In short: Well organised, picturesque run with a few steep hills In full: Well this was my very first race and my first attempt at this distance. I ran with two friends, Adam and Jenny who were infinitely more experienced than myself and who were super supportive with me. Thanks!
Having lived in Preston in the past, I was extremely familiar with all elements of this route and knew just how tough the climb out of Avenham Park would be!
Anyway, the start by the market was quite good and we only had to trot a few minutes before the runners in front were getting into their stride.
The initial part of the race took us out of the City centre towards Avenham Lane via Glovers Court and Street and did a long way round loop of Winkeley Square then back to the start again for the second loop of that section. Then we dropped into Avenham Park, through Miller Park following the river Ribble then over the cobbled bridge on Riverside to then run a good 2.5+K before popping up at the far end of Avenham Park again.
A loop around the playing fields near Esplanade and Dolittle Court, where the kids playground is then followed the Ribble again for the full length of the park before heading right (in between the 2 parks I believe), then back towards the killer hill!
I was determined not to stop and walk for it at all and pushed myself hard to get to the top.
We then did another loop of Winkeley Square and headed out towards Ribblesdale Place/Avenham Lane.
This was round the 9.5K mark where I had a little falter and was pushed verbally and once physically by Jenny not to stop here (thanks Jen). Adam thought I'd been sick at this point as I had to screw the top off my drink bottle to get the last bit out of it but almost choked on it and had to cough it all out lol!
The last push then back down Glovers Street and I think we headed up Cannon Street before heading right on Fishergate, left into Cheapside and pushing not a sprint finish, but all I could muster, into Market Street and across the line.
The route was a great mix of City Centre and parkways. The marshalls were fantastic. Indicating the route directions and being very supportive with their words and clapping. The crowds were the same especially down the "home straight" which had railings all the way down. Anytime the public were allowed to cross was at designated "Cross here" points which were also marshalled.
On crossing the line we were given water bottles which may have been better at the stations during the race, rather than plastic cups but that is a very minor gripe. Fruit was in abundance and a choice of t-shirt to boot.
All in all a fantastic starter race for me and a very enjoyable and rewarding day.
Thanks Preston during your Guild year 2010. I lived there for the last on in 1990 which was amazing. Date of review: October 2, 2010
In short: killer hills but good atmosphere In full: This is my favourite race of the year. Its not a pb course, but has a few challenging hill to test your fitness. Its a good route through the park, but a run through the centre is motivating and good for any spectators. Its well organised and has lots going on. Great t shirt at the end too ! Date of review: September 27, 2010
In short: Great way to spend a Sunday Morning! In full: Good: - choice of 3 races so all the family can take part - well organised - choice of t-shirt size at the end! - Good crowd (small but friendly and supportive) - The chance to see some proper runners do their stuff in the 1500m - having your name called out over the PA system as you cross the finish line!
Bad - a few too many hills so not a course to chase a PB but a good challenge if you're not trying for that Date of review: September 28, 2009
In full: prob not a regular persons pb course, but as a beginner im still improving my times with every run. killer hills to slow you down, but a great crowd at the start/finish to spur you on and give you an extra kick there.
start area could either have more waves, or somewhere a bit wider to set off from. while the walkers are there for their good casues, when they are 3 or 4 wide in a narrow street it causes problems for all those trying to get around them.
will be back again next year. Date of review: September 28, 2009