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
In short: This will become a popular race In full: I'm quite amused by some of the comments on here. The criticism of the "dull and boring" route evokes memories of the famous Basil Fawlty quote to Mrs Richards: "Well that is Torquay, madam!" If you don't want to look at North London, maybe don't enter the North London Half Marathon! The journey to and from the start/finish was a bit of a ball-ache (depending on where you live) but again, that's London for you, and the website/info booklet couldn't really have been clearer about the distances involved. Some people here have even been moaning about the part through Wembley Stadium. Really? Yes you weren't in there for long (that's running for you) but the approach to the famous ground was brilliant, I thought. I prefer runs in the countryside these days but this race - despite the suburban backdrop - was great fun and very well organised for a big event. I expect this event will become bigger as the years go by so I'm glad I ran the first ever one. It was a bit expensive, but no-one forced me to enter. There are loads of cheaper races out there. Finally people have complained about the hills. Really? I can think of one toughish hill but the rest were gentle at best. If you want a totally flat race you need to go to Holland! Date of review: March 17, 2015
In short: Tough as he'll, not helped by the weather In full: What can I say? This was hard as nails. Even if the weather was good it would have been a thigh burner with the terrain and the hills. But with the storms and cold wind it was bloody tough. Still great fun for those who like to grit their teeth and gain satisfaction from completing something really hard. Date of review: March 9, 2015