In short: Well organised, great race In full: In response to Nick's (and others) gripes from autumn, here is how the race went in Janary: Race started on time, no problems there. Very clear race directions this time. Start/finish mat moved back onto the tarmac. Bananas are back, as well quite a few other biscuits etc to chose from. If you sign up in advance then your timing chip is sent to you in the post, so on race day you have nothing to do - just turn up and race. The price increase is quite big, but it's still a fairly cheap event in my opinion.
It seems any mistakes that were made earlier in the series were just a small glitch whilst they take over oranganising this race. A great 10k, would recommend it to anyone. Date of review: January 6, 2014
In full: I signed up for all 6 races so am committed to this series. However am not impressed with the lack of a safe place to leave my bag and lack of medal - both things were advertised and part of the reason I signed up. Date of review: October 8, 2013
In short: A disappointment : new organisers have much to learn In full: Agree with Holly and others - a real shame that the new organisers failed so much on their first attempt. Note that there are also reviews on this event under a different name - referring the the grand prix winter series. This seems to be the event posted by Nice Work, the new organisers - they have much to do to be worthy of their name. Date of review: October 7, 2013
In short: A Definite Turn For The Worse In full: Echoing another review, I'll summarise my gripes as briefly as possibly:
- Late start, no explanation, no lockers open at The Hub even 10 mins before scheduled 9AM gun time
- Mumbled, unclear race direction. "When finishing, faster racers may be lapping you so stick to one side". Er, and *which* side would that be?? (Only even heard this because I was near the front.)
- Start / finish mat moved off the path onto wet, slippy autumn grass? Are you serious? So people are expected to divert off the tarmac during their last sprint for the line. That'll go well come a spell more rain.
- Everyone who's run this series regularly knows that the laps are slightly different - the boating pond dog-leg is not in every lap; this is why people were looking in a perplexed manner at their Garmins at the end, wondering why they were reading long and they'd missed a PB by 10 seconds (one guy I spoke to at least).
No bananas? A small thing, but if you're going to put the price up FIFTY PERCENT (I rarely use capitals, sorry) then take things away - I question the value. Maybe it paid for all the timing chips; which are useless in an incorrectly measured race.
- Speaking of timing chips - one of the joys of this series used to be a race chip/number for the whole series, so you could just rock up and run every first Sunday. Now it's chip collect at the start, every race. Means getting up earlier and queuing, every race.
Aside from that... It's still a fun 10K to run, and having paid the full 6 race entry I'll give them a chance to sort things out in November. If there are no signs of this happening, I may be seeking a refund. Date of review: October 7, 2013
In short: New organisers: bad! In full: I've been running this series, winter and summer, for 3 years now. The winter series has just changed organiser, and, oh, I hope it gets better in November.
The price went up by 50%. For this, we got a course that was too long (this was obvious - there is a loop near the boating pond that needs to be cut off on one lap in order to make the correct distance), there was no clock, no lap timings, the pads to record times were on grass, not the path (that was kinda damp in October), the start and end was shifted 20 yards further down the established course so there was a junction of paths just as you're getting into your final sprint (dangerous). No bananas at the end as in previous races, no enthusastically yelled encouragement as we approach the finish, no clear directions about which side to run on if a finisher/doing another lap, a course director who felt it was acceptable to face away from the runners to talk to us, who mumbled through the megaphone, and who didn't bother to apologise for the late start. Yes, it was only 6 minutes or so late (and to be expected if the Hub hadn't been opened early so we could use the loos/store bags in lockers, but that's not the point).
The only thing that's keeping me going back for the next one is that I've paid for the whole series - like I usually do. Plus, they might just learn from the experience. Date of review: October 6, 2013