In short: Good race spoilt by a few minor things. In full: ..Well..mixed thoughts from me from yesterday.
On the one hand I enjoyed starting and finishing on the track. I also thought it was a nice amount of runners....enough to feel like a proper race, but not so many that you get in a scrum. The scenery was not great, and there was very little crowd support, but it did not seem to matter. I also though the course was improved from last year, without that horrid incline into the stadium!
However...there were some negatives...I must say, again we got stuck in the road works. The very same thing happened last year, and we assumed the problem would be resolved by now, but despite leaving plenty of time they were there again! I don't suppose it is the race organiser's fault or anything, but I do think they could make it a bit clearer that there are still road works right outside.
I agree about the congestion on the track. For me personally I was not too bothered about a time and was quite happy to sit tight for the first part of the race, but you could see people frantically trying to overtake other people, trying to get past people, nipping in and out, which is to be expected if you want a good start. Indeed, my friend that I was running with fell and has now hurt his foot...this has resulted in 3 weeks off running now. He say's it's his fault, but it is only naturaly to want to get past people, and he tripped on the metal ridge that was at the side of the track. I would be amazed if there were not some more casualties. They need to do something, such as stagger the start.
The goody bag was pants. I thought it was ok last year looking back, but not this time...load of rubbish. Also, I did not want Gatorade when I have finished running, I wanted water, so I asked, but none available. Also, no food at all afterwards, not even a snack bar in the bag..poor show. It was not so bad for me as I live fairly close, but for those that had a commute I am sure some chocolate or snacks would have been well deserved, especially after paying about £17 to enter.
Overal I would do it again, but I would like to think they might improve things and take on board some of these comments, who knows though?
In short: A good mix of people. In full: First time of doing this, and only have the Bupa run to compare to. The two are totally different, with this of course being much smaller, and a bit more serious. It depends what you want, if you want mass crowd support, celebs etc the big runs are better. Personally on the Bupa run it was just too busy, and too frustrating to make any time up, this one seemed to have a really good mix of fast athletes and club runners, to complete novices, and the occasional walker. As the field was only a couple of thousand (ish), this was not a problem. We had no problems with the parking, not sure if we were lucky? The roadworks meant that it was very slow getting there though, and we thought we were going to miss the start. i loved the start and finish on the track, and it was great for families to watch from there too. The goodie bag was ok, but i personally thought the t-shirt was awful. I don't like black t-shirts anyway, and the design looked cheap, and the pattern looked like it had been splattered with something! I think they could do better for our £18! i was not expecting such hills, and the last one in particular was heartbreaking! All in all, i really enjoyed it though, and would definately do it again. Date of review: July 7, 2008
In short: A great day out, but not for the serious athletes! In full: This was a fantastic day, helped by nice weather. No real complaints about the contents of the bag, but then I was not expecting that much. My main gripe was with the lack of organisation at the start especially. There were no marshalls to direct you as to how to joing the start! We were in the pink wave and it was HUGE, but it was just a mass free for all, packed like sardines. There was nobody there offering advice, there were people of numerous colours jumping the barriers, I am surprised there was not some sort of accident to be honsest. I also saw earlier, Pink runners walking alonside green runners, which is just not fair. Personally I think if people intend to only walk this distance (which was most of the pink wave) they should do a sponsored walk instead, or at least stick to one side of the road instead of walking 5 wide. My time was nowhere near as good as it could have been because of this, but there you go. It was still great, and I would do it again, I just wish they had been a bit stricter with the colour allocation, it seems anyone can run in any wave. Date of review: May 23, 2008