In short: Tough course , nice crowd In full: I was glad to see this on the calendar as it is quite local for me as I live in Leighton Buzzard. Communication with the organisers was great leading up to the race with plenty of info and instructions via email. The race was organised partly by Stopsley Striders and the atmosphere pre-race was good . The gathering at the Leisure Centre was organised and it was easy to collect your chip and number and there was free massages available before and after the race. The race start was cramped and should be changed for next year. I enjoyed the route , a mix of urban and scenic - I wish we could have spent more time around Luton Hoo as the next 8 miles was mainly moderate hill climbs . Water stops with cups were frequent and the volunteers were excellent and knew what they were doing. Full marks to the people who came out to support the runners. No marks to the ignorant morons in cars who were arguing with the marshalls at the road blocks - really out of order and i felt for those people who had given their time to manage the roads but got abuse for it . The finish involved another climb in the the last 400 metres which was annoying , and then a run one way and back in the town centre. The finish wasa let down with no banner etc , but I have learned that they took this down before hand because of the strong winds. Poor goody bag - neat medal. Shuttle bus takes you back to the start . I would consider this again if they altered the course to put in more flat sections. I got a PB but it was challenging ! Date of review: November 3, 2013
In short: Good idea, but problems because not organised by runners In full: A really well intentioned race, with ambitious road closures and good pre-race information.
I quite liked the course. In terms of an urban race, I thought it was better than the first half of London (for instance).
But so much not thought through. The start was far too narrow and I hate to think what might have happened if there was a larger entry - so if it's run again with more runners that definitely needs to change.
There were plenty of marshals, but little encouragement or directions given. The last mile was a lucky dip as far as directions were concerned.
I thought the finish was poorly placed and the PA was a pain. A finish in say Wardown Park would surely have worked better.
So, next year, a different start and a different finish and try and get more runners marshaling, or at least brief them better. Also get more people involved who have experience of organising running events. Date of review: October 31, 2013
In short: Local race for me - tried hard to like but........ In full: All in all agree with a lot of the comments - tried hard to like but many (too many?) glitches? - the worst was the ignorant drivers giving the marshalls angry verbal harassment and not understanding what a "closed road sign meant". I have marshalled myself and really feel for those people. As has been said a route needing the closure of 200 roads for the first event was maybe too ambitious. Start was a bit strange and the finish was bizarre . Postive was the support on the course but the shocking behaviour of some of the motorists lived up to the negative stereotypes that Luton has. Date of review: October 28, 2013
In short: Good effort for 1st running of race, a few easy to address issues In full: Apart from the start being very cramped, I enjoyed the race, plenty of Marshall's on the course, most of whom were encouraging. Yes cars did get onto the course, but how many people would stand in front of a car driving at them. The advance warning signs along the route in the week prior to the race could've been more apparent, putting an a4 piece of laminated paper with tiny writing on various lamposts on the course isn't much of a warning to road users. Good medal and goody bag, but agree it wasn't obvious as to where you got them from. Date of review: October 28, 2013
In short: Great race.. In full: I really enjoyed the race, I was in the lead pack the whole race. I knew the race finished at the town hall, so I started my finishing sprint outside the liquid/chicago's night club - only to find I had to run the length of the whole of the Arndale centre and back again! Although I should have looked at the route better, looked at my garmin or realised I'd not long run past the 12 mile marker!
Otherwise I thought the marshalls did a good job in difficult circumstances. I didn't expect it to be 100% traffic free, this isn't the London Marathon so the whole route didn't have barriers..
The lead bike was very helpful the whole way round and there was some good support on course.
Luton is hilly, so the only way to have a flat traffic free course would be a small course with several laps...
I know other races where they have to hold traffic have the police do it (like the Flitwick 10k on the Flitwick to Woburn road).
Thanks for a good first event, I hope you do the same next year.. Date of review: October 28, 2013
In full: I feel these comments are harsh - the excellent Marshalls did their best against hideous behaviour by motorists...parking, toilets and drink stations all excellent and finish made for a great atmosphere compared to many of the much more expensive races I have done..It is their first year and yes there was need for a finish marker ideally over the road but well done for all the organisers hard work. Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: A good idea. Well intentioned, but rubbish organisation. In full: Good idea to get Luton on the map. Whilst the organisers worked hard, and the emails etc were all good, not sure that any experienced race organisers had been involved in the management, layout or details of the course. The course was contrived and much better use could have been made of Luton Hoo, rather than just running out and back. The course was not helped by the winds down Icknield Way. However, the design of the start (rubbish) was only topped (bottomed?) by that dreadful finish, up the short hill, out up the pedestrian high street and then back the same way, without any sense of how far away the finish was, which was entirely unremarkable and almost hidden from view until you almost tripped over the timing mats. The finishing area was equally dire, despite the best intentions of those helping. Traffic on the course was verging on dangerous and whilst I was very impressed with the sheer number of marshals not too many seemed to be fully engaged and some did not know the route or the area (as reported by my supporter). Overall, a disappointing race. I am sure that next year will be much better, but the start and finish need real change. Sadly, despite achieving a PB, against the odds, I will not be there to find out; once bitten, twice shy. Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: New race with small problems but overall good In full: A big thank you to all the marshalls who were encouraging and enthusastic. Even in the face of very agressive motorists with no patience they did their best. special mention to the little girl at the 12 mile point whose desire to get the water to runners and smile picked you up for the last mile. Good course though challenging. Plenty of water stations and good encouragement from the crowds. The worst parts were the beginning and the end. Cramped unmarked start in the park. The end in town was unexpected and poorly managed with shoppers just walking across the course oblivious to the runners and poorly marked out finish. Small issues easily corrected. The shuttle bus wasn't marked but easy to find and quick. Overall well run with lessons to be learnt. Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: Not just bad but dangerous due to the amount of cars on the course In full: Positives - well informed with regular emails from the organisers in the lead up to the event. Free massages pre and post race. What support there was out on the course tended to be vocal
And that was it. This event was an absolute joke.
No signage at the HQ as to where to go. No signage from the HQ to the start. Nothing to indicate where you should start in relation to time.
Headphones. The last email (Thursday) said strongly advised not to use them. Nothing at the HQ suggesting this had changed. Announcer at the start stating that anyone using them would be disqualified. Not surprisingly many people ignored this.
It was supposed to be closed roads yet there were literally dozens of cars on the course. Some respected the runners others didn't. I saw motorists ignore marshalls instructions and forcing their way on to the course. Other marshalls appeared to give up and let the motorists do what they wanted. It was dangerous and I was mid field so can only suspect that it got worse.
The finish weaved through the main square in Luton Town Centre. It was poorly roped off and shoppers were oblivious to the runners. there were bollards to weave around and no obvious finish line - just timing mats. People were stopping immediately after and there was no finish funnel and I couldn't find the goody bags and drinks as they were obscured by people milling around.
Coach back to the finish. No signs to find it. Unbelievably it went along a narrow section of course amongst runners. pre race notes said runners would get priority yet the one I was on had friends and family while runners were left at the road side.
I'm led to believe there was a post race presentation at the HQ but didn't go as no one knew where it was!
This race was shockingly organised and while some could be see as glitches I will never go back simply because the road closures were so badly enforced, Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: A new race. Organisers kept runners well informed in the run up to it. In full: There's not many road races within a busy town where you will get full run of the roads for £20/£23. Yes there was the odd car that slipped through but what can the marshals do if someone decides to pull off their drive? Fairly challenging course in very blustery conditions made for a tough run but good support on course & at the finish. Well done LoveLuton. Date of review: October 27, 2013