In short: Grim! Never again 2016 In full: I ran this marathon yesterday and was really disappointed. Very little support on the route. Depressing route through housing estates. No small t shirts left at the end even though that was what I requested, basically if you are running the half or the 10k you get size choice and more stuff in your goody bag. In my "goody" bag all I had was a pack of crisps and a bottle of lucozade. The medium t shirt is big enough to be a nightdress so is basically unwearable. Most of the second lap (it's a 2 lap course for the full) is ran alone and it really was very lonely and depressing. Can't recommend this run at all unless you are doing just the half. Date of review: September 5, 2016
In short: A very good city marathon. Organisation was excellent. Great atmosphere at the start and finish. The marshals and people manning the drinks stations were very supportive. The only improvement would be energy gells or drinks on the second lap. Date of review: September 9, 2015
In short: good old fashioned no frills run. In full: Same course complaints every year. I wish the council would commit and close a few roads and drop the horrible twist and turns of the houses section. Could be so much better. However the rough and ready old fashioned feel brings me back every year. Date of review: September 13, 2014
In short: Decent no-frills marathon that I would happily run again In full: Ok so parking was a disaster, but the event itself was good and I'd recommend this for those marathon runners who don't mind a two lap event where you are running long spells on your own on the second lap and you're having to run in the gutter to avoid passing traffic. For me, this was fine, but some runners who prefer the feel of a big city race would be turned off by this event.
Two highlights for me:
1) The majority of marshalls were so enthusiastic that it was quite uplifting when you've got a few miles left to do
2) They served water in bottles at the drinks station - why don't more marathons do this? I was able to carry the bottle for a mile or so and as a result I finished still feeling very well hydrated Date of review: September 9, 2014
In short: A good value and friendly half In full: A nice race and a very good atmosphere. Very good value for money too with chip timing, a T shirt and a medal. On the downside there is quite a lot of traffic on the route which made overtaking difficult which was awkward on hills. The route is good is you're not a fan of pancake flat. It's undulating but not hard core hilly. Date of review: September 9, 2014
In short: Decent Race In full: I did the 10k run, but dont seem to be able to do an individual review for that so doing it here. Entered the day before race day and there was a £7 price increase which the website did not tell me about. I expected £2-3 more but think 7 was excessive. The website also gave no parking information still stating TBC under parking on race day, and we ended up driving around for ages looking for parking. So my pre run experience wasn't great. When arriving at the park there was a really nice atmosphere. The route itself was quite dreary. Mostly through housing estates. There were a couple of sections on quite busy roads including one quite hairy crossing. There were a couple of good hills too. The support at the end was good. The medal was really good quality and nice to get a t-shirt too. I was thinking of entering the half marathon next year, but Im not sure id want to run a longer race on that course but might enter the 10k again as its local and if you buy in advance its reasonably priced. The results were very slow being posted om the official site, had to find them on the chip timings own site. This isnt a big deal, but the results should be made as easy to find as possible. Date of review: September 8, 2014
In short: No frills, good race In full: My first race on home soil! So I was familiar with 90% of the route (we were doing the 10km version), which was largely residential, but with the Start / Finish in the very pleasant West Park on a sunny day.
The course is mostly flat, but has a few mild inclines to deal with along the way.
Support outside of the park was sparse, but cheery when encountered. Support inside the park was good, with many stalls to keep visitors busy.
Organisation was good, but with one exception. We were definitely one of the late arrivals, as the 10km event started 45 minutes later than the first event. The main carpark was full, as to be expected, and the racepack had advised there were two secondary carparks "adjacent" to it, but did not detail exactly where. There were no marshalls at the main carpark to advise that it was full, or to point us to the adjacent carparks. So we drove off to what we assumed was the adjacent car-park, where security claimed to know nothing about this. So we tried another adjacent carpark, but it clearly belonged to the university, and was empty, so we dared not risk it. We then tried a third adjacent carpark, which was shut. The fourth adjacent carpark was open, so we tried that. Again, this was full, and there was no marshall to advise where to move on to, or to stop us wasting time going in. Finally, the fifth adjacent carpark was correct, and had lots of spaces, and a good, friendly marshall within. For future reference - Molineux car park is the main one. Asda and University are no-go. Heading towards the town centre are the overflow carparks. The directors carpark is shut, but the second one is the Waterloo Road car park, and the third one is in Whitmore Hill (the old Tarmac building).
The PA at the Start in the road, and the finish in the park was the clearest I've ever heard at any race, and included a fun commentary on the start of the kid's race.
The spread of abilities was good, with finish times of the 10km going beyond 1:20, the half marathon beyond 3:30, and marathon beyond 6:00.
The goodybag was sparse, but contained a great Greggs caramel shortbread, a pack of crisps, and a sports drink. The medal was a very good embossed bronze colour, with a high quality lanyard with the date on it. T-shirt was good, but cotton.
Overall, the atmos and beginner friendlyness would improve if there were more participants (there were approx 1200 with the three running events combined). My organisation score would improve if details of the second and third carparks were given, and if they were marshalled or at least signed.
Being local, there's a good chance I will do one of these events in the future. Date of review: September 7, 2014