In short: Good organisation, lovely route, signage could have been better. In full: I ran the ran for the first time and cannot fault the organisation at all. The only slight issue they had was running out of bag tags but they were quick and found a resolution quickly.
The course is scenic and takes in all of the park but the only downside for me were the signs. I was towards the back of the pack (5hr 30) and they were already pulling off some of the marshals and there were points on the last loop where I had no idea which way to go. there were signs from the first lap that made it ultra confusing.
Ran out of small tshirts (first time ever!) but good water/supplies.
Only feedback would be to get a snack wagen/tea coffee wagen onsite to help the hungry runners and supporters! Date of review: May 16, 2013
In short: Great race, fantastic marshals, outstanding organisation In full: I ran the marathon today and its 2 loops of Bewl water and a little loop at the start. The course was undulating to say the least but its absolutely stunning and a lovely place to run in. We had all weathers today but everything in the aid stations worked perfectly with some very friendly and helpful marshals.
The aid stations are roughly 3-4 miles apart and it was plentiful for me. Gels, banana, jelly babies, crisps, cake and flapjacks (the most delicious flapjack ive ever tasted!) and plenty of water/squash.
I think you can tell when a runner organises events because its the little touches in the organisation that make you go: thank god, that's great! The signalling was perfect and easy to see and despite it being a swirvy course - you never doubted what direction to go. This is great for me as I get lost running familiar routes! The organisation for number pick up was clear, easy and we wasted no time in doing it. Baggage was easy and secure.
The course underfoot today was a lot of dry mud so trail shoes are definitely a bonus here. I ran in road shoes and felt the difference.
A great (huge) medal and quality tech tee that I'd wear again.
A big thank you to the organisers for organising a low key event that ran like clockwork and was definitely easy for a runner to do. The crowd and atmosphere is so welcoming that I'd recommend the event to newbies.
Other RDs should learn from the professional work of these guys on how to run a race.
In short: Great Race, PB Potential, Good Crowds In full: I continue to come back to run the GSR for the crowds around the course. For me the biggest issue is the uninspring route between mile 3-5... apart from that it's lovely and as the race develops year on year it gets better and more organised.
Water in bottles is really appreciated as well as the Jelly Babies at Mile 9.
Biggest headache for me is travel. Trying to get in and out of portsmouth on race day is hell and shouldnt be underestimated. If you can hang around until the evening - I recommend it. I've tried car (3 hrs in a traffic jam) and train (cramped train full with runners (and no seat) but a longer walk). Date of review: March 27, 2012
In short: Great crowds, In full: I completed the race today in 20'c bright sunshine so maybe i am a little bias! The crowd support along the course is lovely and supportive. There's many groups of people handing out jelly babies. I've seen few races with such huge support along the race route (especially at Mile 10!)
As today was rather hot I know that more water stations/shower would have been appreciated but on a "normal" day i can imagine that the number of stations would be enough. Bottles would have also been appreciative instead of cups.
Marshalls were helpful, informative and lovely to speak to. The additional army personnel around the course cheering you on made for another "special" moment.
For me - i'd run this race again - no problem. The people in Fleet know how to put on and run a superb half marathon! Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: Good starting race, good crowds and atmosphere In full: This was my second GSR and i definitely enjoyed this time more. The organisation is ok but getting in and out of portsmouth can be a pain. Trains are packed in the morning and trying to get out of portsmouth via car means sitting in a traffic jam for an hour. If you're coming down - avoid the stress and make a long day of it.
Baggage area is marshalled by two guys standing outside the centre, but apart from that there is no security to hold your bags or make sure that you're not taking off with someone elses.
Toilets were ample along the route. Water was plentiful and well organised. Rubbish after the water and powerade zones could be improved as there was a lot on the road.
Lovely and supportive crowd! Date of review: November 1, 2011
In short: Great Weather, Great Race, Great Time In full: Not only was the race well marshalled and supported, it was definitely a PB potential for me (i knocked 5 mins off my last race). Great scenery and the new course really works well. Slight downside being that it was gun to chip timing instead of chip timing (that would have been helpful). Also, it would have been helpful to spread out or have a larger starting area as towards the 1 hr 40 mark we were all bundled together!
Good facilities (both pre and post race) for spectators at Cantley Park.I'll be running this race next year! Date of review: February 17, 2008
In short: Fab race with great supporters and gorgeous views In full: First half marathon and did this race because i love the area. I didnt expect the number of hills but was generally very impressed with the entire route. Marshals were A*, drink/sponge stations were well placed but could have done with a little more on the open parts of the course (in my humble opinion).
Overall i was very impressed with the supporting crowds in the race and the organisation at the start was well coordinated and everyone was informed. I would definitely do this race again but in my preparation put in more hill work. Date of review: September 17, 2007