Gosport Half-Marathon

Planning ahead!

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16/11/2008 at 19:08

Hi All

I agree with Gobi - the route was very tight at times, especially the start. But - a new pb (1:29:43) so cant be bad!

Impeccable race marshaling though.

16/11/2008 at 19:36
tobester wrote (see)

I'm glad that most of you enjoyed it. We'd be grateful for any comments, both positive and negative via email (addresses on our website).

We didn't have any choice with the route change as we weren't allowed to do the old route and many hours have been spent trying to find one that would work.

I think they were hours well spent. I dont see how else you could get such a quick course in such a busy traffic area. Great job. Very different and special race.

Mat

16/11/2008 at 19:36

My report on the Gosport Half - my 2nd HM ever.....

Set alarm @ 6.15 for an estimate leave time of 7.15 - well 1st & hopefully last target missed - left @ 7.35..despite this late start I got there early, which I later found out was a cracking move as most of the car parking areas were full very early on. 

The start was bizarre but did open up after a while. Have to say the course was not the most inspiration - most of it was around & through an old airport but it was flat & no real long straights. The support out today was great. My wheels felt like they fell off about 11.6 miles but I just dug in to finish with a time of 1.48.22. - PB. Was a hard race on head & body despite the PB. Only real disappointed that I missed out on the Jelly Babies @ the water stations...twice...doh!

Well done & many thanks to GRR for all your hard work.

16/11/2008 at 19:55

Yes, there was some congestion at the start, but it maybe stopped me going off too fast. I was lucky to run with a friend, and did quite like seeing other club mates coming the other way, so scenery didn't matter too much. I'd agree that the marshalls were outstanding, and I also managed a PB by about 4 minutes.

I know that we've had to decide not to put on our 10k again on the road (Totton) due to the difficulty & expense of organising it, so this was a good compromise of a lot of traffic free running but on a road-type surface.

16/11/2008 at 20:58

D'oh, I seem to be the only one who didn't get the PB I was after!  I woke up feeling pants, with the start of a cold, no sleep due to kids up during the night.  I was aware that it wasn't going to happen before I reached the start line!  Still I managed a season's best so not all was lost...

16/11/2008 at 21:32

Just been reading a lot of the comments in the reviews. Really sad to see so many people slate this race. I get the feeling that the team behind this put their heart and soul into making it special and I loved it.You can't move on here for PBs, runners can't be that dejected. I loved it's unique feel and super flat, traffic-free roads. This is the first time the new route has been attempted. There was a bit of congestion at the start but otherwise I moved freely and saw no issues for the rest of the race. The organisers have said throughout that they want feedback and I believe will use it to improve next year's race wherever they can.

If parking was such a problem why drive? I came from the IOW and caught a ferry, rode my bike and walked. It's not that hard. Gosport has park and ride facilities and there is always another way to using the car. For goodness sake we're runners! Give these guys a chance, and some support, they have done an awesome job in difficult circumstances and we need to support that.

 Mat

16/11/2008 at 21:32
anyone know if there are going to be photos anywhere?
16/11/2008 at 21:45
I think that there is a link to prosport photos on our website. They should have been doing photos. I was too busy with traffic lights this year to take many photos.

We are all at the post race marshalls party.
16/11/2008 at 21:46

Thanks for getting the race results up so quick - very impressive! 

Great to see so many PBs today.  I got one too but missed my target time by a couple of minutes - I'm putting it down to a combination of the wind and the congestion (at the start and also at about mile 6 - the occasional narrow pavements made life tricky. Excuses make me feel better...

 Thanks to the organisers - it was clear that you'd spent such a lot of your time trying to produce the best course you could in difficult circumstances.  Thanks also to the marshalls for being so very supportive. 

 One comment on the pancake flat - yes it was, but the hill in mile 11 was a bit of a surprise!

 Lovely running along the seafront which is truly spectacular. 

16/11/2008 at 22:09

A nice PB for me by 102 secs to 1:27:09, rather happy was nicely paced throughout which was great.

The route was a bit of a sod and tight in places, but that comes with restrictions that I can understand, but on the airfiled not so sure why there were so many tight turns, esp the 2 switchbacks, one of which had to be navigated twice. So a few tweaks and Im sure it will make it better.

Great marshals by the way, ever so encouraging, thanks and well done to all. (Racers and supporters)

16/11/2008 at 22:21

Thanks to all those who personally cheered me on (think I was the only one with my name on my back - Becky-?), it was great support and encouragement for my first HM.

Ive now got my very own PB to beat so see you all next year!

 Becky x

17/11/2008 at 13:24

Bit dissapointed to be honest. Never really got into a decent running pattern and felt like I was having to fight all the way. Lots of reasons such as being tired, didn't have a watch to get the pace right (strap broke) and I laced a shoe too tight which started to make my toes numb!

I see there's lots of comments about the course, to be honest, I didn't like it. The start was terrible with the bottle-neck, the chicane and then the narrow cycle path. It took over a mile before I could start to run freely and find my own pace. Found the airfield dull and with no spectators for much of the course, it was a bit uninspiring. I feel sorry for the organisers, they were obviously forced to abandon the old course by the local law makers (apart from closing the start road I notice the Police were conspicuous by their absence this year). The brief run down the shopping street reminded me of the old course and the lift you get when you get on a route with spectators and it reminded me of what was missing this year.

The organisers did a great job but they've had their hands tied and its clearly difficult to live up to the previous events.

MintyMat - Sorry, but the old course is tough to match up to. Nice mix of country lanes, seafront, main road and residential with plenty of spectators along the way. Plus you started at the school, and then passed the start/finish area a further 2 times so plenty of opportunity for family etc to cheer you on. The final sprint along the start/finish straight and through the school gates added a bit of excitement to the finish. I've run this event the last 5 years so I think I'm entitled to say this year's event lacked something.

Great idea to save parking problems by not using the car but I travelled down from Kent - bit far to walk or cycle. The earlier start already meant I had to roll out of bed at an early hour.

17/11/2008 at 13:39
MM

Many of us travelled far for the event and infact we even car shared to take some of the load(3 runners 1 car).

Effort or not the new course was NOT good and this has been highlighted by many people of different effort levels.

You must be superfast to have had no other problems with congestion as being forced to run on a narrow path while running a progressive pace and moving through the field I was more oftem than once forced to slow down behind people and wait for the cars to go past before running on the road to overtake.

The joy of a forum is that I am free to state my views. I hope the event survives and that they somehow improve the course. In a few years when the course has settled down again I may be back for another look but for now I shall save the money and enter a race near home or just go out for a long training run.

Gobi
WJH
17/11/2008 at 13:53

Interesting to read all the postive and constructive remarks on how it went yesterday. I was one of the marshalls of the race yesterday (up on Brune Way opposite Broom Lane as you head up to Newgate Lane roundabout on the cycle lane). Well done to all those who took part. I ran it on Saturday as part of helpers half but managed to aggrivate a recurring knee injury! By all accounts, everyone involved put alot of hard work into the course this year and with it being the first year in this location, im sure improvements where necessary will be made for next year.

 Warren.

WJH
17/11/2008 at 16:06
Warren

The marshalling and drinks stations were excellent.

I can also see how you can fix the airfield but I am stumped as to what you can do about narrow paths that are not smooth.

best wishes

G
17/11/2008 at 16:24

On a lighter note, the photos are out. Click here for the link.

I'd just like to say thank you to GRR for holding the HM and to all the Marshall's for the support. We sometimes forget that you are not paid to do what you do but are all volunteers - Thanks!

17/11/2008 at 16:32
1'39'40" - good conditions, good marshalling, good course! Shame about the injury I obtained at the 6 mile mark.
18/11/2008 at 06:50

Just to add my few comments to this.

I appreciate that the organisers worked hard to find a new route that was more traffic free and the marshaling was absolutely faultless.

However, I'd hope that the following points can be taken into consideration for next year as it can only make the course better:

  • Do something to avoid the hairpin switchbacks on the airfield. Different people have different ways of navigating these - some slow down to an almost stop, others take wide berths, some take the shortest route at speed and almost slip round the corner. I saw a number of near collisions here.
  • Where the route was on roads, it actually became quite dangerous as the pavements were very narrow. Gobi and I were pacing RFJ to a new PB, and when we got to a group of runners, I'd run off the kerb and shield RFJ from the traffic so he could overtake without having to worry about it. I know if I'd been in more of an oxygen deprived state I wouldn't have liked to have thought too much about overtaking!
  • The start was one of the worst I've witnessed. In a race this size, you need chip timing (and runners don't mind paying for it). It also doesn't make sense to funnel runners into a narrow cycle lane so early on. There were also a number of brambles which almost took my eye out!
  • Parking. I know it's excellent if you can use public transport, but it's nigh on impossible to get a train to Portsmouth/Gosport early enough for the race start if you're travelling from afar. We car shared, but ended up having to park illegally (on the beach!). Runners don't want to have to walk a long way just prior to a race start. Surely there must have been an area of the airfield we could have used?

Personally, I'm not one for great scenery during races and would far rather the course took in three laps of the airfield (minus the switchbacks!). I appreciate that may not wheel the crowds in, but many runners deliberately chose this race as it has a reputation for being one of the fastest in the south. I know a lot of runners did PB, but I also know an awful lot who didn't (despite being in shape for it).

I hope the organisers are able to take the comments in a positive way. I know it takes a great deal of effort to put on a race this size, and we are very grateful. Hopefully a few tweaks will make it a far better experience next year.

21/11/2008 at 17:13

My opinion.

This was an amazing experience. Came all the way from Holland to run and it was definetely worth! Great course with nice views. I enjoyed the part of the airfield. Sometimes was distracted by an heli approaching and landing and forgot a bit the effort of the running, which was great. I enjoyed watching all other runners when crossing them both the runners in front and behind. The marshals through the whole course were so good, very freindly and always supporting, clapping, etc.

The final miles with the coast views was also impressive. And very flat, even it is very similar to the courses here in the Netherlands. However was able to run it in 1.47.30, which it was a PB and amazing time for my second Half Marathon.

After the race, still time to enjoy with friends shopping some running gear, and enjoying a drink and a sandwich and of course a very nice massagge.

What more can I say: Excelent organization and very well done for all the people involved. Congratulations! Next year I hope I can comeback again!

02/12/2008 at 14:20

Just to let you know that the £100 which was raised by the sterling efforts of the Sports Massage girls providing pre and post event Sports Massage at the Gosport Half Marathon has now been donated on behalf of the Gosport Road Runners and ACE to the Gosport Youth Leaders Scheme, who aim to encourage young people to take part in more physical activity.


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