In short: Quite challenging and very scenic In full: This was a tough course, especially in the hot weather (although considering some of the scorching temperatures this year we were lucky really) but I'm surprised some people on here found the elevation surprising. Firstly on Runner's World it was described as 'undulating' rather than 'flat' (always a good clue that it won't be a pb course). Secondly on the race website there is a detailed course map with the total elevation marked in the bottom left so the hills weren't a surprise for anyone who had looked at the course (I've been caught out too many times by not looking in the past!).
I do agree with some of the other comments here. There was a bit of confusion at the water stations. I was handed an empty cup at the first one and because I didn't want to stop I went without until six miles when I was pretty parched in the heat.
I too thought it may incorporate the castle at least a bit (seeing as it's called the Kimbolton 'Castle' half marathon) but the scenery was beautiful none-the same. If you want crowds throughout the route you need to run in cities - it's really one or the other with these events. Huge supportive crowds in built up areas or quiet beauty in the countryside.
The toilet situation was a bit annoying but to be fair most new events get this wrong in the first year. We all need to go in the half hour before the race so make sure there are enough loos.
I thought the threat of disqualification for littering was a bit silly. Most runners are decent people who care about their surroundings. We don't need to be threatened to do the decent thing. But it would have helped if the bins were indeed a bit further along to enable us to drink some water first.
One further gripe - and this is maybe just a personal thing - but there was no date on the medal or the ribbon. It's nice to remember when the race took place.
All in all though an enjoyable day out. The challenging nature of the course and the weather made it all the more satisfactory when I completed it. And the marshals, announcer etc were all helpful. We knew beforehand that the roads were not going to be closed so I think runners have to take it upon themselves to be vigilant. Also, great value for money and decent parking, which is far from guaranteed these days. Good luck next year. Date of review: August 19, 2013
In full: Echoing what others have said, a goodish first race for nicetri, there could have been more "runners in road" signs out along the route, considering there were no road closures, I thought the "you will be DQd if you litter" was a bit harsh (there was nothing said in the race notes about MP3 players...), and displaying the elevation at race HQ would have been nice! I also notice there were some photographers around, but nothing on the website about if and when they will be available. Incidentally, I left some feedback on the organisers' website but it appears to have not made it onto their website - I hope that's not because it was honest, constructive, but not fully complimentary feedback. It was a good chance to see where I was over the distance after a marathon I did in June, though. Date of review: August 19, 2013
In short: Good half marathon with a couple nice hills In full: I like that course and I like the weather condition during the race. Marshalling was good and the course was well marked. I dislike only 2 things that happened. First was at the register to the run. I was told I didn't receive the medal after the run coz I registered on the day of the run. If I understood properly they would send me it by post when any would have left. Second bad thing was a dirty sports cup of a bottle at water station. I was lucky I found that and I avoid maybe gastric problems. Probably I will run next year that race again. Date of review: August 18, 2013
In short: Challenging In full: A challenging course with lots of hills - very little PB potential. Organisation at the start good and friendly marshals - I didnt find any problems with navigating the course. Quality medal too. Great to have sports massage at the end with a really friendly team and at a good price too (only £5). Also good to have a food van for after if interested or for family.
Now for a couple of grumbles which to be fair can be easily rectified for next year..
Not enough toilets but too be fair this was noted by the organisers.
The water stations werent great, water could have been out ready but at times it seemed they were having trouble keeping up. I also agree with previous rater that we were told we would be removed from the race if we discarded our cups incorrectly, but the rubbish bags were too close so not enough time to drink. It was also really hot out there and feel that extra water stations should have been provided to take account for this.
Nice to have bannanas put out at the end and orange slice - though no enough of the latter. No goody bag provided....?
Not a grumble but for those that like support out on the course this was minimal, but what there was was enthusiastic. This doesnt bother me though.
Overall - would consider doing again though defo not for a PB hunt! Date of review: August 18, 2013
In short: Huge potential, but some niggles to iron out In full: I competed and completed, but everything went to pot for me after the big hill. Well done to all those that took part.
It's a promising event, but there's plenty of little bits and pieces for them to work on.
Things to look at:
Confusing situation with parking. We and others wrongly parked on the high street at first because it looked like what the marshal was indicating. Definitely needed a sign at the end of the street ushering drivers further on.
Definitely needs more toilets, which in fairness the guy manning the tannoy acknowledged. Big, big queues from half an hour before the start.
Could've used more marshals on the route. I saw at least one tired runner turn left when we were supposed to continue on. Needed someone before the second last corner on the high street too, as at first glance there was a left turn I wasn't sure we should be taking.
One of the mile markers (maybe 10 miles?) was flat on its back. It was admittedly wind at time, but particularly for those not on a GPS watch, these things need to be up and visible.
It was advertised that there would be bins after each water station, and that those littering would be DQd. There wasn't one after the first station, the bin after the second station (which had bottles) was far, far too close to the station, meaning you either had to glug quick and dump it or hang on to it for miles, and at the third station someone was walking around with a bin bag with his back to the runners on the road.
At the finish, it was great to see barrels of water and bananas. The orange segments needed to have a lid on them though - there were flies swarming all over them.
Most critical though, unless I missed it (and apologies if I did) - where was a graph of the elevation of the route? Some of those climbs were massively, massively unwelcome surprises, particularly the one around 8ish miles.
Also, if I'm really honest, it would have been nice to run a little more on the castle grounds.
Lots to be positive about though - really nice route, slick registration, plenty of parking once we arrived at the right bit, and a good finish, with a tight turn followed by a perfect length run in for a final kick. Good quality medal too.
Very nice price too. Chip timing too, which is always a bonus at the cheaper end of racing like this.
A quick nod to the announcer as well - always great to have your name called as you're running in. It's an obvious thing, but beginners really, really buzz of it.
Sort some of the niggly bits out next time, and this one can be a real gem. A very promising first outing, and I really hope it returns next year. Date of review: August 18, 2013