In short: Once every 20 years makes this special In full: Despite the poor weather conditions - cold, wet & windy - this was still seen by many as ‘one not to miss’, as it’s only held every 20 years. Rather surprisingly (for Preston), the route lived up to its description of mildly undulating, but it was largely uninspiring, although running up and down vehicle-less dual carriageways was quite novel. It also gave us the opportunity to wave and encourage one another on the turn rounds. There was a reasonable turnout of spectators who braved the disappointing weather, which provided a good, almost carnival atmosphere in the city centre - where music was blasting out - and under the road bridges. We got a good t-shirt & medal for our endeavours, plus the added bonus of bananas!
In short: Amazing atmosphere and fantastic marshals despite the awful weather In full: I didn't know what to expect as this was my first HM (having done a few 10ks) and the weather was awful. The organisation beforehand was excellent, although I would have rather have paid a couple of pounds more and had my race pack posted out. Free parking was a nice touch, although I didn't use it as there was plenty of free on street parking. I was able to leave bags easily in the guild hall (and picked them up very quickly at the end) and the race started on time. The atmosphere was great all the way round and there seemed a nice number of runners- there was plenty of people about but there weren't any problems overtaking or anything. The marshals were very encouraging as we went passed and there were plenty of water stations. It was unfortunate that the distance was slightly wrong, but hats off to the organisers for being so transparent and apologetic about it. My only slight gripe was at the end it was very cold and I really struggled to find someone to get a foil blanket from which I needed, and a few people asked me where I'd got it from so obviously others were in a similar position. But I was then able to sit in the Guild hall and have a cup of tea to warm up and there were changing and shower facilities. I would definitely do it again if it was repeated. Date of review: November 3, 2012
In short: Well organised - shame about the weather (and length of course) In full: Yes, my watch read 9m just short of 0.2m of the 9 mile marker (probably didn't help seeing a couple of painted notes in the road showing turnaround point between miles 8-9 which didn't happen where marked). Therefore, course @ 13.3m. For some (as in case of my sister), it would have been a PB.
However, well done to those who marshalled and for those that supported. The weather was awful and it does give us runners a boost to have support. Preferred collecting t-shirt beforehand, saves congestion at end. The course was undulating in places but ok. Plenty of water stations. Nice medal. All in all, not that bad. Date of review: November 1, 2012
In short: Great race, awful weather! In full: A huge thank you to the marshals and spectators who stood in the cold, wind and pouring rain all day! The organisation at the start of this race was excellent and the free car parking was very welcome. The Guild hall provided everything we needed including changing rooms ( perfect at the end when we were soaking and could get changed into dry clothes quickly), water, baggage area, number pick up and most of all a nice warm, dry area to wait until the start of the race. The Guild staff were very friendly and were able to assist with any directions and questions. There were plenty of water stops and the choice of caffeine or non-caffeine gels was a nice touch. There were a couple of niggles on the course. There were points were the slower runners were in danger of head on collisions with the faster runners, with marshals telling us to keep left, then right but I appreciate it must have been difficult to organise both the marathon and half marathon routes. My other slight niggle was that my Garmin was on par with the marathon mile signs and not the half marathon signs so it showed 13.26 miles at the end. Otherwise a very well organised, friendly race that was reasonably flat, nothing too hilly. An enjoyable race, despite the awful weather conditions. Date of review: October 30, 2012
In short: Very, very good for a first time race In full: OK, a few strange crossovers for front and back runners but otherwise fabulous organisation. Registration, parking, baggage and those poor marshals standing out in the cold rain for hours - all first class. No, it's not too scenic but even in that dreadful weather there was a great atmosphere. Date of review: October 29, 2012
In short: Could and should have been so much better In full: Crowd support on a terrible day was amazing.
Don't like having to go day before to get number for a half, route is dull and doesn't show Preston at its best, twice on the half the field had to run across the back/front markers and to cap it all due to a cock up the switch back at 8.5 miles was extended incorrectly and the course was long!!!! Date of review: October 29, 2012
In short: Well done and thanks to the organisers and marshals. In full: First thanks to the marshals for giving up their time on this rather wet day. Thanks also go to the organisers for making this happen and the spectators for their support.
It's a great idea to run a half-marathon, which I did, and a full marathon, at the same time. I don't live in the area but I gather there isn't a Preston marathon or half-marathon. Perhaps this will inspire people to organise one more frequently.
I expect it took a lot of organising to get the roads closed for the races. Personally I'm not a big fan of this sort of double out and back route, as I prefer a loop. I do agree loops are harder to organise, though. Also using big roads as these races did was useful on a wet day like yesterday, as they drained pretty well and were quite level.
Well done Preston! Date of review: October 29, 2012