
In short: Superb event with an excellent atmosphere In full: OK, so the start was a bit crowded - but with chip timing this didn't matter, and the roads in the first mile are wide enough to allow the field to stretch out without any slowing or congestion - no surprise that the first mile was almost my fastest, when it usually is the slowest. Brilliant scenery, nice undulating course with a great view towards the finish as you crest the top of Stonegallows hill. My timing chip was eaten by the Royal Mail sorting machines, but the race team were well on top with a replacement chip ready to pick up on the day - this is typical of the excellent organisation of this event. The locals were out in force - even right out in the sticks between Oake and Bradford. Super atmosphere. Definitely worth the 200 mile journey to Somerset. Date of review: April 3, 2007
In short: A couple of big hills but pretty good chance of a pb In full: You've got to get energy drinks on this course, or somewhere to buy them at the start. I got caught out by this but still ran a PB, so just think how much quicker I could have gone with energy!! Great marshalls who had a difficult job at some of the road junctions. The marshalls at the drinks stations were very supportive. Had a problem finding the showers though perhaps a few more signs around SCAT would help. Well done though see you next year. Date of review: April 2, 2007
In short: A race of two halfs! In full: First lap friendly and lots of spectators, second lap much quieter, where you need to dig in a bit. Sapping wind for the last few miles. I got a pb though!! This is my local race, and one I am pretty proud of. The organisation is good, the stewards friendly, and the helpers (my eldest daughter being one of them) were fantastic. Downsides - the start was a bit crowded but with timing chips this wasn't really an issue, and once over the line the flow was pretty good (unlike the Bristol half). No energy drinks. I take my own as I am aware of this, but other runners may not realise. Overall a good, fairly quick and very friendly race. Well done again, Taunton. Date of review: April 2, 2007
In short: More undulating than flat; well marshalled; good support from locals In full: Start was unnecessarily crowded, with half & full mara runners all bunched into a layby and funnelled thru a narrow start gate, when all this is right next to a wide main road that surely could be closed to traffic for a couple of hours on a Sunday? Starting pens were also invisible, so too many slower runners too near the front (no "power walkers" thankfully), but the wide roads helped with passing. Lots of gentle inclines & declines in the first 6m, then a 1m+ gradual descent from the Oake turn down to Bradford-on-Tone, where there's a nasty switch to a quick ascent thru the village (lots of great support here). Traffic is heavy on A38, and the ascent at Rumwell is deceptively longer and steeper then it looks; or at least it feels that way. Water stations (cups) well organised, but I have no idea what the sponge stations are for; organisers should drop these and use the volunteers to man the baggage store, which was under-resourced. Also can't see why anyone would want RedBull at the end of a race. Changing facilities very good with hot showers. All toilets are inside the college buildings, so expect long queues, even for gents. Good value, good atmos, lots of local charities with large teams in main events and fun runs. Not the best ever course for a PB, but a good run overall. Date of review: April 2, 2007
In short: Nice day out! In full: A two lap event with a hill or two! The second lap can get lonely and can be a challenge. Excellent changing facilities, chip times, medal and t-shirt. Great finish and start area. Shame that there is only water for the fueling points. What happened to all the redbull? Did it get drunk by the half runners? And please move the burger van away from the finish point. The smell of greasy food at the finish is no good for the knackered runner!! No big moans, a good event and worth the money. Nice to have a hot shower at the end. +++++ Date of review: April 1, 2007