In short: Serious PB Potential In full: Probably the most beautiful half marathon in the UK. The views of the lake and the small waterfalls dropping into the lake were gorgeous.
Small steady incline up to the dam in the first mile, not that noticeable really and super speedy when you come back through from mile 12-13. The route is all on roads lined by trees on the first half so totally shaded, a little more exposed on the second half. If its sunny this could cost you. Nice touch was having water in bottles at the three water stops. I had a cracking race and will definitely be back next year to see if I can PB, as the course is almost as flat as you can get between miles 1 and 12.
The only thing that can be improved is the start. I believe chip timing would take away 90% of the issues at the start because regardless of whether your running 1:20 or 2:20, there will always be some people who aren't prepared to have time added on by having to wait to get to the line after the gun goes. Chip timing would take this away and I am sure most people would happily pay a few extra quid for chip timing. The expected finishing times should be high up on the fence so that short people can see them when the start area is full, I couldn't see where they were until my other half pointed them out. If chip timing was introduced a barrier could be placed down the lefthandside creating a very small walkway allowing people to get into their correct pens just before the start. This would make the start slightly narrower and slower but then as it would widen out as you crossed the line everyone would start to flow straight onto the course but this system would only be an advantage with chip timing.
This is definitely a fantastic event, with great organisation, wonderful scenery and a real chance of bagging yourself a PB. I have scored this as elitey because there are a lot of very quick club runners, the atmosphere was great and everybody was very friendly, but if you are a beginner looking for a GNR Fun Run type event this may not be the one for you!!! Date of review: September 12, 2012
In short: A good fast course and very pretty too! In full: A fast flat course after the first uphill mile to the dam, with a downhill finish. A race this size with a fairly narrow start would really benefit from chip timing. As a 2.10 runner I made sure I started in the correct pen and it took 2 minutes to cross the start line which would have scuppered any PB attempt. Overtook quite a few people in the first half of the race suggesting lots had started in the wrong area. The signs for the start pens need to be bigger please. Other than that accurate mile markers,plenty of water stations, enough toilets and a T-shirt and medal too. Thaks and well done to all the volunteers involved for giving us a great day out. Date of review: September 12, 2012
In short: As flat as you're ever going to get In full: Second time running this race and despite it being such a warm day I thoroughly enjoyed it and ran a surprsingly good time. Apart from being pancake-flat (or as close as a half-marathon is ever going to get to it in the UK) they had BOTTLED WATER at the water stations! Other organisers take note, runners can't drink from paper cups! Organistaion of the car parks was excellent and toilet queues were not too bad. Only minor gripe was the start and the rather obscure starting pen signs. This needs to be policed more effectively as such a narrow start can be rendered lethal by selfish, thoughtless people starting too close to the front. Sure enough, one poor guy took a tumble leading to a nasty gash on his head. Hope he was OK. Date of review: September 12, 2012
In short: Really enjoyable and fast course In full: I really enjoyed this Race, it was the 5th time I've entered, but the first time that I've actually managed to get there.
The only thing I would change is the Start ~ that road is too narrow for that amount of runners, also with people having to go through the start to get to their "timing pen" they were just stopping by the Start line, so there were an awful lot of slow runners too close to the start. I was surprised to only see 1 guy take a fall... Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: What can I say that I haven't already said about this. There really is nothing that I can fault. Beautiful course, charming atmosphere and it runs like clockwork. Doug will be looking down with pride Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: My third time at this half marathon and have loved it every time! In full: This a great run- a short climb up to the dam, flat all the way around the very scenic lake and downhill to the finish. Perfect. Excellent organisation,everyone very friendly, a great medal and t shirt, hot shower and a picnic on the grass. What a wonderful day! Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: My favourite half marathon In full: I love this race. Yes, there is no chip timing and the start can be a bit chaotic, but the scenery is wonderful, the course almost flat (except the run up to the dam), and the organisers and locals are so friendly that you feel like you've been involved in something special.
The website clearly says that it is not a commercial, great north type event, but you come away with a nice medal, decent tee shirt, and the satisfaction of completing one of the most beautiful half marathons around. Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: Fantastic scenery fantastic organisation A definite must for next year! In full: What a fantastic half marathon - flat as flat could be scenery amazing a definite must for next. Bear in mind there is no crowd support so it is a mentally challenging run but the crowd at the finish are just what you need. Only downside was the drink stations - could of done with one at mile 9 instead of 10 and another at about 12 otherwise cannot fault this race or its organisation! Well done! Date of review: September 9, 2012