Ive done this for the last 2 years and have enjoyed both years. Its a friendly atmosphere, nice setting, a good course, and the event village has plenty of stuff to keep spectators and competitors amused throughout the day.
On the fundraising part, its an event organised with the purpose of raising money for charity through a sporting event. Thats not everyones thing, but as far as Im aware, the targets they suggest are merely that, targets. They're not strictly enforced and they dont send the boys around if you dont raise that amount. Personally, I find it refreshing to see a bloke use his profile to try and do some good, cos there are plenty of people in his position who dont engage like that.
£120 entry for 2 super-sprints (or 1 super-sprint and 1 sprint if youre good) seems a bit steep, but the entertainment (including post-race BBQ and live music), organisation, course, and little add-ons throughout the day make it pretty good value for money in my opinion. I cant say I felt ripped-off.
On the whole quite an enjoyable event. Reasonably well organised for an inaugural event although there were a few things which need looking at:
1. Water - simply not enough. On a day like yesterday, there need to be more water stations, and the water stations need to be bigger. I dont think its a coincidence that there was a lack of water and an abundance of people requiring serious medical attention in the last 3-4 miles. Ive run a fair few races and Ive never seen anywhere near that number of casulaties for a half marathon!
2. Mile markers - some of them were way out. I know a Garmin isnt 100% accurate and I expect a degree of difference, but the 6-mile marker came in at 6.55 miles on the Garmin. I can only think of 2 markers which were remotely close to where they should've been. Some short, some long, some very long!! And the distance from the 13 mile marker to the finish line was not 0.1 miles. Closer to 0.4! That needs looking at.
3. The PA announcers - the bloke was alright, but the woman really liked the sound of her own voice. Incredibly annoying. If youre going to bleat on about how quick the winners were and how good their times were, at least tell eveybody what their times were! Got the impression she was blagging it. Badly!
This is a fantastic event. I did the half marathon in 2011 and judging by the terrain of that, Id say that the marathon will certainly be challenging (but also definitely a lot of fun!). Well marshalled, great last mile, massive medal that weighs about the same as an articulated truck, and the pasty and pint after the race hit exactly the right spot.
The field for both full and half marathons were full of your average club runners and running enthusiasts. Sure, there are some seriously quick runners in there, but the majority are there for fun, so coming last is not something you'll need to be worrying about. You definitely wont regret doing Eden!
Embrace the hills suzemac. I did Amsterdam, too flat for my liking and did not go to plan. The hills work the muscles in a different way and for me that is a big help.
This!! My joints were screaming at me at the end of Amsterdam, yet more undulating courses cause me far fewer problems. I used to hate hills, but once I incorporated a few challenging hills into my runs, I learnt to love the hills.