In short: Good value no-frills local half-marathon. In full: This is a pretty flat course, amidst pleasant rural scenery (once you get out of the industrial estate!) - so rural in fact that you shouldn't expect to see many people cheering you on!
This is a half-marathon which is best suited to runners who don't particularly want to do an "event" race (such as the Great North Run, or the Hastings Half), and aren't bothered about a medal (you can quickly get enough of those), but do like the very reasonable entry price - so it's exactly the sort of thing you'd look for in a warm-up event for a spring marathon, or if you are looking to smash your PB. I had a good time and am really glad I did it. Plenty of club runners there, but that's because the run suited more experienced runners, who in turn might not be attracted to some other runs I could think of.
A few small extra things would make a real difference - a PA system, race clock and some bottled water at the end would be nice (even if this pushed the price up by a couple of quid), and just a small number of extra marshalls would be really useful. Also it wasn't entirely clear at some points where we had to share the road with cars. As the race sold out fairly quickly I wonder how much scope (or desire amongst the organisers) there is to increase the number of entrants, but something to think about for the future. But a big thank you to the organisers, and all the marshalls and cadets (who were great) who helped out at the water stations and car parks. Date of review: February 21, 2012
In short: PB Again! In full: I mainly do fell races, so I had no trouble finding the place, navigating round the course (maps provided for both) and any water-stops at all are LUXURY! Also, I've done quite a few Halfs around the North-West and I don't know of any flatter. I got a PB, and I haven't even trained properly for the last 3 months! LOVE THIS RACE! Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Very enjoyable... but could be better. In full: Firstly, I must say that I actually really enjoyed this run, got a PB and would definitely recommend it to somebody after a quick time.
However there is a but...
The problems with the signs being switched (maliciously) caused real problems for the front runners and to be honest the signs generally weren't clear enough for an open road event. It's also not really the best event if you are a 'fun' runner or not particularly fast, to use the RW descriptions above it was a "bit clubby". There was also a clear lack of marshals and water. It was a cheap run, so it's hard to be over critical but a marshal at some of the key junctions would have really helped. I must say though that I thought the marshals present were all excellent.
Again, I would like to reiterate that on a personal level, I really enjoyed the event and had a very good day, but with a few minor tweaks this could be a 'must do' event. Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Poor Organisation - No Water at the Finish! In full: What should be a relatively simple and well run race has proven not to be. Poor organisation at the beginning (Basically just follow everyone else and hope for the best), very little water around the course, and when you get to the end, empty water containers. And all you get for your trouble is a loaf of bread - this really is just a training run that you pay for, mostly attended by club runners. I would save your money and go for a long run where you know you can get a drink at the end. Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Such potential, but soooooo disappointing! In full: Pancake flat half marathon course - ideally timed as part of a spring marathon build up. Run on quiet rural roads with a PB practically guaranteed.
With all this, its a shame that the negatives overshadowed the 2012 race.
OK, someone switched the sign - but surely the junction should have been marshalled? Where marshals were seen they offered little to no encouragement / guidance. Signs around the course were useless (A5 sized) and therefore missed by many. The entry fee was far from steep, but what did I get for my money, a loaf and tap water in plastic cups??? Come on guys, this could and should be a great!! Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Decent PB so I'm happy! In full: Shame about the problems for the leaders and the pre race pack could have been a little more detailed for people that haven't been there before and for newer runners. Most of the marshals offered encouragement and support.
Agree with the comment about adding a pound or two to the price and having bottled water rather than cups. Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Disappointing and not up to standard In full: Issues with course marking (not due to organisers)and lack of marshals meant many runners going the wrong way. results innacurate due to problems with the course. I was heading for a pb but ended up 2 minutes adrift after going the wrong way and covering 13.5 miles. Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: QUICK, BUT LACKING ATMOSPHERE. In full: Good points: Excellent PB potential, its probably as flat as you will ever find a HM. Good value for those who dont want T Shirts, medals and tat! I actually welcomed the Bara Brith, its a nice change. Bad Points: cramped clubhouse at start, people with pushchairs, blocked toilets. No atmosphere, marshalls pretty quiet, dull course. Cock up with signage, suggest a marshall on that point would have prevented it, whereby there were 3 marshalls in some other places. Finish line not prominent. Wouldnt say it was very friendly for beginners. Date of review: February 19, 2012