Well done, RW, for a very fair way of coming up with these listings. It's great to see the diversity of quality races in the UK. Northern Ireland again not well represented. Some great races (eg Events to Live's Bacchus half marathon) were highly rated but didn't get quite enough votes (event directors need to encourage their runners to rate their races!).
Great to see so many different categories, allowing many races to boast that they are in the top 5 or 10 in the country for something.
One listing that we would all like to see are the country's worst races (I think that RW is too polite to compile the list) - from which we can also learn a lot.
Very interesing and inspiring lists!
Also agree the list of 'poorest rated' races would be interesing, but also a death sentance for them...
I think that the identification of what is wrong with the worst-rated races can be a powerful spur to start getting these things right!
Some of the very worst ratings I saw through the year were related to inept baggage retreival systems, or lack of them, since often the bags were just heaped in a pile for people to find their own bags. The London Marathon, by contrast, has an insanely-great baggage retrieval system.
OK - here's my list of things that a great race must have:
Easy to register
Good value for money (not necessarily cheap - a £300 Ironman can be good value)
Easy to get to
Enough toilets at the start
Easy bag drop
Good atmosphere at start and on course (chin wag, cameraderie and ribaldry etc)
Starts on time
Great course - no constrictions - ideally good views - accurate distance measurement - adequate water on the course* - clear course signage*
Accurate timing at the end*
Good drinks/nosh at the end (Bacchus half impossible to beat on this - a feast)
Good goodies (doesn't need to be in a bag!)
Easy bag collection
Easy to get away
Results, video, write-up, photos etc etc up promptly on t'Internet
In my experience, runners will forgive many things, but the ones that they won't forgive are marked with * - enough water on the course, clear course marking and accurate timekeeping at the end (does not necessarily mean chip timing, since chips fail).
Not too much to ask for, surely?
...and there are plenty of races that don't tick all these boxes.
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