In short: Weather and 10-11mile hill determine how fast you go In full: Whether this is a PB race or not depends on the how you cope with the weather and how well you can run the hill between miles 10 and 11. This year was much hotter than the forecast suggested - tights definitely a bad call as most of the course is unshaded... There were lots of water stations to help BUT all with plastic cups - near useless when you're running. Small 'half' bottles would be far better - something I'd quite happily pay more entry fee for.
The first half of the course is undeniably FAST; lots of near-flat sections on well-surfaced roads sprinkled with a few very mild inclines and a few slightly steeper downhill stretches. If you like to race through scenic countryside then this is swell - flowing fields and picturesque hamlets with oodles of local folk outside their houses encouraging you on. Mile markers are well placed.
The second half of the race is similar to the first, except with the addition of two far more significant hills. The first is fairly short; the second, steeper, longer and later. Train for it. How well you take this hill will decide how close to your PB you get.
Besides the race itself this was an adequately run event - with the potential for greatness. The base at the Water Park is lovely, with extremely well marshaled parking. Everything else is a bit of a mystery and not particularly friendly for first-timers or runners coming alone; I don't THINK there was any baggage storage (at least there were no signs anywhere and it was unadvertised in the publicity) - are you just supposed to carry your car keys around the race with you?! - the toilets were fairly few, but there was a well picked cluster of tents housing a physio and kit for sale.
Post race Mars bar and banana were welcome treats but although the t-shirt was a nice shade of blue and a nice touch with all entrants name on the back it was just that - nice. I mean how many t-shirts can you actually wear?! A medal would be more meaningful, unique and longer lasting.
Thank you all who organized. Date of review: May 11, 2010
In short: Well organised quick race In full: Parking excellent, race slow for first few miles. Definite PB potential, great weather. Lots for family to do in the water park. Will be back next year without doubt and hopefully will run a bit quicker!! Date of review: May 15, 2009
In short: Quick and undulating In full: Very well organised and the course was fast. A few ups and downs but nothing major, a few people moaned about a hill at 10miles but it's not a bad hill it's just gets a mention as it's the biggest on the course and also at 10 miles so people focus on it. To me it is a great PB course and I cut 5mins off mine.
I only have 2 comments to improve this run. Drinking from a cup is near impossible when running, if it costs a little extra for bottles on drink stations then add a couple of £'s to the entry fee as it's still a bargin price and I for one would be willing to pay the extra as it's worth it especially when hot.
2nd, unfortuantly this one I don't think the organisers can do anything about but it's food for thought for the runners wanting to get a good time. The lanes at the start are very narrow and there's a lot of slower runners going to the front and ignoring the positioning signs for expected finishing. They then start with a mild jog which clogs up the narrow start for the people wanting to run a good time. Not sure how this can be solved as it's up to the runner to be honest about their finishing times and starting the right section. Date of review: May 15, 2009
In short: Worth the trip from Somerset In full: Great HQ at the Water Park. Congested lanes to begin but otherwise fine, testing route. Good support. Easy egress at the end. Well done Hinckley. Hope the female runner who 'spiked' her Mini on the wooden stake managed to free her car Date of review: May 13, 2009
In short: Picturesque run In full: I thoroughly enjoyed running round the undulating Midlands' countryside. Five water stations, chip timing and plenty for family and friends to do while waiting for me to finish all added to the attraction. Date of review: May 13, 2009