In short: Brilliant event marred only by poor signage In full: This was a really friendly race with a good mix of fun and club runners. I did the 25k run (there were 15K and 42K events too, as well as walking and cycling events). The route is undulating through a mixture of woodland trails, fields, stony tracks and on the roadside and the scenery was beautiful, even with the rainy weather we had on the day.
The only downside was the poor signage particularly in the second half of the race. Each event should have had a colour coded sticker on each arrow sign so you knew when that sign related to you, but these were missing on a lot of signs leaving you wondering if you should ignore the sign to turn off, or assume the sticker had fallen off and follow the sign anyway. There was one junction with an arrow saying 'walkers only' and the other saying '50k' (which was the cycle route distance) so runners had to guess which way to go. If the route maps for all events had been posted on the website in advance we would at least have known where runners/walkers/cyclists shared the same route.
It would also have been useful to have marshalls at certain points along the route rather than just at the checkpoints which were 3-4 miles apart. I often couldn't see any other runners, and given I'd started to lose confidence in the signs, often wondered if I had gone off course. It became quite frustrating having to stop to check the map so often.
Now that I know the route I would do this event again, but really hope the organisers sort out the signage problem which was causing a lot of frustration amongst runners on the day. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: I LOVE this race! In full: Challenging but thoroughly enjoyable race. Excellent organisation and marshalling, right number of water stops and good signposting made for a problem-free race with immediate posting of results on the race website.
Definitely a top five favourite run for me! Date of review: May 6, 2012
In short: Incredible experience In full: This was the first time of running London and it is impossible to describe the atmosphere. The majority of the route is lined with spectators whose constant cheering just spurs you on no matter how awful you're feeling. The route itself takes in a number of landmarks although there are a few dreary bits but I guess that's inevitable with a race of this distance. There are a few undulations, nothig serious though. Organisation was faultless.
I started from the blue start and there was no start claxon or anything audible to mark the start of the race. No music either which there has always been at the start of other marathons I've done.
The race came to a grinding halt around 0.5 miles and was stop/start for the next mile or so (even though I started from pen 4).
There were a lot of adverts for lucozade and Nestle water all around the course which made the signs for upcoming water stations less obvious.
Would rather have cups of lucozade every 1 or 2 miles than a full bottle every 5 miles.
The finishers t shirt was pretty rubbish and really should have been a technical t shirt in a range of sizes that you're likely to wear again, not a cheap cotton one-size top.
Despite these things it was an incredible experience and hope to do it again. Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: Loved it! In full: Really friendly and well organised race. The hills are mainly in the first 5-6 miles but there are some short, sharp hills after that too up until 9 miles when it's all downhill or flat. The starting pens could have been better marked as they were tricky to spot from the seafront and perhaps this is the reason there were a lot of slower runners up front. Water stations every few miles which were very well run, and a cup of tea when you finish. The marshalls are great and the support from the locals is fantastic and make this a really special event. Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: Great race marred by wrongly measured distance In full: As others have said the course measured almost half a mile too long, even allowing for Garmin inaccuracies and the extra distance you run dodging peoole that isn't great. It would have made the difference between a PB for me and a few others I'm sure. The toilet queues were also badly managed with a barrier put too close to the loos. I queued for 30 mins and there were lots of people still not in the starting pens when the run started because of the queues. better signposting and queue management would have sorted it. Other than that a really enjoyable race but not sure if I'd do it again given the problems. Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: Great race with definite PB potential In full: Well organised, great marshalls and support with a good mix of runners. Nice undulating route on mixture of urban and rural roads, no significant hills though and last 2km all downhill which makes for a fast finish. Really enjoyed this race and will definitely do it again. Only negative, which might be other people's positive, is the mug instead of a medal. Date of review: February 5, 2012
In short: Muddy fun! In full: Lots of hills and mud, very well organised with a good mixture of people doing it for a laugh as well as those taking it seriously. Only downsides are that it's more like a run/walk as some of the course is so narrow you can only go as fast as the people in front of you. I think I walked almost as much as I ran which was pretty frustrating. Also, although we arrived early the car park must have already been full as we were told to park on a side road which was a good 1.5 mile walk to the start/finish. Not what you need when you're tired, cold and wet. Date of review: November 28, 2011
In short: Great atmosphere In full: This is the third time I've run this race which is one of my favourites although didn't enjoy it quite so much this year. On the plus side it's a realy friendly race so suitable for all abilities and the organisation and support is good too. On the downside the race is expensive (more than the London Marathon), the route is congested with too few waves so maintaining a pace is hard and some of the route is quite dull being through residential and back streets. Too few loos as well with 30min queues. For the entry fee it should be better, but I would still say it's worth doing. Date of review: November 1, 2011
In short: Nice varied flat route but wrongly measured distance In full: Great turnout and mix of runners. The route is completely flat and quite varied with road, grass and shingle sections along the seafront and park. Marshals were brilliant, thanks in particular to the lady that stopped the grumpy resident from driving out into the path of runners!
Two problems with this race - my Garmin measured the route at 11.4km so either someone forgot to include the park section in their measurements or the turnaround point was at the wrong place. Very frustrating if like me you were otherwise on course for a PB. Also, the chip recorded runners time from the gun, not from when we all crossed the start line so times recorded were not accurate.
It is organised by a charity so the main thing is it raises money for a great cause, but for anyone running for a time it was pretty disappointing. Date of review: September 11, 2011
In full: Well organised and friendly run. Completely flat so great for PBs as long as the wind isn't too strong. Only downsides are the route is quite dull- 4 laps up and down the seafront with few spectators although the marshalls are great. Also, if like me you're used to running with music, theres a no-iPod rule which seems unnecessary given the entire route is on the pavement. This makes it all the more dull. Lastly, the drink station wasn't very well managed as drinks were poured as runners went past which meant waiting, and there was only one station every 3 miles. Date of review: August 14, 2011