In short: too many bottlenecks along the route In full: Bit boring in parts (going through the Boots factory site) lots of bottlenecks, narrow paths, had my heels clipped several times and was held up by slower runners along the way. Done the half marathon over the years - best when we run through Wollaton Park Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Good but plenty of ways to improve In full: i think the rest of the reviews have covered most of what I'd say but just to reiterate, the plusses for me were: 1. great atmosphere and helpfulness of everyone I met 2. support, while thin in places, was hugely encouraging and very vocal 3. some very pretty sections 4. a nice medal 5. really effective water stations. they did a terrific job and I never had any trouble getting water.
the negatives tho: 1. that finish - for heaven's sake. there must be a better route. 2. what did happen to those kenyans? 3. mini-marathon fiasco 4. the route is dull. dull dull dull dull dull 5. the finish is a bit of a mess: the out and back bit along the river is too narrow and therefore too crowded to run fast and it is completely soul-destroying to see the finish line 100m away and have almost a mile and a half to go 6. where was the 12 mile marker? 7. quite a number of places were too narrow and i couldn't get a rhythm properly established 8. the start was odd: the warm up didn't seem to really happen in any effective way and I couldn't hear the gun going off so had no idea when we'd started!
it was fun and i met some lovely folks through the race and got excellent support from the spectators. will i be back next year? no but that doesn't mean I regret it. i had fun and it was a decent event. Date of review: October 5, 2013
In short: Great for PBs In full: Really enjoyed this race. The only downfalls was the end which seemed to go on forever, not good for a sprint finish and the fact we didnt get a T-Shirt in the goodie bag - very stingy! However, I am really glad I went and the organisation of the event was excellent. Date of review: October 4, 2013
In short: misdirecting runners, inaccurate results, daft staggered start creating a no mans land at the front In full: Wonder what happenend to the elite kenyans....think they may have been sent on a detour as they started but did not finish. Little bit like the extended mini marathon. Results are a mess. The course itself is a little insipid, with an unpleasant 2 mile dogleg on the wind tunnel of the river for the finish. A ridiculous stagger was used between 'elite' and 'sub elite' resulting in a lonely run for the majority of the front runners. The rest of the field had the opposite with overcrowding and the usual silly people starting in the wrong place and being in the way. As a positive the weather was great for a post race picnic watching people finish. There are many local non profit races through the year do them instead. Date of review: October 3, 2013
In short: Organisation leaves a lot to be desired In full: Didn't live up to its billing. Lots of small but irritating organisational blunders. For example, how can anybody fail to appreciate that having the entrance to the start pens at the front of the pen is not going to work? As soon as the first 100 people got in it became impossible for everybody else to work their way through the crowd. Every other race I know has the entrance at the back of the pen. Poorly supported race apart from at the start/finish. There were great stretches of the route without a spectator in sight. Pretty dull route too, lots of industrial estate, with a few scenic sections every so often but nothing like as many as were billed. And flat? Well not exactly mountainous but still a few slopes to be tackled. Date of review: October 1, 2013
In short: Good but should be a lot better In full: As has been said it is an incredibly dull course and does nothing for Nottingham. The old course was much better and even that didn't take in enough of Nottingham.
Support out on the course is probably half what it was on the old route due to it going to less places of civilisation and not to Wollaton Park which was always the highlight and always pulled crowds.
Also agree about the horrific last two miles where you loop back on yourself.
Organisation was good though and atmosphere at the start/finish area also excellent.
It's also expensive particularly as no t-shirt is included but it's my local race and it's still a good day out, so I'll be back next year.
Hopefully the old course will be restored one day once the current obsession with 'fast n flat' dies out. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Organisation good, but course a little dull In full: This was my first Robin Hood Half. On the positive side, the organisation was pretty good.
I think the course lets the whole thing down though. It misses out most of the scenic bits of Nottingham and all of the centre, starting and finishing on the Trent Embankment, but skirting the centre by only going as far as the train station. It then heads back out of town on a dull dual carriageway before spending some time in the Boots industrial estate(Why???). There's a fairly scenic bit around the university, before a plod along back to just missing the City centre and back to the embankment, where there's a morale-sapping loop past the finish and back. The organisation is good, and this is an established race, but they need to make the course a bit more inspiring. The full marathon course looks even worse, sending the runners out into the featureless wastes of Colwick and Holme Pierrepont from a split off point just by the final finish line. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Race village organisation was poor - signs needed In full: First 1/2 marathon so little to compare this to. Good information on the run up to the day, although directions to car parks were a little odd (there were road closures and road works but signs were in place by the road side). Toilets and facilities in the race village were poorly sign posted and not very many people were in fancy dress. The start was OK, but I couldn't hear or see the warm up at all - which is something I felt that I could have done with. The crowds were excellent, very supportive and encouraging. On route support was good. The end was soul destroying with the loop up and back on yourself. The announcer cheering everyone in was good and that was a very nice sound to hear. Lots of people in the race village which made finding anyone very difficult and it wasn't clear how to get back to the car parks after you had finished. I was looking for the "meeting point" signs (thought that they had alphabetic ones) but couldn't see them. The walk back to the park and ride was very LONG, although probably good for the legs. End rewards - shampoo satchets, car sticker (local radio station), nice medal, banana, tin foil blanket, water, lucozade, mars bar, energy bar, yoghurt bar and a very small bag of pretzels. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Without the weather - parts of the race would have been totally soul destroying! In full: There were a few minor issues on the day:
1. Mile markers were 'all over the place' and definitely not at 1 mile intervals. Also there was no mile 25 marker.
2. Far too few toilets so the panic in the queues at the start was begining to tell. Perhaps if the start of the full marathon and half marathin were staggered by 30 minutes thsi would not be an issue.
3. On the 2nd half of the marathin only 2 of the drink stations had isotonics - just when you needed them most.
4. Compared to my previous Nottingham Marathon experience the course was very bland. No Wollaston Park - isntead a run through Boots!!
Hopefully Chester will be better next week. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: better than last year, gaining pace! In full: I've done this race for years.. the new course last year was a bit of a shock; no spectators in places and not as scenic. I don't know if it was just down to knowing the course this year, but I felt the experience was a lot nicer. There seemed to be more support (even in boots), it was a lovely day and over all very enjoyable. I've even taken to the squirty water bags, good for a controlled head wetting! Date of review: September 30, 2013