In full: Just read some of the other reviews and one in particular stood out about miserable marshalls. I did NOT see any of that ! This was my 31st marathon and 8th this year. I tried my hardest to get a GFA but just missed out, as did two other ladies who were just ahead of me. Not too upset tho as I got a new PB and also first in my category - I have to add that I was the only one in my category....lol. Well I loved it. Most laps I have ever done before was Kent Road Runner which was 17. This was different as not much to look at whilst getting around due to hedges but I have to say, lots of greets and chats from other runners altho I got the impression lots were there to get that PB or GFA. I had no problem with the finish line - I saw it and as I threw myself over it a lovely man came over to give me my medal and ask how I got on. I almost threw up on him but managed to hold it in, thank God ! I didn't know I'd got first in age group until I'd got home, back to Sussex. I e.mailed Anne Wilson who replied almost instantly and two days later I got my prize. Well chuffed. I will be back as it does exactly what it said on the tin...apart from 'only' being 11 and a bit laps and not twelve ! Lovely setting and weather very kind to us all this year. Well done to the winner being a lady....you don't see that too often !! Date of review: July 20, 2012
In short: Better than I had expected. In full: I am quick to jump on here and slate a race but I think it is only fair to give praise when due. I entered this race on a whim and then discovered it was a multiple lap event was a little worried. I read several reviews on here and was no reassured a great deal....but here is my angle. Enter the race but don't expect to here anything apart from conformation e mail(this is the only issue I have maybe a info pack could be sent out to confim) Multiple laps turned out to be a good way of pacing for me and the drink station being in the same place was a bonus. My partner could see me several times which is also a bonus for her as she usually waves me off and then sees me however much later when I finish. Basically give it a go....as I did you may be presently suprised...I will be back! Date of review: July 14, 2012
In short: disapointing for fast runners as multiple laps and continous overtaking take their toll on your pace. Good for frist time runners though.. In full: I was after a PB at this race given reports of a flat, fast course. The multiple laps were of interest to get the pace right and receive good split time information. On a positive note the nature of this kind of low key race means there were some positives;
- easy and close parking to the registration (although a long walk to the start from there) - quick and efficient registration - no queues for the loos! - the pre-race atmosphere was friendly and relaxing. - my supporters said the refreshments were excellent! - Its very handy having the water stop every 2.2 miles and have your own drinks available there. The water stop volunteers gave great support - a big thanks to my friends Jo and Dave who helped out there.
However there were some issues before, during and after the race.
- There were not enough marshals and most of those that were there were not as attentive or supportive as at other races. - There were chip mats but they served no purpose but to count the number of laps for the organisers as they were not positioned at the start/finish but half way around the lap. - In my case no one knew what lap i was on so i relied on my friends telling me. - I was overtaking slower runners very regularly, often four abreast across the narrow lanes, which made if difficult to take a tight line and impacted my pace, stride and the distance run. I expected this but the pre-race briefing should have warned runners about overtaking etiquette. - the finish was let down - no obvious finishing point, no atmosphere and no photographer. - Low key prize giving, even though I won the race outright (and as a female that doesn't happen often!) there was no recognition of this other than being first female.
In summary, this is a unique race with great runner camaraderie (it was great to spend time with the ultra runners too), and with a little more organisation could be improved to be a true gem of a race in the calender. Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: Loved the laps In full: The things I liked: * Commeraderie created by multiple laps...passing and being passed would generally be greeted with encouragement on both sides and by the end you had a feeling that you knew everyone! * the loyal supporters who cheered us all on 12 or 14 times! * watching Paul Martelletti (a 2.16 marathoner) motor past me on several occasions! He is a machine! * the drink station worked fine. The volunteers on that station were fantastic. The things that could be improved: * we were lucky this year with the weather, but I would be more inclined to return with an earlier start;H * I was also worried about the lap counting by the marshalls. I was pacing myself to beat a friend's time he did in the London marathon, so knew exactly how many laps I had to go. With a lap to go I was on track and told reassuringly that I had one to go, so I was relieved with that...until I was told on the next lap I still had another one to go! I stopped for a short time to debate the issue, before I was told I was ok to go on to the finish, but missed my goal by 4 seconds!! Gutted! Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: A most enjoyable small-scale marathon with a few quirky bits In full: This was my second Boddington Marathon. I had run it in 2010 and so I was confident that I knew pretty much what to expect. Did my expectations turn out to be correct?
I put my application in way back at the start of February through the Runner's World website and received an email confirmation of entry straightaway. That was fine and I didn't expect to receive anything else, either by email or by post. That was exactly what happened and so I kept an eye on the beyondthelimitations website in the weeks leading up to the event. Race instructions were duly posted and these confirmed that the arrangements would be similar to 2010. So far, so good! The first surprise was that, when I arrived at the race HQ to register on the Sunday morning, there was no record at all of my entry! Anne Wilson asked me to fill out a fresh entry form and issued me with a number. No problems, no fuss! I guess something had gone wrong with the record-keeping, but it was all resolved very smoothly.
The race instructions were reassuring, although there are one or two elements that could be improved. They continue to refer to "twelve laps" on the marathon when in fact it is a part-lap followed by eleven complete laps. Maybe that's more complicated to explain, I don't know, but it would also be a little more helpful. (You wouldn't refer to a 1500m race on track as four laps ... would you?) I suppose they wish to indicate that runners pass the timing mat at the end of each lap twelve times?
Some of the timings were a bit vague. The marathon briefing was scheduled for 10.20am, I was told on the registration desk that it would be at 10.00am and in fact it took place after 10.30am. It doesn't really matter for a small event like this, but it could be avoided. More surprising was to be told at the briefing that the race start was 11.00am! Fortunately the speaker was quickly challenged and corrected.
I had been a little worried in the week leading up to the event that it could be a hot day. I had been fortunate not to be on the start line in 2011, which was a scorcher. If the forecast this year had been for temperatures much over 20 degrees, I think I would have stayed at home. I wonder whether the organisers might look again at the idea of an early morning start? In the end, the weather turned out to be close to ideal. Very little sunshine, largely overcast, just a wind which was a bit of a headwind in the section after the timing mat, but which also had a pleasant cooling effect.
My own race went reasonably well. At the start of the year, I had planned that I would go for 3:20 and capitalise on the benefits of my VLM training. In fact, I only managed about 60 miles in each of May and June, so I knew that this was not on. I decided that there was no point putting myself under pressure and gradually slipped from 7:50 m/mi to about 8:50 m/mi for a finish time of 3:41. My slowest run for several years, but I ran through the whole thing without needing to walk a step, so that was satisfying.
I like this course. Running this many laps is a real novelty and the consistent lapping and being lapped is fascinating. It was scary how quickly (and how often) the lead runners in the marathon and the 50k came storming past. The nature of the course also has huge benefits trackside. The drinks station is always exactly where you expect it to be - and the personal drinks transportation service is great - and it was good to see supporters time after time. A special mention to Mick'n'Phil, who were, as usual, incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. Mick probably thought I was suffering heatstroke, because our brief exchanges usually consisted of him saying something, then me replying to his comment from the previous lap! The drinks station has attracted comment. I hadn't expected the individual drinks to be there on the first lap and took water. On the second lap, I did a sighting job and located one of my two bottles which I picked up on the third lap and which I gradually moved along the verge until it was on the long straight several laps later. By about lap 7, I still hadn't been able to locate my second bottle on the table. To my delight, one of the spectators waved it in front of me and I was saved! Thank you, whoever you are!
The lap counters were spot on this year and correctly gave me the "two laps", "one lap", "finish this time" calls - great! Not sure where the negative comment about marshals came from in the earlier review (and it is not explained) - I thought they were great. I tried to thank as many as possible on my final lap.
And so to the finish. It seemed fairly obvious to me where it was, but then I have been there before! Norman Wilson was there to hand me my medal (top marks for this, by the way, a nice memento) and for a quick chat before the next finisher arrived.
After-race arrangements were fine. Hot showers, a hugely under-publicised cake stall and an opportunity to sit on the lawn and exchange views. Excellent!
In summary, this event is very good. The only thing that would put me off next year would be hot weather, but it will go into the 2013 race diary as soon as the date is confirmed.
In short: I enjoyed the laps, no 'surprises' around the corner In full: Boddington House is a good setting, bring a friend with a dog. As long as you know your own pace and are not put-off by being overtaken or get 'cocky' by overtaking others then this is an excellent experience. One water station is good, take your own 'stuff' and leave it there. Friendly folk, and good support. Whilst having chip timing it is at the same time low-key. Nice medal, it is Boddington House shaped. Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: Good race if you dont mind the laps, good support on each lap In full: As my 3rd marathon, and first one which wasn’t a "big city" marathon, i really enjoyed the event. If you dont mind the laps, which for me worked well in the closing stages as i could count down how many times i had to run up the short hill, then this is a good course. The laps provide some positives, the support was good on each lap and as you knew exactly where the next drinks station was. My only gripe would be that a confirmation email before the event would have been nice as I turned up, after entering on the day hoping my online entry had been successful. Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: A PB course with the right weather In full: If you dont mind laps this is a great marathon. It was possible to have your own drinks at the water station which was good. The course was flat with a few inclines but nothing much. Was well organised although when you leave the main route at the finish I was did have to ask which way to go as the marshalls were just standing there not saying which way!! Showers and toilets were good, no long queues. I found the 11.15 start quite late as I was ready for lunch an hour in. Would definatly do this again and hope that it is less windy next time! Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: Well organised small event, worth giving it a go In full: This was my first Marathon and I thought it was a good event for this. The information online before the event was clear and concise and I thought the organisation was very good, though i do agree the finish was 'weak' ... no finish line so you were unsure if you'd 'crossed it'! The course is flat and even though you do 12 laps I thought it helped break the race down, so worked for me. Other entrants were very friendly and the support around the course was really good given the small field (max 200) - doing laps suited the supporters and us alike as you got lots of support through the event. The drinks station was good and I appreciated that you could leave your own drinks at it. T-Shirt and good medal at the finish. I would do it again, certainly as an event to go for a PB. Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: Relaxed event In full: This event was well organised, even if the organisers seemed a little laid back. The course was good, the laps were almost flat, and the marshalls counted the laps correctly in my case. The drinks station was ok, cups of high5 and water, there was provision have your own drinks transported to the drinks station and this worked well. The finish was a bit of a let down, you shouldn't have to ask for a medal, but don't let this put you off entering in the future, overall it's a good event. Date of review: July 1, 2012