In short: Not for the slower runners In full: I had entered this event in preparation for the Brighton Marathon - hoping to carry on a bit from the half mile mark and complete 16 miles - I did the half marathon and not a step more for a number of reasons - most of which have been covered. In my eyes, the number one thing people should know about this event is that it is not for slower/more casual runners! I may not be the fastest in the world but I'm not particularly slow - after a matter of minutes there were just 4 of us trailing through the countryside, seperated from the rest of the pack. Normally in events I feel pretty comfortable with the mix of abilities but I did not feel there was any mix here - elite, very good and above average runners only! My other issues... 1 - the footpath after 30 seconds which required everyone to file down to single file - leaving me stood at the back of the pack for 5 minutes and a poor lady with a pushchair trapped in the middle. 2 - using flour and water to draw arrows - great in the dry - rubbish in torrential rain 3 - no marshalls at road crossings and level crossings - on your head be it! 4 - some direction markers missing completely - I ended up asking some walkers in the end if they had seen other runners to confirm I was in the right place. I could not carry the map they had given me as it would have been ruined in the rain after a matter of minutes. 5 - as one of the slower runners, the stations did not have what I had expected and been relying upon - doughnuts? chocolate? orange slices? 6 - in torrential rain at the end, I had a marshall charge towards me and try to bung a bin bag with no hole in it over my head as they had run out of foils - ever so slightly weird at the end of a hard run! 7 - the terrain, as mentioned, will not aid a PB. Housing estates, through road works, over bumpy fields, muddy lanes where rubble has been dumped, closed gates which you have to climb over etc. 8 - sitting in a mini bus (as the only other shelter outside in the rain was full of other cold, wet people) which was filled up with all the wet rubbish and left overs as the marshalls tried to pack up around us plus the late bus.
I had wondered when I entered why the event only cost £8 and now I know why. I get that it is meant to be a laid back affair but for my kind of runner (a bit nervous about their abilities and every long run feels like a push to the extreme) this event felt like a hard blow to my confidence. Date of review: March 17, 2012
In short: No real dramas and a good value marathon In full: Full credit to the marshalls for sticking it out in torrential rain. It made the fields hard work, mostly couple of miles either side of half finish, but signage very good on whole until 23 miles when they ran out and I was one of a few that added a mile or so to our route. Very laid back organisation but that is as they described it and a good atmosphere for that. Date of review: March 13, 2012
In short: For those looking for a 'relaxed' marathon with a few challenges In full: This is the second year I have done The Boundary Run as a full marathon. I can recommend it - but with a few provisos. First it is run by students and it is cheap - therefore the marshalling and facilities are not necessarily quite what some people have begun to expect. You will need to be confident map reading (or willing to retrace your steps when you get lost). You won't get a pb - too many roads to cross, kissing gates and muddy fields. You may also get wet and cold (come prepared). But, you get to see the outskirts of Cambridge and you meet an interesting mix of people. Everyone is friendly and most people are there for the experience. The hardened runners test their pace across the fields and the newcommers get a marathon that is so relaxed and ridiculously cheap that pulling out at any stage is less painful than a mild coughing attack. The students are enthusiastic and the more confident ones can be found (allegedly) collapsed on route in better years as the miles take their toll on fragile legs! Personally I wouldn't miss it for anything - but, I like running in the wet, mud and with little support. It is like the running I remember back when I was a student. Great stuff guys - keep it up! Date of review: March 7, 2012
In short: Bring your compass and map! A fun course, good for training In full: A fun course with road and mud. The only problem with the race was the lack of direction and arrows! A lot had been pulled down or had become unstuck. Instead of running 26.2 miles, I ran 27.5 as I got lost to where I was going. Not a course for a pb, but good training run for the miles Date of review: March 7, 2012
In short: Not the greatest organisation but cheap and cheerful In full: This race definitely needs more marshalls and organisation at registration, during key stages such as busy road crossings, place where arrows get stolen and at the finish area. I couldn't hear the organiser near the start (despite being near the front) but markings were clear until mile 23 when the flour marking on the floor had washed away and the arrows had fallen down due to the rain. Very muddy and slippy underfoot so off road shoes essential, forget the road shoes you'll pay for it later. Many runners got lost and some cut it short to get back to the finish during the marathon. I ended up running an extra mile and lost 9 places as a result of getting lost post mile 23. Most unforgivable was the lack of a finish sign or area and had to ask where to go and ran into the hotel lobby. Could be a great race with better organisation and allowances made for the rain. The help and support at water and food stations was excellent so thanks to those marshalls who braved the horrible conditions. Easy to get lost points are the Gypsy camp (sign fell down), mile 23 crossing the main road - no arrows but we were supposed to go straight on, near the bus depot no signage (probably pinched) and finally a clear finish banner please. As i ran the marathon route i didnt have any issues with waiting round for buses but some very unhappy runners came in after i'd finished after having to wait ages for buses. Date of review: March 7, 2012
In short: Good, small friendly run run by enthusiasts, not professionals. Early spring weather not always great! In full: Full marathon circumnavigates Cambridge; half marathon has option to run or jog back to start. Otherwise, coaches not always timely so consider making your own arrangements! Early spring weather not predictable - 2012 was cold and wet and the buses very late so most people got very cold. Fairly well marked but it's possible to miss markers if you lag behind. Road crossings didn't cause us any real issues. Don't expect a very slick operation and a t-shirt for £8! In previous years, detailed instructions and plastic covers for maps have been provided; those covers would have been very handy this year. We've also had downloadable Garmin courses in previous years - an updated one would have been nice as there have been slight changes due to the guided bus and other developments. Date of review: March 7, 2012
In short: If you feel like crossing busy roads and railway lines with no marshalls and waiting in the rain and cold for 01:40 minutes after the race for the coach back to the start, this is the race for you. Otherwise don't bother. In full: The other comments sum this race up really. It was a bit disorganised at the start with not enough space in the venue and not enough organisers - why make us queue three times for our numbers, our maps, and our T.Shirts? That's forgivable. What's not forgivable is expecting runners to cross busy main roads with no marshalls. I heard some runners got caught at a railway crossing too. At the end of the half-marathon I just wanted to get on a bus and get back to the start and go home. Instead I had to hang around for an 01 and 40 minutes waiting for a coach. I could have easily run back to the start but because I'd had my belongings transported to the finish that wasn't an option. The organisers hadn't made any provisions for the fact that it'd be raining so people's belongings were getting wet, the food was out in the rain and runners dressed in shorts and T.Shirts were huddled in a small barn sheltering from the wind and rain. In summary, the worse race by far I've ever done by far. Never, ever again! Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: May cause the core temperature to drop... In full: Tip for runners - if you do the half make sure you have plenty of warm clothing transported to the finish as you may have a very long wait for the coaches. Unexpectedly waiting for 1.5 hours in the bitter cold and rain was the downfall of this run.
Tip for organisers - please make it clear on your site what time the coaches arrive. Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: I quite enjoyed it! In full: My clubmate and I did the full marathon option, and found it similar to LDWA events. A mixture of road and off-road, very muddy in places due to the horrible weather, which wasn't the organisers' fault. Some of the course markers got washed away, but we didn't go off-course at all. Some marshals would have been good on the busy road crossings, but no major hassles. Overall a good value training run, but I wouldn't do it again unless the weather was better!! Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: taxi anyone??? - where were those coaches at the end? In full: from the begining not convinced on the organisation - sent off application & cheque and didn't hear anything back - after i sent a chaser email, got a reply saying i had given a different email address.
plenty of parking at the start - bonus for drivers.
picking up numbers was a bit chaotic as the registration queue turned out to be the queue for the 4 toliets. better signage at start venue might have helped.
and why give T-shirts out at the begining? (although good to get a proper sized one.)
the actual course was lovely - except clambering over the locked gates and taking life into hands trying to get across the un-marshalled roads. Bottlenecks in a couple of places meant complete standstill for a minute or so - with non-runners caught in the middle - not great for them.
getting over the finish was good - as rain was starting to come down heavy (not fault of the event!) - however - not having enough foils was. so now left for an hour - with no foil, no cover - no sign of the organisers - rain and wind in the middle of an open space -complete shambles - absolutey ruined the run.
must however say a thank you to those marshalls who did turn out in the rain at the 2 drinks stations - thanks to whoever cut up those oranges! and thanks for the biscuit at the end.
overall - if the coaches had been organised properly - this would be an absoulte winner. Date of review: March 6, 2012