In short: Inaugral events rarely go well - but always improve In full: It was the first year of this event and I hope it continues. I am guessing that may be in doubt in view the organisers comments below.
The start of the race was clumsy. I would have liked the person with the loud speaker to be a bit more extrovert to gee everyone up and wish everyone a new year etc. I think a trick was missed on the day especially after making a big deal of the fact it was on 1/1/11 at 11.11am. I think we started later than 11.11am in the end. But saying all that, there had to be a last minute change to the course because of flooding around the lake, so stress levels may have come into play.
The actual course was good and challenging and Marshalls were friendly and encouraging.
The end was like the start, a bit clumsy. I had to ask a Marshall where the end was, as it was not clear. You had to do a 180 degree turn to cross the line, but as I was waiting for my friend to finish I noticed a lot of runners got confused and didnt do the 180 degree turn and cut the corner and crossed the finish line in the opposite direction.
I think that once the start/finish issues have been sorted out then this race would satisfy most.
But looking at the scenery and time of year etc this race really has potential to be quite big..... Date of review: February 10, 2011
In short: Can only get better. In full: The only two good things about this race were the Marshalls (Thank you guys, you did a great job), and the second is that i know the next race i do will be better than this. I've raced before many times before and feel that i can tell the difference between a well organised event and a shambles. I like the fact that the organisers think that we who ran the race don't know what we are talking about and that everything was fine. I won't be running any races run by these guys again. PS thanks George for the company and the gel, hope to bump into you at the Peterborough half in October. Date of review: January 14, 2011
In short: The worst organised race I have ever entered. Start and finish were both unclear, congestion where runners came from 4 directions caused me to collide, fall and injure myself.The finish was after a 180 degree turn at the botom of a hill. Don't do it! Date of review: January 8, 2011
In short: Response to Ultramarathon's response below In full: Ultramarathon, you seem to be missing the key point of the feedback you have been given.
Many of your customers are not happy with the race they paid you to enter.
Whether you think their complaints are vaild or not is irrelevant. The fact is that they didn't like your event and I think from a customer service perspective you should try to assuage their concerns rather than patronise them with your comments about St John's Ambulance and the kilometre markers for example.
And your comments that they should organise their own event show a basic misunderstanding of what it is to organise and sell an event to the public, or indeed to sell any service or product.
Many people paid you good money to enter the race and you're treating them with petulance and a basic lack of respect.
Ultramarathon, I'd suggest changing your tack or you might put people off other races you organise. Date of review: January 5, 2011
In short: Good start to my new year. In full: Well i enjoyed it.Apart from no blow up wine bar at the finish,or lions from the circus handing out medals.And i even had to run the bath myself when i got home. Date of review: January 5, 2011
In short: Response from Ultramarathon In full: Guys, some interesting feed back on here so I thought that as a representative of Ultramarathon, I would respond to some of the points raised;
No proper start finish line – there were two start lines, one for the 10k and 5k and one for the half marathon. You were all directed to them and the race was started on time.
No finish line – at the start of the race everyone was briefed and you were all directed as to where the finish line was.
Admittedly there were no inflatables, etc marking the start/finish but this was due to the fact that the ground was so waterlogged that it would have made such items a safety hazard and we did not want them falling mid-race.
Mr Wiles, you are correct there was no St John’s ambulance. We never use their services. You have of course failed to mention the large white van with ‘Red Cross Ambulance’ and ‘First Aid Point’ written across it that was parked at the start/finish line throughout the event and the two other Red Cross vehicles that were out on the course. We use the Red Cross because whilst they cost much more than St Johns, we feel they provide a far more professional service and always come equipped with one ambulance and one 4x4 as a minimum.
Car Parking – the vast majority arrived early and parked for free. Unfortunately once the park opens to the general public, a £2 charge is made. This is park policy and nothing to do with the organisers. We did not advertise the event as having free parking. Anyone not wishing to pay the £2 could quite easily have parked outside the park.
No mile markers – again this is correct. We felt that the kilometre markers would be adequate and as it was a lapped course, the start/finish acted as the 5km, 10km and 15km point. These points were supplemented by 1km, 2km, 3km and 4km markers sprayed in 12" tall red lettering.
No ‘runners in road signs’ – I beg to differ on this. Signs were out but they were (as road traffic regulations stipulate) positioned well before motorists would come into contact with runners. I would have been worried if runners had been passing ‘caution runners’ signs as it would suggest that either we hadn’t given adequate warning to approaching vehicles or that runners had strayed from the route due to insufficient route marking.
Inadequate water – At the start/finish line water was provided in cups, this point was also passed by 10km runners at the 5km point and by half marathon runners at the 2km, 7km, 9km, 14km, 16km and 21km distances. Those complaining of no water at the finish, it was there for the taking and we had to dispose of around 20 gallons at the end as it had not been consumed.
No refreshments for spectators – I totally agree that this was inadequate. We had been told that the park refreshment facilities would be open and were not informed otherwise until the day of the event. However, those complaining of a 100 mile drive home without a cup of tea – that was your choice as I personally would have stopped at one of the local cafes or service areas for refreshment.
More expensive than the Bedford Half three weeks earlier. Yes we were. However, was that held on New Years Day which requires enhanced payments to marshals, red cross, etc? No.
Jose – we spoke at the start of the race. You were aware that your pack had been sent out on 28th November and was lost in the post. You were ok with that and were given a replacement number. You also complain of no baggage store, we had two vehicles at the start/finish area that were being utilised as such. However, as the vast majority had driven to the event and parked within 600 metres of the start/finish area, I would have expected the vast majority to utilise their own vehicles for baggage storage.
The medal – a picture of this is on the Runners World ad for the event – I’ll let users decide on that one. However, I would state that as a picture was posted online showing the medal, I am surprised that people are complaining retrospectively that it failed to meet expectations.
On a positive note, I am pleased that the winner of the half marathon, Damian Carr of Coventry Godiva had this to say of the event;
“Thank you very much. Also would like to say i enjoyed the day and you and the staff done a good job, defo going to do more of your races. when is ur next race?
Michael Mayes – thank you for stating;
“why are people moaning about hot food and drinks i was there to run not eat a fry up or whatever . Great day ,nice atmosphere ,easy course ,enough water etc ,really nice medals.Personally i cant see what everyones problem is and will be back next year . Maybe you should reconsider yourself as a runner if your main worry is not hot food .....its about the run and medals and location which ticked all the right boxes .”
And thank you to the female runner who text me stating;
“Brill cos allows runners of different levels doing diff distances to run together. Stronger/quicker runners had opportunity to encourage slower runners, a local HM start, late start at 11am, wonderful friendly marshals. Did feel the young lad who did superb job at road junc shd hv had another person with him. Nt all motorists are sympathetic to runners, almost free of traffic, a timed run, good facilities (toilets, park) easy to find venue although postcode was not given in race pack, central water point. Biscuits at end an unexpected treat, medal a nice memento if new to running, a great way to start the year. No other local runs available in area for HM.”
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all for taking part and to highlight that whilst we are aware that we didn’t meet some peoples expectations, it is always going to be impossible to do so. If you are one of the people who feels that the race failed to deliver for you, consider why it failed then go out and organise your own event, organise and pay for venues, first aid, race permits, insurance, medals, advertising, postage, stationary, etc. Recruit marshals who are willing to give up not only a significant bank holiday but who refrain from going out partying the night before in order to allow others to run and then let them read the negative and in many cases inaccurate feedback being given and then consider why they bother.
In short: Awful organisation, agree with all the other comments made In full: I agree with all the comments made about the organisation (lack of), cost, medal (that was the BIG disappointment), finish line, facilities, etc etc. I'll be looking for a different run for New Years Day next year with a different organiser. Date of review: January 4, 2011
In short: Ive done 100s og runs and its sad this was so bad. In full: I did mind the run after its all about the 13.1 and wot it throws at u for u to iovercome it.But the way it was organised was really bad,In fact just had word someone still trying to find the finish line lol.Anyway each year i drive ten hours to do campbeltown half in scotland and have never found such a well run race,ultramarathon guys i suggest u look at campbeltown for some tips on how to run a gd race.otherwise i enjoyed the run funny and came 6th so was happy with my run. Date of review: January 3, 2011
In short: good day and good medal In full: why are people moaning about hot food and drinks i was there to run not eat a fry up or whatever . Great day ,nice atmosphere ,easy course ,enough water etc ,really nice medals.Personally i cant see what everyones problem is and will be back next year . Maybe you should reconsider yourself as a runner if your main worry is not hot food .....its about the run and medals and location which ticked all the right boxes . Date of review: January 3, 2011