In short: Lovely city, average race In full: Having grown up just a few miles from Bath, this is a race I really wanted to tick off my list. Knowing the city well I was pretty relieved that the route avoided some of the nasty hills. However it was a shame it looped twice around the city rather than taking advantage of the ample space and keeping it different throughout. However the race was very well supported despite the rotten weather. I've probably got a slight downer on the race because I under-performed time-wise, but this had as much to do with the fry up I ate at our guest house that morning as it did the race itself! Date of review: November 17, 2015
In short: Good fun with one or two gripes In full: I guess because of the rave reviews I was expecting this race to have the X Factor when in fact it was just a rood quality event with decent scenery. While I appreciated its autumn glory I was never blown away. Anyway I guess it can be summed up with Pros: Fast course, pretty scenery, great organisation (esp for a point-to-point), staggered starts. Cons: Non-co-operative dog walkers created bottle-necks, a bit pricey considering the cheap medal and the non-existent goody bag, slow baggage retrieval and the refusal of quite a few runners to observe the Remembrance Sunday's minute of silence (although the organisers cannot be held responsible for this). In saying all that it was a decent day out, I got a quick time and enjoyed the muddy terrain. Date of review: November 17, 2015
In short: Hard as nails New Year wake up call In full: This is a review of the half marathon. I knew it would be tough and it was. Loads of mud, very hilly and awful weather (well, January weather!). Definitely a good run to blow the Christmas cobwebs away. Well-organised (we got given a map but the marshals were excellent, especially when considering the weather), this is a race to get through with gritted teeth. Forget the pb, you'll get just as much pleasure from finishing this one.... Date of review: October 19, 2015
In short: Awesome race In full: This is a review of the 2015 half. For some reason 2015 isn't in the drop down menu. Anyway this goes down as my favourite ever race to date. Yes it was my birthday and I got a pb, but even without those bonuses it was stunning. Stunning atmosphere and scenery, great organisation with a free shuttle to the start (take note Bouremouth), friendly volunteers and a brilliant course with a finish that allows you to sprint like a cheetah. The only tiny gripe - and this is just because I collect them - was there is no medal, but the memory of the race is more important to me. Love the Peaks and love this race. Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: Nice setting and plenty of pb potential In full: This isn't a race for those who love the crowds as there are plenty of times when you won't see spectators and some occasions where you won't see anyone at all! However as a lover of countryside runs this was great fun, albeit confined to the inside of the nature reserve. The flat course allowed for really good times. I got a pb and came 7th, although my Garmin said I only ran 12.8 miles so it felt like a slightly false pb. Still, a fun day out and well worth the effort. Date of review: October 15, 2015
In short: Great scenery, great weather, great race In full: Really glad I did this race. Getting to the start was a bit of a pain because of the traffic but hard to fault it in any other way. I loved the scenery and the pb potential was there because of the flat course. Would recommend it. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Tough, small field, but great for those who love a challenge. In full: For anyone looking to be cheered on by the crowds and running with others the whole way - this is not for you. There were loads of races across the 10 days. I ran the half marathon on day 10 - one of 17 people to do so. We were given a map and sent on our way. The map was essential as the course goes across the beautiful Suffolk countryside and there are not always other runners around, although the marshals were great. In short, as an experienced runner, I loved it. And I came fourth which was nice - you can't say that very often on a big city run! Early start of 8am was tough, but essential with temps rising to 30C by 10am. With so many different legs to run across the challenge there is scope to come back time and again. Date of review: October 14, 2015
In short: Great race but expensive In full: This is a review of the Half Marathon. Overall it was one of the best I've ran in. The scenery was magnificent, helped by the gloriously sunny autumn morning. Because it was a point-to-point race there was a great chance of a pb as the run was essentially downhill. In my 45th half I missed out by seconds - more of that later! I thought the organisation across the weekend was magnificent. My wife ran the 10k and my mate ran the marathon and all the races seemed to work like clockwork.
My only genuine gripe was the price. Not the price of the race itself (£40-odd is very steep but it was a great race and the medal was brilliant) - but the £8.50 for a bus ticket to the start. If you're going to organise a point-to-point with the start line in the backstreets then you ought to provide a free shuttle service, or at the very least a nominally priced fare. I live in London - one of the most expensive cities in the world - but you can travel on any bus for £1.40. The £8.50 fare just to get to the start left a bit of a sour taste. I can't believe with the revenue generated by the entries that this fare (for a 3-4 mile journey) can be justified.
My only other gripe was that there wasn't any clear notice at the start village saying the actual start line was about 3/4 mile away. I was keeping warm in the cafe with hundreds of others until there was 5-10 mins to go and subsequently I couldn't get to the start line on time. I started in a pen two speed levels below me and missed out on a pb because it took me so long to overtake the crowds before I could get going.
That said, it was a superb experience and the crowds were great too. Date of review: October 13, 2015
In short: Good debut despite the weather In full: I needed to tick Leicestershire off my target of running a half in every English county and I'm glad I chose this one. For a debut race it was very well-organised, the route was interesting in terms of scenery and in terms of undulation (although the final hill at 11.75 miles really caught me out!) and the spectators were great. It was great they came out at all seeing as it poured with rain the whole time. Considering the time of year I was pleased the temperature had dropped but the rain did become a bit of a pain come the finish. Well done to all who took part. I'm sure this race will be back for years to come. Date of review: June 14, 2015
In short: Hard as nails for five miles and then plain sailing In full: I've never ran a race like it. It was like 2 different races on the same day. For five miles I massively struggled and was on for a personal worst but then in the last 8 miles I ran five pb miles! This in my 39th half! The downhill was incredible and the views coming into Sheffield from the edge of the Peaks were spectacular. There was some confusion at the beginning about where to go and I had to sneak into Wetherspoons for a pre-race pee. However it's quite normal for inaugural races to suffer these teething problems. The engraving for the medals at the end was extremely efficient. Date of review: May 3, 2015