In short: Disappointing In full: This was my first Fat Feet event and must say I was left really disappointed.
It started well enough with the free car parking but then the queue for the toilets. Why only 4 portaloos and a lack of toilet paper? I know the lack of portaloos was raised as a problem with last years race but it appears this was not addressed.
The race itself through Bourne Wood was very pleasant and generally well marshalled although there was at least one marshall free point where I could see no yellow sign and could easily have gone straight on instead of a sharp left.
For me though the thing that was really gutting was on finishing and finding no t-shirt and a poor medal in the goody bag. I did ask and was told by one of the girls that she thought they weren't bothering with t-shirts, only medals this year. It was advertised with a t-shirt and you had to give your size on entering so will raise this with the organisers.
The medal made no mention of the race or the year, just that you'd completed a Fat Feet run (the lanyard did mention the race but not the year). So as I'm supposed to be down for Grimsthorpe in August does that mean I'll be getting the same medal? Maybe it works out cheaper for Fat Feet to give the same medal for all their events but it just smacks of penny pinching to me. I'd certainly be annoyed getting that if I ever run Rutland marathon
Slow to get the results as now 2 days after the event and no details on the Fat Feet website. Date of review: May 31, 2011
In short: Worth getting up early for In full: I ran the half and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very scenic with one big hill at mile 8 but other than that pretty flat. Plenty of water stops and sponges. Only a couple of things to improve on. With the amount of runners I would like to see pens used at the start as it was quite frustrating trying to get past slow runners at the front of the queue. Also would like to see different medals for the half and full marathons as then I might come back for the full. Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Lovely run along the river In full: Nice small event so not too crowded. Very friendly and encouraging marshalls and good public support when you needed it most. Not too many narrow passing places so quicker than expected although a bit annoyed at myself for not finishing a bit faster so as to break 1:41 :-( Nice medal and t-shirt and would certainly consider running it again.
Only negative points for me was the parking and shortage of toilets. There were about 8 or 10 portaloos but really could do with double that especially as the blokes toilets in the main building were out of order as they were being refurbished. Parking was provided in a farmers field just off the A404 roundabout but this caused severe traffic congestion on the roundabout itself. The path from the carpark to the start is very narrow with runners/spectators getting in the way of cars trying to park up so there is definately room for improvement there. Also saw one 4x4 trying to enter the car park when people were trying to leave after the race, perhaps the car park road could be closed to incoming traffic once the race has started. Date of review: March 21, 2011
In short: Quicker than you think In full: Day started off really chilly but the free parking at the train station was handy as it meant only a short walk to the start. A very friendly marshall welcomed you at the entrance which is always encouraging. As far as the race was concerned there were a couple of nasty hills which I'd been forewarned about but in general the course was not as hilly as I expected. Particulary enjoyed the park section. Organisers should perhaps look at the traffic issue as I was concerned on more than 1 occasion about the safety of fellow runners during the race. Fantastic downhill finish although I think the last 2 miles being all downhill was a slight exaggeration. The only thing I was very disappointed with was the medal as there was no date or mention of the event on it so organisers sort this out for next year please ;-) Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: Lovely morning run but nasty hill In full: Venue was easy to find and plenty of free parking available.
Organisation seemed very good although the start was a bit weird as the runners were moved back at the last minute so not sure if this was a mistake or last minute change of route.
It was nice to run on a Saturday and the first 6 miles along canal paths was pretty flat and quick. Some of it was a little slow going at first as it was almost single file at some points but relatively small field size helped.
A nasty hill at mile 6 which I was trying to pace myself for seemed to take a few runners by suprise and I didn't have too many people overtake me after that point. The lovely woodland section afterwards was a little tricky with leaves hiding the occasional tree root but it was different to the usual road race and enjoyed the challenge.
My only concern was my garmin showed under 13 miles at the end so not sure if the issues at the start perhaps reduced the overall race length.
Medal was nice and would certainly recommend giving this a go next year. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Lovely run in the country In full: Ok I'll get my excuses in straight away and say that I hadn't run for about 10 days prior due to coming down with some bug. I didn't want to cancel so decided to use it just as a training run as I have a half marathon in 3 weeks time.
I can't say too much about the pre-race organisation as I was running late and only got to the start about 60 seconds before it was due to kick off ;-)
The run itself was very pleasant though and the weather was nice and sunny. I did struggle with the hill at 4.5 miles but I think was just down to rustyness more than anything. There didn't seem to be a great deal of support on the course but as this was my first road race I don't know if this is the norm. The stewards though were all very cheerful and there were plenty of water stops.
I was a bit suprised that some runners were using earphones. One lady in front of me almost got hit by a campervan as she couldn't hear it so didn't seem like a good idea to me.
The last couple of miles was a struggle with the head wind and although I was using it as a training run I was disappointed that I couldn't be a bit more competitive when a few people overtook me.
Very impressed with the medal especially as the race was only a tenner to enter. I didn't hang around afterwards for the festivities but the bbq looked great and the ice cream van seemed very popular ;-)
All in all a great event and I'll hopefully be back next year to beat my time! Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Lovely scenery but watch out for golf balls ! In full: Very well organised although the walk from the car park was pretty long especially having to listen to my father-in-law pointing out much nearer places to park as we walked :-)
Run itself was lovely and picturesque. It was quite difficult running past some of those pubs ;-)
I was wary at the mention of hills so started off at a reasonable pace and glad I did as it was pretty hard going by the end. The only thing that nearly spoilt it for me was almost being decapitated by a golf ball. I saw a blur bounce right in front of me but thankfully it bounced over my head missing me by a whisker. Not sure the organisers can do much about it I guess but could have been very serious.
A lot of people seemed to be struggling with the hills and the heat by the end so perhaps a few more water stops might be prudent but other than that can't fault it. Great day ! Date of review: August 23, 2010
In short: Must do if you like the heat In full: Slow start due to narrow cobbled streets in the town centre but it soon speeds up.
Marshalling was very good although a few people in cars were getting a bit hot and impatient, they should have tried running in it !
Loads of water stops which must be commended and a lot of support. Course was pretty flat although when it got out into the country there were a few hills. It was nice to see a few supporters encouraging runners at the 10 mile hill.
From about mile 11 until 12ish it seems to be all gradual hill but the downhill section at the end was worth it and you seemed to get to the finish line very quickly rather than having to search for it around several twists and turns.
Nice t-shirt but would like to see race chips used in future races due to the slow start and it would have been nice to have had some food at the end even if it was only a banana. Oh and a medal would be nice as I love medals ;-) Date of review: August 9, 2010
In short: Well organised In full: This was only my 2nd half marathon although I've run 2 marathons as well previously. Parking was easy as was bag drop off and collection. The half hour warm up seemed to be well appreciated. I went off too quick and struggled at the end so my recollection of anything of the course apart from the ground beneath me is a bit hazy. It seemed pretty flat and I think on another day it definately has PB potential. Part of the race takes you round along Willen Lake which is very nice and I know the area well as my long training runs take in that area. I was a bit disappointed with the number of supporters but perhaps I have been spoilt by my other runs in Edinburgh and Orlando. Nice medal. All in all a very good only spoilt by a poor performance from me on the day ! Date of review: July 22, 2010