In short: A good race with a few challenging hills to keep your interest up. In full: Overall a good race, the organisation at the start line could have been better, all the half and 10k runners were mixed in together with no time bandings so there was a lot of jostling for position at the start especially when the field narrowed after the first bit. After that the big hill sorted out the runners a bit.
I enjoyed the mix of climbs and descents, it made for an interesting race through some nice countryside and towns. The urban element made for good crowd support. My only gripe in this area was that a lot of the latter part is run down the side of busy roads, although the marshalls were brilliant at keeping the traffic moving and out of the runner's way. I particularly enjoyed the last mile through the woods.
The usual complaint applies that there could have been more loos at the start, I was lucky but when I left the queue was massive.
L liked the goody bag, and look forward to trying the Flax and Gooji berries!!
I'll be back next year! Date of review: July 18, 2010
In short: A great race over an interesting course, very friendly atmosphere. In full: The route is mixed terrain including some roads, paths, fields and tracks. This kept is from being super speedy but did make it a very interesting route and there were some lovely scenic bits by the Thames and through Wallingford. Watch out for the field of cow pats though!! It's quite flat so other than the fields and narrow paths has good PB potential, as it's a small entry getting stuck behind slower runners did not really seem to be an issue.
The organisation was great with loads of parking right at the start, lots of water in bottles rather than plastic cups and plenty of bins after the water stations - sorry for missing with my attempt to get my bottle in the bin!!
Overall this race makes a great day out, there's plenty for spectators to do. Date of review: June 6, 2010
In short: A great race through the historic centre of Oxford, well worth the cost. In full: I really enjoyed this race, especially as I managed to beat the PB that I set here in 2004!! It's an excellent fast, flat course, the only thing that will slow you down is one or two sharp corners. The route is traffic free and winds back and forth through Oxford city centre taking is some of the colleges and the University parks.
The event seemed very well organised with the man starting it doing a great effort to try and get the crowd going. There was a good mix of club runners, fancy dress and beginners, so no one should think it's not for them.
I'll be back next year to see if that PB can come down a bit more!!!! Date of review: May 16, 2010
In short: A great race in lovely scenery with great organisation and super friendly marshalls. In full: This was the first time I have run the Shakespeare Marathon and it seemed superbly well organised, the marshalls were great and all very encouraging with a big smile!! I enjoyed the enthusiatic crowd support, especially the girl with a water pistol and the welcome garden hose as we went through one village.
The start really needs to be sorted by expected start time and could do with being located somewhere with less bottlenecks, I found the first mile very frustrating especially when trying to weave around people who were already walking!!
Overall a great race with good pb potential appart from a couple of hills that get the heart rate going!! Date of review: April 25, 2010
In short: Flat well-marshalled race with good support, worth doing despite the dull scenery. In full: I enjoyed this race, it was fast and flat over a largely traffic free route. I don't mind the loops of the businesws park but I can see why people would find them dull. The scenery is not the best and there is a couple of miles along footpaths on open roads that can mean getting boxed in.
The organisation was good and there seemed to be plenty of parking and water avaiable. I liked the Mars bar at the end, it kept me from starving in the traffic jam on the M4 trying to get home afterwards!!
Overall a good, but not exceptional race but one that I will do again. Date of review: April 2, 2010
In short: A good race with PB potential but let down by a few organisational issues. In full: I enjoyed the race, shame about the rain before hand though which showed up the orgainsational issues, the area around the bag storage became a quagmire and the queues for this and the loos were horrendous. Lots of people almost missed the start meaning that they joined the race towards the front of the starting line up meaning that those of us who started in the correct place had to spend a ot of the first 3 miles dodging around slower runners.
However, the support on the course was good, especially considering the rain and the marshalls were very encouraging. Overall I enjoyed this one and will be back next year. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: A good well organised race, but lacking any outstanding features. In full: The rain cleared in time for the start so it started in a high, the route to the actual start from the race HQ went through a bottle neck meaning that many did not get there until after the gun had gone off. Generally good route, fairly flat with plently of PB potential - I did overhear one man saying afterwards that he'd saved 3 minutesoff his 10k PB. My only gripe was that the scenery was so dull, a large part of the route is over an airfield and while this meant it was traffic free it was rather boring. The organisation was good and a nice t shirt at the end. I'll do it next year but only because it's local. Date of review: December 13, 2009
In short: A great race that would have had wonderful scenery if it were not for the rain and low cloud this year. In full: Rather hilly so it's not going to be a PB race. However, it is well organised and a lovely route that mainly takes you out of town and over the hills to the south of Swindon, the hill up to mile 12 is tough but other than that it has enough hills to make it interesting. Large enough to have excellent crowd support throughout most, and I'm sure if the weather had been kinder then there would have been more around the rural parts today. Very well organised with ample free parking and no waiting around at the end and enough loos no to have to queue. I'll be there next year!! Date of review: October 11, 2009
In short: A great race, well organised and well supported. In full: I really enjoyed this one, despite the hills to the 3km mark on such a warm morning. The local crowd support was excellent and the marshalls very supportive.
My only criticism is from reading other reviews it seems others got more in their goody bag than me, I feel a bit shrt changed now!! Although what I got was very good for the entry fee, I was surprised to get a goody bag and a T-shirt. Date of review: June 1, 2009