In short: great support from marshalls and locals although ran out of T-shirts In full: Yet again very organised and friendly race. Great atmosphere and random entertainment along the way. Dissapointing for the slower runners (like me) as they ran out of large T-shirts and ignorants walking out in front of me as i was coming into the stadium at the end, (could do with some marshalls placed in that area maybe?) but i didn't let it spoil a fab day. Date of review: May 5, 2009
In short: Superlative organisation... again! In full: Very easy to sum up this race...
Organisation is superb, faultless.
Crowd support is (as always) excellent, rain or shine the streets are lined with people.
PB potential, er not a chance!
T-shirt was the best this event has produced (last years was shocking!).
The sell out of the race itself shows the huge support this race. The long term future of the race is in doubt and the high entry price reflects the cost of organising this race to such a high standard. You get what you pay for and this event is worth every penny so lets hope it is here for many more years to come.
Thanks to all the marshalls, awesome! Date of review: May 4, 2009
In short: Slopes, inclines and undulations. In full: I was surprised how little advance publicity there was for this event, especially as it is titled "The Great West Run". That phrase puts one in mind of the Great North Run and The Great South Run, so it suggests lots of prestige and national coverage, but the organisers of this event seem quite happy to carry on without all that. In fact, I see from the website that there has been some doubt about whether it would even continue beyond this, its twenty-fifth anniversary year. Regardless of all that, the event was a sell-out and attracted entries for the 3,000 places on offer well in advance of the day.
So, what did I think of it? In summary, this is a really nice city-centre event with excellent organisation and a pleasant atmosphere. (Another one that the Race Director of the Bath Half really should come and observe and learn from. I’ll try to stop banging on about him in my reviews from now on, I promise!)
The course consists of an initial four-mile loop away from the city, then two laps of a city-centre route, much of which is out-and-back along a single road. This helped to condense the support and gave the impression of some really sizeable crowds, which added to the atmosphere.
Here are ten random really nice features that made my day: - the band of pipers piping in Southernhay - the cheering majorettes outside Debenhams - the cheerful Sea Scouts wishing me luck as I drove into the car park - the friendly chaps running the baggage drop who spotted my number before I even got into the hall and had my bag ready and waiting (I hope you coped with the rush when it came!) - the "spot prizes" being handed out by the Ironbridge Runners - the twice out-and-back course (Who were those two other Westbury Harriers? We cheered each other on every time we passed each other going in opposite directions.) - the section through the new shopping centre, which had all the "big race" feel of the Canary Wharf section of the London Marathon - the stadium finish - the crowds, who were brilliant - the plentiful drinks and sponging stations
Well done, Exeter! The pre-race information was sent in good time and was helpful – direction-finding to the car parking area was no problem. There was quite a small race HQ, so I guess we were fortunate that it stayed dry. Well organised start area and start pens. Good marshalling throughout. Well laid out finish area – get the medal first, then on to drinks and bananas (a nice touch), pick up the goody bag and into the de-chipping zone, then pick up a sized T-shirt – all flowed smoothly and without hassle.
So, would I return? Well, the one drawback for me, chasing a fast time, was the large number of slopes, inclines and undulations. A lot of this race was about gritting the teeth and digging in, and looking forward to the next downhill section. Running along Pinhoe Road, for example, there was point where St John’s Road and Thurlow Road (I think) cross it right at the top of a hill. It was a little demoralising to get there and to think "three more visits to this point before I finish". None of the hills were steep, there were just lots of them! I found this quite challenging, but have to say that, had I not been chasing a PB, none of that would have mattered. If you want to run a PB, this probably isn’t the course for you, but if not, it must be highly recommended.
In short: Organised well and decent course In full: Dispite the 2 laps it was great to have good support especially up the High Street. Seemed to be well organised. My first Half M distance and I look forward to a better time next year. Date of review: July 2, 2006
In short: New course, very poor replacement for old course In full: Totally uninspiring. Chaotic for lead runners, probably too hard for beginners, totally uninspiring for the rest of us. Organisers did their best with a poor course. Ran old course three times, if they stick with this course I won't be back. This is supported by the lack of strength in depth amongst entrants for this event. A couple of years ago I was 4 minutes quicker but finsihed 400 places lower. Date of review: May 7, 2006
In short: Great atmosphere with bands and an incredible crowd. To see the front runners made the laps certainly very worthwile! In full: Despite losing my husband before the start and running on my own it was a great race. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere - it was great to be cheered on by such a big crowd. This is probably why I got a PB... The hills were a bit of a challenge, but being used to steeper ones in North Devon, they were very managable.
Only downside was the missing sign at the M5 exit of junction 30, which should have been very easy to find according to the race instructions. Date of review: May 5, 2006
In short: First time but going again In full: Living in Exeter meant I knew about the 'undulating' hills having practiced them in training. The crowd support was great I didn't mind the repeated lap but agree more could be made of the other more picturesque areas of Exeter such as around the Cathedral and Quay although the Quay would mean another hill. Well organised, baggage bit was easy, plenty of loos, very welcoming ... I'll be back again just for the banana at the finish and key ring and pen found at the bottom of my t-shirt bag ... too easily pleased Date of review: May 3, 2006