In short: Terrible baggage drop and collection In full: 1st time doing this race and wouldn't come back. Had to jump queue to drop bag off, or would've missed race start (this was 50 minutes before start, didn't leave it until last minute). Had to wait 20 mins to get bag - and that was finishing in the top (first) 250 runners, so god knows how long those finishing later took. Really not acceptable. As already mentioned huge queue at 1000 - 1500 tent, but none at the adjacent ones,so why weren't some of the helpers moved over? Struggled to get into start, no signage, had to climb over barrier - was already "late" due to baggage queue. Goody bag was indeed rubbish, 3 biscuits and last weeks newspaper - could've saved on all those plastic bags and just not bothered. On the plus side, Harbourside bars / cafes provided (much needed) extra pre-race loos, and would've stopped for a post race drink, had not been so cold and p'd off following wait for bag. Date of review: June 1, 2015
In short: Great organisation, not a terribly fast course as off road, but flat and on good paths In full: Lots of water stations much appreciated, great organisation plenty of cheerful marshals at all the right places. Great facilities at finish. Not a PB course as it's off road, but is flat and on good paths, a very pleasant Sunday run. Date of review: July 29, 2013
In short: A Flat and maybe fast, but not easy course - In full: I hate to be critical as I can only imagine the huge amount of effort that must go into organising any road race; let alone a marathon that has adequate toilets at the start, showers (although they were too scaldingly hot to use) which doesn’t involve running 6 laps of a trading estate. But I found the Abingdon course to be a bit too narrow in too many places (and this was near the front end of the field), with footpaths that you couldn’t overtake on and pavements that were both narrow and interrupted with driveways every few meters. The section through the town was also quite twisty and on the way out (at 5 miles) with the number of runners around there were a few too many bollards to negotiate. Support was good through the town and at a couple of patches on the course, but the run into the finish was quite lonely – I guess everyone was waiting in the stadium. On the plus side: the marshals were copious, friendly and helpful – advising on rough patches of pavement and aforementioned bollards, as well as offering general cheer and encouragement. Water stations every 3 miles were great – meant you didn’t have to worry about missing your mouth with the contents of the cup. Toilet queues some of the shorter I’ve encountered – although One final point, that I’m sure many will think if not greedy, just churlish – but a small prize (vouchers from a sponsor would suffice) would be much appreciated for what was literally a marathon effort. – Oh and maybe be a bit more realistic in the race day timetable about when the prize presentation will happen. I missed having a much needed massage as I thought the presentation was imminent.
In short: Very well organised, great course in a lovely city - maybe a little more undulating than I'd hoped, In full: The start and finish at the race course were great, made for a really good finish atmosphere. In general the support on the course was great, although we only ran through small villages it seemed like most of the population had turned out at many of them. Again the support in the last mile along the river was a great lifter - helped by having names on numbers. I can't fault the organisation, with some nice touches: Names on Numbers, baggage tag on number, good "elite" facilities. Water and drinks stations aplenty on the course. I did say "never again", but if I were to do another marathon Chester would definitely be near the top of the list Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: A good effort for the first running of this event, a few minor teething problems that I sure can be rectified for next year. In full: I thoroughly enjoyed the race - but had a good run which always helps overlook any hiccups. The only couple of problems I was aware of was the delay at the start - which wasn't purely due to late arrivals, I had to queue for 20 minutes when arriving at 8:15 - the marshalls in the car park could've been more pro-active.
I think it's a bit unfair to moan about the queues when leaving - this is normal at any event (not just running) were thousands of people all try and leave at once. At the front end of the race the course was ok, but I could see that as it got busier, the single coned off strip through the city centre wouldn't be wide enough.
Plenty of water stationsen-route and great showers at finish.
I managed to find plenty of toilets, so not sure how some people managed to miss these. But if the number of entrants grows much portaloos will also be needed.
I didn't use the baggage store - one of the advantages of having queued for the car park was that I could leave kit in the car. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: A super race, quick scenic (for Slough) course and well organised with lots of friendly marshalls In full: A lovely race in a nice setting - wouldn't guess it was only a couple of miles from Slough. The 2 lap course was fast, on country lanes with very little traffic, but lots of friendly and encouraging marshalls. The only (very slightly) negative comments are to do with the prizes: Prizes for the winnners, other than trophies would have been nice - but then it was a cheap race to enter, so can't have it both ways I guess. Also, I think that the organisers already know that the spot prize draw didn't work very well - although it did mean that I got something. Overall though, a great race - and the icing on the cake? I didn't even have to queue for the loo. Date of review: October 3, 2010
In short: A will organised race which despite being "towny" was actually quite a pleasant course. In full: Pleasantly surprised by this race, although the course was very much around the houses they were mainly wide, clear roads and not too twisty. Although undulating, nothing too severe - and what goes up must also come down... so quicker than I thought it would be. A fair level of support from the locals too even at the far flug points of the course. Finally, thanks to the organisers, I think they put on a good race today. Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: Flat but I'd say the rutted and busy tow path slows it down. Well organised. In full: The tow path was very busy today, due to this race clashing with a Clapham Chasers event. Although flat, I reckon the terrain (the already mentioned rough tow path) and narrow, uneven pavements for the first couple of KM make it not a particularly speedy event. I also needed to cross a stream of runners coming in the opposite direction in order to cross back into the park for the finish. Date of review: March 7, 2010
In short: Flat, potentially fast and well organised In full: The airfield was incredibly dull and did sean to go on for ever - but on the plus side it does offer a flat traffic free circuit. The only slightly negative feedback is that I found the extrance / exit to the airfield extremely slippy, I think from moss rather than ice. Some grit had been put down, but I think more was needed. Date of review: December 14, 2009