In short: Loved it, got the sub 2hr I was after In full: This was my final run for the year and I absolutely loved it. The course was mostly scenic running along the canal, few bits under the bridges felt a little bit slippery but mostly due to the weather I'd imagine. Race marshals were great. Goody bag at the end was very good.
Only criticisms would be there was not many porter loo's at the start and the 12 mile marker disappeared, the 11th mile felt like it was going on forever.
Over all a very well organised event, I would certainly like to do it again. It has been my most enjoyable half so far. Thank you to all the race organisers. Date of review: January 3, 2014
In short: Friendly, scenic, brisk, in a good cause In full: I was quite impressed by this first time event; I liked the way you finished in a little 'village' area with hot soup, cakes, etc all on sale as advertised in the blurb, and with the proceeds going to the local Willen Hospice. Medals are not important to me so haven't featured in my view of the race. The false start struck me as humour misjudged; however serious you are about running I don't think a gun test is a great idea when many are all psyched up ready to go in earnest - but once we were off that didn't matter. I thought the scenery was varied and I always like courses that are circuits so you don't repeat anything. The terrain was varied and made the most of showing off an attractive area that doesn't always get a good press with all the talk of MK roundabouts, etc! The marshals were friendly and effective, the course was clear, and there were a few gradients here and there - personally I like hillier courses but this wasn't entirely flat. Above all I liked the availability of food, hot drinks and massage at the end. The entry fee was steep but then again free and near to hand car parking more than offset the cost of participation. So, yes, I would do this again even with the considerable travel distance involved for me. Date of review: January 2, 2014
In short: "Is no fire, is only drill"! (It's not the start of the race, just the starting gun...!) In full: I'm surprised by the negative comments about this race as I was impressed with the set-up, pre-race info on the website, on-the-day organisation, and the location ... I'd read the race blurb beforehand so knew pretty much what to expect, and, apart from the "missing" starting/timing pens (and the false start, which, for all but those at the very front, was amusing/confusing rather than anything else!), I think I found everything else to be as described, so no nasty surprises. I actually really like the medal too - on a purple ribbon with pink writing! And the goody bag was decent, especially the bluff/buff (?!) - neither the best nor the worst I've had. The course was very pretty, though there were some tight turns and challenging little hills; but again I wasn't disappointed with this as no-one had promised a flat, straight, tarmac road race in the first place! The mile-markers that I saw came in accordance with the beeps on my Garmin, so no complaints there. Yes there were queues for the loos beforehand ...as there are at most races! Baggage drop/collection seemed flawless. The chap on the PA system at the start seemed to have been involved in the race on a very personal level and sounded pleased to see such a good turn-out. Good catering facilities for runners and supporters, right at race HQ. Marshals on the course were friendly and encouraging ...and the pre-race info had made it clear that they cannot actually stop traffic for runners. Chip time and position were available instantly by tapping your number into a computer. Plenty of water and bananas (both chunks and whole!) available at the end. Shame about the pavilion not being open but perhaps this wouldn't have been the case in more severe weather. A good effort for the first year of this race! Date of review: December 16, 2013
In short: Enjoyed the scenery. Not a bad first attempt with room for improvement. In full: I enjoyed this race. The course was interesting and relatively fast. Yes, there were some twists and turns and a few undulations but nothing that would majorly slow you down. I also had no issues at crossing points and was at no point delayed. Some issues to be considered for the next time which have all been mentioned- not enough toilets, no pens at the start, missing mile markers and a pathetic medal (I would rather be given a whole banana). All in all I would do it again. Date of review: December 16, 2013
In short: Fuirst time round: give ithe benefit ..BUT In full: pluses: good course (though I imagine parts could be treacherous if icy), good marshalls, excellent timing facilities with 5k splits, good luggage strore
minuses: no record of me when I arrived (though this was found later); gents loos (hire in some urinals and the queue will drop considerably); 2 very short (say 80cm ) poles in the middle of the path right towards the start - marshall there essential next year; value for money (as above); 12 mile marker (as above ); changing (as above - I though I'd read that there were showers but couldn't see them);medal (as above). Loads of lessons for next time - but def has potential but more value for money essential.
In short: I'd rather no medal than the 70p special In full: This race does have lots of potential. Nice route - a little too winding heading back along the river and narrow in places too.Was too far back to notice the false start. No signs up to give runners an indication where to stand resulted in slow runners being too far forward. Plenty of volunteers on the course - the army cadets were doing a great job. The medal issue.... I don't race to get medals. But if you are going to give me one, make it half decent. Giving runners a medal that cost 70p is insulting. It would have been better not to give one out at all. I too was presented with half a nana... a first for me too! Date of review: December 16, 2013