In short: Poor on the day organisation - expensive - subsidising the Ultras ? In full: Should be used to this organiser by now - very early start, race HQ opens 07.30 - car park was locked till 07.50 or so ? walk to HQ then a queue(one person) to get your number - then another queue to get your chip(your chip was found and then put on an ankle strap as you waited(why not done before ?). I had been here before,so I knew it was 10/15mins to start - I was there on time,there were not many of us - most missed the start as they went to the pre-race briefing which finished too late for them to get to the start on time(this also happened with this organiser at Epney !).The circuit itself was well marshalled,lots going on being lapped by faster ultra runners.Then the run in to the finish...even though I had done this before - no arrow or marshall to turn you off the road ? then over the chip mat and then what ? there was a tent with the "chip" man - went in to ask about the chip - he took it - momento and t/shirt(as mentioned) - only a momento - in the box/help yourself.For such a low key/expensive event it was a surprise that you were not even given a cup of tea or a coffee at HQ - most runners like me would have left money in the car about 10 mins away.These organisers put on a lot of events so they really should have it sorted by now.At least the laps were spot on for the first time with the chip(though I knew it was my last lap with Garmin) Date of review: August 10, 2010
In short: disappointing In full: Well a week has gone by now since the marathon and I have had time to ponder my feelings towards this race. I got there the night before the race and the pre-race info gave me a chance to drive around the course to familiarise myself. (As has been stated this was the only pre-race info that we received.) Flat course, definite PB potential. I collected my number and chip in the morning and tried to hand in my drinks. They didn't know anything about it so I went in search of another marshall who pointed me back in the direction I had already come. Eventually found who to give them to. (High 5 was being given out on the course but we didn't know that until we got to the drinks station). Made my way to the start and was surprised that there were so few of us and that there was no timing mat. Weather was perfect so I felt positive when I got to start line. First time I have ever been on the front row! Apparently there was a race briefing which is why so many missed the start, well there was no indication of this in the pre-race notes. Glad I didn't go. Race didn't go well for me as I found it demoralising being constantly lapped. There was no-one going my pace to keep up with. Marshalls were very friendly though. Eventually crossed the line to the applause of 2 spectators (no marshalls in site). Searched in a cardboard box and found a memento. Untied my chip and went in search of refreshments. Ordered a coffee and cake then was asked to pay. Luckily I had some emergency money otherwise it would have meant a long trek back to the car park. As for the value for money: £25 for this race. Where did the money go? I have had much better value from £10 races. I left the race feeling very disappointed. This could have been such a good race but it was let down by a lack of pre-race information and organisation. Date of review: June 26, 2010
In full: £28 for what?I was one of the lucky age group winners and won a bottle of wine (about £5s worth) The start was a joke with many runners starting late and the finishing time was out by 20 seconds There were non existant goody bag Tshirt and medals.The feeling that I was only doing the marathon to subsidise the ultra events added insult to injustice. I dont like being ripped off and would warn others off this event unless you are desperate for a shot at a pb and are willing to pay a high price for it..The marshals were very nice as always. Date of review: June 23, 2010
In short: A fascinating multi-lap marathon which was made more interesting by the simultaneous running of 50k and 100k events. There are, however, a couple of things that the organisers really should sort out when planning next year’s event. In full: Warning: a long review coming up as there aren't many here!
I signed up for this on a bit of whim. After a disastrous VLM, I was keen to run a marathon at a steady pace and if possible to record a Season's Best. Up popped the Boddington Marathon in the event finder and, once I had got over the disappointment of learning that the brewery of the same name wasn't sited anywhere close, I decided to put in an entry. There has been a 50k here for some years and the organisers, who aren't known for their attention to detail in advance of an event, had decided to add not only a marathon, but also a 100k event on the same course. Were they biting off more than they could chew?
I submitted an on-line application via the RW site. This seemed to work fine, but the acknowledgement of entries was somewhat haphazard, with some runners receiving emails and some hearing nothing at all. There was no rhyme or reason to this - it was simply confusing. Then, about 10 days before the event, a Runners' Information Sheet appeared on the beyondthelimitations website. This was a really helpful document and included details on registration, the layout of the course and clear driving directions to a rural location which is well off the beaten track. As has been observed elsewhere, the website management is minimal and anyone expecting regular updates will have been disappointed. The organisers stated that runners' numbers would be posted on their website. Nothing appeared. Oh well, it was evident that registration and collection of numbers was on the day, so let's just hope for the best. Norman and Anne Wilson, the organisers, have received some criticism over recent years in relation to lack of information about their events and this seemed to be following the same pattern. It would be very easy to provide just a little more information that would give entrants the confidence that it’s all under control.
The course is worth a mention. All three events were being run on the same 3.5k loop. This made for a fascinating morning of lapping and being lapped. It was certainly pretty awe-inspiring to be lapped by 100k runners within a few laps of the start! The arrangement meant that there was always something interesting going on. The main drawback is that you really do have to regulate your own pace carefully, because you cannot assume that the runners around you are doing the same thing as you. I must say that this added enormously to the interest of the race.
The marathon was measured to finish outside the race HQ and so the start was part way round the course. This offered a pleasant ten minute warm-up stroll. The starter readied us and off we went – all 30 of us. What? Only 30? It transpired that the other half of the marathon field had attended a briefing at race HQ and, immediately following this, had set out for the start. There had apparently not been enough time for them to walk from briefing to start before the gun! Ho hum! There was naturally no little amount of disappointment afterwards about this hitch. Something else for the organisers to iron out for next year.
I set out at a steady pace and was soon joined by Michael. We ran 16 miles together, at which point I decided to risk striking out for the line. Bad decision and he duly overhauled me with about three miles to go! Thanks for your company, Michael! An interesting feature of a twelve lap race is that there was a single drinks station, with the result that you always knew exactly where the next one was going to be. Props to the organisers for arranging to transport individual runners' drinks to the drinks station before the start. This worked really well and I quickly realised that other runners were picking up their drink, carrying it for 100 yards, then caching it at the roadside ready to pick up again on the next lap. What a great idea! By the end of the race, my two bottles were positioned almost at opposite sides of the course to allow frequent refuelling.
Reports from previous events suggested some problems with lap counting. This year, we had chips as well as marshals, so all looked promising. As I passed the end of the loop for the penultimate time, I was reassured to hear the marshal call "One to go for you". As I approached it for the last time, ready to peel off onto the finishing spur, I was dismayed to hear him call "You've still got one more lap"! Well, my Garmin and I chose to disagree with him! "No, I haven’t, I’m going this way!" Ho hum again!
And so to the finish. Excellent post-race atmosphere as the marathon runners and the first 50k finishers came in. Good showers, an excellent cake stall, race results available on a laptop and a nice little glass memento. All in all, a most enjoyable outing. I hadn't been sure what to make of the multiple laps, but it was an experience not to be missed and it certainly allowed you to think about the race strategy in a completely different way from normal. The course was also very flat and potentially very quick. Thanks to the marshals, the drinks station crew (who looked as if they were having a party every time I passed) and to Norman and Anne – in spite of the odd organisational gremlins.
In full: Although in comparison to other races there was a lack of information before the race, all the important information was provided - ie where, when and how many laps you would have to complete. Unfortunately, I have no sense of direction and got ridiculously lost on the way so ended up being one of those who missed the start. Whilst the organisers can't be held responsible for this chip timing would have ensured my pb was recorded officially (but that's probably just a bit of personal disapointment rather than a major problem!) The course was very flat and has great potential for a pb, although some may find the laps boring and if you were having a bad day it could be depressing to be continuously lapped by people running more than twice as far as you! I thought the atmosphere was good, people were very encouraging, the race was well organised, the marshalls were supportive and I would definitely do this race again. Date of review: June 21, 2010
In short: Disorganised at the start but otherwise went smoothly on a fast multi-lap course. In full: I agree with some of the points raised by the previous rater, but had a far more positive experience on race day.
This organiser tends to arranging multi-lap events with minimal pre-event information and a start/finish usually involving a fair walk to/from event HQ.
The walk to the marathon start was a good 20 mins, and there were a good number that were late arriving having attended the race briefing. The starter was intend on starting the race on time despite half the field missing!
After that, I enjoyed the marathon which offered chip recording of laps (a good idea which seemed to work), personal drinks, ideal for supporters (as you saw them 12 times (and more if you ran the 50k or 100k), a fast/flat route that offered PB potential but more suited to experienced runners due to the small fied and mental challenge of the multi-laps.
I love the events organised by Beyond the Limititations team - (Gloucester and Cotswold Marathon included). No frills, but different from the stress and crowds of the big city marathons. This run gave you the opportunity to test yourself and plan a strategy to complete the run.
You also had the distractions of seeing quality runs contesting national titles, and the home countries (plus Ireland) contesting the Celtic Plate. Some of the 100k runners were lapping me for fun, and I used one to drag me through the last 3 miles at 7mins per mile pace - great to see such fantastic running and a priviledge to be on the same circuit.
A great glass block memento, showers and reasonably priced refreshments afterwards - what's there to complain about.
Thanks to Norman and the team, and to Tim for running the bulk of the distance with me - it certainly helped the miles fly by. Date of review: June 20, 2010
In short: Very disappointing. Im used to paying £25 for well organised marathons but this had little In full: Very disappointing. Im used to paying £25 for well organised city marathons with big crowds and you can see where your money has been spent, but this one had many faults - had little info before the start (the info provided was very misleading), no goody bag (just a small glass memento) and the organisers had no road closures (12 laps of the same country lanes)or police presence to pay out for, so I feel pretty ripped off.(somebody obviously made some cash out of this) Also the race was taken over by the ultra-runs so an average marathon runner like myself felt pretty overwhelmed - definitely not one for beginners. Added to the IPOD ban (not informed of until 2 miles into the race), 1 single toilet before the race (long queues), them losing my energy drinks,and couldnt find any coffee/refreshments area, its pretty much the worst race Ive done. Given the lovely country setting , the organisers could have done so much better! Getting up at 3.30 in the morning to do this, and having the usual post-marathon aches today, it feels like a poorly-spent weekend Date of review: June 20, 2010