In short: 2015 race In full: I ran it this year, but I can't find details of the 2015 race on the system. I didn't have a good time - 2.44, because I hadn't trained, and I went off way too fast, so struggled at the end, and was even beaten by a man on crutches. The cost of running events is going up all the time, and this one at £40 for a half is fairly steep, but, as it was promoted as being in Oxford, and you got a map showing all the colleges you pass, it seemed like a good deal. The reality is that you are quickly out of the city and the bulk of the run is through dull suburban streets, plus a bit of the ring road. From my understanding from other runners, the event was better organised this year, and the route was better, so the organisers are moving in the right direction, but the start was delayed by 20 minutes, there is a lack of marshals on the route, and the start finish is a bit of a walk from the race village. Why not start and finish in the park where the baggage tent and the toilets are? There seemed nothing special about the start finish point.
What I did like about the event is that being in Oxford it makes for a good weekend away as Oxford is such a vibrant and beautiful city to visit. I'd like to do it again, as I loved the weekend as a whole, and I loved the idea of running around Oxford, but the route is simply not engaging enough to attract me back. Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: Definitely worth running, terrible organisation and access to park & ride/ buses (get there very early!), late starting, then changed start time, but otherwise excellent run Date of review: October 27, 2014
In short: Not as bad as people are saying In full: All races have issues, and this was no exception. Saying that, we had no issues with the parking or the buses (used to getting everywhere early) and the goody bag was no worse than others....you do have to wonder why bother with the Lea and Perrins though? After recently running the Great North Run and absolutely hating it....this wasn't too bad at all. Few improvements needed especially in number of toilets at the beginning and starting the race 20 minutes late on quite a chilly day after we had all assembled. Date of review: October 15, 2014
In short: Potentially great but marred by very poor organisation In full: The organisers arranged a park and ride two miles away from the start and finish location. They did nothing else to help people get there - no extra public transport, no trains at all. Inevitably huge queues for the P&R created delays of up to 90 minutes and there were a lot of disgruntled runners, including myself. Date of review: October 15, 2014
In short: Flat and fast but not very scenic in parts In full: Disappointed to be standing around at the start for an extra 20 mins due to problems with the park & ride, I later found out (could not hear announcements as speaker was too far away!). Overall a good race but route narrow in parts so difficult to get past runners. It's getting better so will probably come back next year. Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Enjoyable race that needs fine tuning In full: Everything that needs to be said about the park and ride has been said. Personally, i think that the Kassam is a logistically a crap place to start and end a race from. For a city, such as Oxford that is well-served for public transport, it's a definite black-spot. I would urge the organisers to look at start/finish in the city and encouraging runners to use one of the excellent 5 existing P&R that have ample well signed parking. For me the marshalling was ok, definitely got better as the race went on - i remember thinking during the early stages that some of them seemed to not really care about what was going on. Loved the route along Iffley road,the meadows and the Thames Path (which was a tight squeeze at times) but added to the camaraderie. I'm not a fan of headphones during races, i think it's anti-social more than anything, and I think it should be actively discouraged (in bold caps, underlined). Lastly, I really hope that people can see past the issues at this last race, if runners and people of Oxford can get behind it as an event, it could be really great. Date of review: October 13, 2014
In short: New organisers have become greedy - couldn't cope with number of entrants. In full: Let me start by saying how great a job the volunteers did.
What let things down was the poor organisation of transport from the car park at the Mini plant to the Kassam Stadium. There were not enough buses to get everyone to the start in time and I also believe they ran out of space in the car park.
The course was slightly changed from previous years and was very narrow in (additional) places making over-taking difficult. There were also some hair-pin turns in it which weren't particularly safe. Date of review: October 12, 2014