In short: Pretty good but with a few niggles In full: Expensive yes. Route has a lot of doubling back and three nasty hills. Organisation was good. They said it would be water only until gels at 18 so I took my own drink in my camelbak. I do think they should reconsider this - 18 is far too late in the day for nutrition. Personally I liked the medal and t-shirt. My main gripe and one that is growing is that the ortanisers seem only to be in it for the money. All communications have included a "why not buy this" message, even the post race questionnaire asked if you'd buy branded kit! Of course, if you ask them a question you don't get a reply. I know they'll have been busy post-race but I know lots of people have contacted them about the inability to look up results for anyone other than yourself and I've yet to see a reply or a change to the results tool. Very poor. Date of review: October 13, 2013
In short: Good course and plenty for spectators In full: This was my return to running after a long time. It's a good event, lots of lovely scenery although it was odd to run some of it in the 'wrong' direction having done LM a few times. Didn't have to queue too long for the toilets, in fact, had to wait longer to put my bag in store. How inefficient is that process? Why not send people their wristbands to do the attaching themselves, so you can just walk up and dump your bag? Madness! The woman who put my wristband on had absolutely no idea that having the ends sticking up in the air might be annoying and I got her to re-do it. On a warm day, the first drinks station seemed a bit far into the race but after that it was fine. The best thing they could do to make this a great event would be to shift the baggage store up the other end of the event arena. From the finish you have to keep walking a certain distance through the de-chipping, medal collection etc but then have to double back a long way to get your bag and then turn back again to be able to cross past the end of the route to get to the tube. Must add another mile to your day! This may be a ruse to get you to spend money at the food festival, of course. I liked all the people with megaphones encouraging you on around the course. Great idea. I don't know how much it cost as I had a charity place, but talk of £75 puts me off paying for my own place which is a shame, as it's local and a good event. (I've just discovered that they need a better host for their website - never seen a site exceed its bandwidth before!) Date of review: October 9, 2011
In short: Nice race, bit hilly In full: Fabulous event. Well organised. Fantastic scenery. Good accommodation. Nice free beer. Now if only they could guarantee good weather. Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: Shame about the organisation for a special anniversary event In full: Where was the water station? Apparently there was some talk of cups being overfilled? Why not just provide enough water? I've never understood the idea of the open air baggage 'store' at the finish area for this event. Why not use one of those tent things to shelter stuff from the inclement weather we generally have at this time of year? If there was a safety briefing pre-race it was inaudible at the back. The first we knew was hearing the start 'gun' for the off. There seemed to be another event on which resulted in the tea room being very crowded. I don't know what the point of the 'goody bag' was when all it contained was adverts - you didn't need it to carry a mug. I disagree with what someone else says about the course, it is largely on roads and not very pleasant. The police however did do a good job in slowing down the traffic on some stretches which was much appreciated. I was at the back of the field as I'm coming back from injury but the marshalls on the last couple of bends in the park seemed more intent on chatting than making sure we took the right path. Signage at the start area could be much improved. I don't know why this has a 'good' reputation. I will only do it again if it's a club race.
My thanks to all the marshalls who were out there on a cold and at times wet day. Date of review: December 14, 2009
In short: The hills were ok but the mud....... In full: An excellent event, well organised with great marshalling. Very friendly atmosphere from all involved. Glorious scenery on a beautiful crisp, sunny day. Would hate to do this in the wet......
In short: Too much on roads for me In full: I know this is a long-standing race but I hadn't expected so much of it to be on roads with no footpaths.
Organisation generally good except for signage. There really could have been far more at both the car parks near the start, eg. pointing towards the start along with an indication that there were toilets there also. Where was race HQ? To comply with the race permit the route map should be on display along with the permit itself. It would be picky to say these affect the race but I really did feel that the start area could have been better signed and advertised. I'm afraid that at the finish too there was no way of knowing where the bags were.
It could be better with only a small amount of thought.
Many many thanks to all the marshals and other officials and helpers out there in such horrible conditions. Without them, there are no races. Date of review: December 10, 2007
In short: Half: Nice run let down badly by the organisation In full: This was a challenging half with superb scenery. Difficult to see how you could race it with great stretches of narrow, enclosed paths where overtaking is simply not possible. I pitied the full marathon runners trying to get through. Water stations were good and reasonably well positioned. Course markings and marshals were good except at the 9 miles (to go) marker.
However, organisation at the start and finish was piss poor. Why on earth don't they send the race numbers and baggage labels out with the race pack? Especially when the info sheet says that the number is enclosed. That way you'd avoid the need for the queueing and chaos at Broughton, and not need all those helpers.
As for the finish, thank goodness it wasn't cold. Inadequate signage meant weary runners were wandering about aimlessly trying to find out where their baggage was. In the hall more chaos. Long queues with no hint as to what they were for and why there were two. The finish line was split between full and half, so why not have a further split after where you can pick up your medal or t-shirt? It really is a waste of resource having people tick off your name when you collect your memento - how many folk are going to go back again? All you have to do is put a line through the runner's race number with a marker pen and you'll know they've collected. You can never order the right number of t-shirts/medals so it was all wasted effort when there could have been more attention to getting people off home.
This sounds harsh but I thought that for a reasonable size event the organisation of key things was VERY BAD. I am a race director and I do know about these things. Date of review: September 30, 2007
In short: Good as ever but a couple of glitches this year In full: I have done this race several times and would always recommend it. However, a few things this year were not quite right: 1 I understand completely the change of start times, but to continue to recommend train as the way to get to the race when it's not possible to get to New Milton from London before 10am is slightly silly. 2 I've never known the race start late before. It sounded as if the half starting late was a knock-on from the full, but why? What happened? 3 The fiasco over t-shirt postage. I was one of those who had to pay to collect my t-shirt.
This is a lovely race which is well-organised, with friendly marshalls, superb atmosphere, great crowd support and so on and I hope it will be back to its usual wonderfulness next year. Date of review: September 17, 2007
In short: Superbly organised yet again In full: Good course, good marshalling, superb organisation. The extra water station this year was a brilliant move. It's hot more often than it's not, so perhaps this can be a permanent part of the event?
This is one of the best races I do, well done to the team. Date of review: June 4, 2007