In short: Poor organisation spoiled a potentially good event In full: The Sports village is a fabulous venue for a 10k, and the availability of the track to warm up on, changing rooms and easy parking were excellent. For a first time event there was a good field and atmosphere pre-race. The route was a mix of canal towpath and hard packed trail routes through the attractive scenery of Pennington flash. A few testing inclines made it a bit of a challenge, even if it does mean that this isnt really a PB course: too many sharp turns and congestion for that.
And then came the negatives.... 2010 fun runners et off at the same time as the 10k runners which made a congested first few miles considerably worse. This was compounded by the fact that the fun run route diverged from the 10k route, causing chaos as the youngsters had to cross the path of faster runners to keep to their course: an idiotic course decision that has to be scrapped for next year. Hopefullly no-body was hurt but that would be through good luck only.
The water station amounted to a couple of hard pressed marshalls, a small table and not a chance in hell of providing water for the 500 runners coming through. This was simply not good enough and needs a lot more thought and effort for next year.
All in, this event has potential to be a bigger, and better event, but the organisational problems need addressing. Date of review: July 25, 2010
In short: Friendly family race In full: The Good: the concurrent school fayre makes this a great event for those with kids, pareticularly those young enough for the min-races complete with medal! Great family atmosphere and good value for the medal and refreshments at the end. enthusiastic marshalls and locals help make it a pleasant day out.
The could do better: So man on-line entries that registration was getting a little overwhelmed. the managed ok but maybe post out numbers next year? The start was a bit chaotic due to the need to keep people of the roadway until start time... and a lot of folk taking no notice of the organisers trying to sort this out. a louder loud hailer needed to sort the chaos.... and ther Mayor needs to give it some welly with that bell! Date of review: July 4, 2010
In short: If Carlsberg did local 10k races..... In full: Great friendly atmosphere, clockwork organisation and excellent facilities went towards making this a thoroughly enjoyable event. Race registration was spot on, as were the cheerful, obviously experienced marshalls along the well signposted route. This race had a great spread of abilities making it a proper, welcoming club event.
The course was deceptively fast at first, but the loop through the park, and those killer steps before the "off road" section sorted out the stout from the faint hearts, (I'm obviously a wuss!). I must have got lucky with my goody bag, but we all got a snazzily designed t-shirt that was well worth the entry fee for, and not one of those ones that will end up at the back of the drawer! The Police club had great facilities: Its somewhere warm for spectators to get a brew from, and the rugby changing rooms and showers were great post-race for a freshen up! This is a definite for next year for me. I dont think its a PB course, (the off road loop took care of that), but the "buzz" from such a pleasant event will stay with me all week! A credit to Penny Lane Striders. Date of review: July 4, 2010
In short: Great atmosphere and course let down a little by organisers In full: I'll get my major gripe out of the way first: starting he relay people in front of the main body of full marathoners was utter stupidity. A large portion of the relay folk plainly hadnt seen a race course before and seemed oblivious to the etiquette of moving out of the way before stopping dead with 6000 people coming behind you fast! Annoying and dangerous. I sent one poor lady flying when she stopped in front of me but could have ruined 6 months of training and buld up just because a "fun runner" was thrown into the mix with a lot of faster people. Every 6 miles the exhausted, usually walking chicanes would veer off the track, only to be replaced with a fresh batch of relayers who would innevitable stop dead after 2 miles and cause the probems all over again. If there is a relay next year then I wont be coming - its a marathon - keep it that way.
Moan over - the good bits: The start was well marshalled and signposted and the first few miles through the sights of Edinburgh were fab, (shame we then left the city for the next 23 miles!). Local support was wonderful - hosepipes, unofficial water stations, fruit, food and jelly babies along with enthusiastic vocal support was an absoloute credit to the people of East Lothian who obviously cherish their marathon. I had no problems with the route other than the lack of water at the Gosforth House loop and the boingy finish mats. Signposting to the re-union area was total rubbish and the finish was a shables, but i was happilly clutching my fabulous quality medal and top notch t-shirt by then! If I dont get into London next year I may well be back... but not if the relay is on again! Date of review: May 29, 2010
In short: Festive Friendly Fun! In full: This is one for every member of the family from toddlers to Grannies to the pet dog. Fabulous festive atmosphere and a good chuckle to run with thousands of other loonies all dressed up like Santa Claus on a Sunday morning! I spent the first mile laughing at the absurdity of 8000 grown ups runing about looking like Father Christmas. Kids love the Mini-dash and feel like they are really taking part in the event. Great fun all round and I'll be back in 2010 without a doubt. Date of review: December 7, 2009
In short: Superb organisation and a brilliant T-shirt In full: Organisation ran like clockwork from the early postal issue of numbers, signposting right to the car park from miles out and top notch marshalling. The scenic country lanes were open to traffic but thanks to professional marshalling this was never a problem. A few inclines on the route may hurt your PB attempt if you are having seconds off, but no actual hills - its still a quick course. Excellent quality technical Tee made tis superb value for money. Thanks to all concerned and did Wesham Club proud. Date of review: November 28, 2009
In short: Mud, Hills, more mud, more hills. In full: Never laughed as much during a race. Fanatastic fun all the way round and surprisingly hard over the last couple of muddy, soggy freezing miles! This race sells out for a reason! Date of review: November 11, 2009
In short: Perfect for Beginners and PB Chasers Alike! In full: As flat a course as you are likely to see makes this event perfect for both first timers and those chasing a personal record time. A big field of nearly 600 runners this year meant a slightly congested start, but things evened out fairly quickly to allow runners to find their pace. The looping course of 3 laps, (one small, two big), made it ideal for spectators who could see their runner go past up to half a dozen times if positioned carefully!
A couple of narrower paths and pavements became a little crowded due to the nubers, but nothing to to cause too much of a problem - but slower or novice runnes need to be aware of the etiquette of moving over for the elite/faster competitors.
The event has a good family atmosphere and lots of un-affiliated runners mixed in with the club vests for a goo spread of experience.
Gody bag sems to be something of a Lucky Dip with runners reporting a variety of different contents! I got a quality towel with Natterjack Seaside 10k embroidered in gold, along with a medal, energ gel, cereal bar, Asics pen and some sort of skin cream. Others report getting a t-shirt but no medal!
Excellent value all round with extremely easy parking and good organisation. Date of review: October 19, 2009
In short: Fabulous event and a must-do for me next year In full: Value: The New Balance technical T-shirt is excellent quality with an attractive commemorative design and far better than the usual tatty cotton Tee that you would never wear again. I'll be training and competing in this quality item.
The medal is a nice, solid, chunky item that has impressed all of my non-running friends and looks like a proper reward for 13.1 miles of effort! Along with race entry and as much free Lucozade as I could glug / carry away with me, I'd call it excellent value for money for a big event
Course: Testing first 6 miles on a slight, but noticeable upwards gradient meandering through rural Warrington... followed by a faster 2nd half in a gently downwards direction for a fast time! The course will have to avoid a couple of bottlenecks as it grows over the next couple of years though, but its a good route for both beginners and PB chasers. The finishing lap of the running track is an inspired idea which gives a real "grandstand finish".
Atmosphere: Fabulous throughout. Warrington is a friendly town, and this attitude rubbed off on spectators and competitors alike. Local support and drummer band en route were very enthusiastic, as were the excellent marshalls. Real sense of camaraderie amongst the field, and a proper "feel good factor"! I've been on a high all week!
Conclusion: This is an excellent event that looks certain to grow in size and stature each year. A few minor glitches were to be expected this year and the highly profesional team behind the event will have them ironed out by next year. Elite, enthusiat and charity running beginner were all equally catered for an made to feel valued. Really enjoyed this and cant recommend it highly enough!
In short: DO THIS RACE! In full: You will not regret it!
I dont think I have ever enjoyed an event as much as this one. Unique opportunity to run the Paras course, fantastic atmosphere from start to finish and its not often you do a race with views of burned out tanks and camouflaged Paratroopers in the undergrowth for spectators!
The long slow hills are a real tough challenge, whlst the near vetical scrambles end up just being a laugh! Water obstacle was surprisingly refreshing and the support of the crowd on the finish straight was brilliant.
I cannot recommend this event highly enough. If you are reading this its probably because you are considering doing it in 2010 - stop hesitating and enter the best race you'll ever do! Date of review: September 14, 2009