In short: Muddier than ever, rivers and pools of water..Everything that makes Benfleet a special racee In full: Wow - hard 15 miles. Real multi terrain with some sea wall (although muddy in places. Little bits of road. And lots of mud across Downs. Think this was the muddiest yet and if not in trail shoes then struggled to get up a few slopes
Lots of falls in the mud and very testing for time of year - more a cross country race than anything else this year but thats partly due to all the water caused by recent snow and rain
Great organisation, nice finishers T shirt, lots of water stations and great marshalls.
This race is not a PB one its about getting round and enjoying the cammeraderie of other runners struggling in testing condition.
In short: Good end to year - challenging course depending on wind direction but loops! In full: First a big well done to the marshalls - rarely have I seen so many marshalls at a race and they were universally friendly and supportive.
Organisation generally was very good. Good race HQ, plenty of announcements. Chips on morning seemed to go well.
Race? Its a three lap route along some of Norther Luton and surrounding roads (2-3 miles along A6 for example) which isnt exactly inspiring. No real hills but plenty of slopes nto challenge you particularly on third lap.
Key to this race is where the wind is blowing. Today it seemed to be in face for 90% of time and against you on big hills which made it difficult.
Not a huge amount of support around the course but runners fairly friendly.
Also a relay which seemed to work well with the three lap nature of the race.
Nice medal. Supposed to be a momento but not sure what that was (no big deal to be honest)
So a well organised run for those who want a challenging end to year. Date of review: December 6, 2009
In short: Good solid race - more an intro to running than hard core In full: Organisation OK apart from weird over complicated baggage system that had 20 minute queues 30 mins before the race started.
Lots of freebiews before hand but slightly sparse after (bag, water and wooden medal)
Course of two halfs - well first 6 miles on roads around westminster/embankment etc. then into parks. Parks themselves were OK although route weaved around a bit and wasnt easy to work out where in race you were.
early pace markers out but later ones OK.
lots of friendly marshalls. Course largely flat. Date of review: October 11, 2009
In short: Marathon : Well organised, largely flat, bit soulless second half In full: I liked this race, organisation was spot on, very smooth, big athletes village. Great marshalling and lots of water stops with water, locozade and even gels at many especially in second half.
First half of course is definitely the better half and is run alongside th half marathon so quite a lot of people. But after first half miles or so found plenty of running space and no problems after that. Few "hills" in first ten miles, if you can call them that but flat after that.
Race loses a bit of appeal after the half marathon runners split off. Crowds naturally die down and it can be quite quiet for long stretches. Running around rowing lake is a bit pot luck depending on wind. Not a fan of from about 24.5 to 25.5 where you seem to be running away from finish in a deserted part of town.
Would recommend race for newbies and experienced runners alike and great for those groups who want to mix halfs and fulls in same race. Date of review: September 13, 2009
In short: Smooth, fast and sea views all the way In full: This is the second year this race has been run along the seafront and very glad to say they ironed out all the teething problems from last year. Everything very smooth and professional.
Slightly changed start and finish route which helped, but bulk of course was two out and back loops of seafront. Slightly hard work to keep motivation going but you knew what was coming.
Course was totally flat, which offers great PB potential as long a weather is kind - today was bit warm. But organisers had plenty of water stations each with both water and sponges - well done.
Reasonable levels of support - and only advantages of loops was that your supporters if positioned well could see you four times.
Only a medal at end - but at £12 what do you expect? Mostly closed roads too and great marshaling.
Well worth sticking on your running calendar. Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Very smooth, very slick, a little too much? In full: Second year for me too and will be back again next year as this is a very well organised, flat mass participation race. As others have said the guys who run the London Marathon organise it so it goes like clockwork
Great course that sees many of the London sights
Only issue with it is that if anything its a little too slick, too corporate to be an all time favourite. Its hard to put finger on it but its just too organised? Date of review: May 25, 2009