In short: In the conditions this was definately a trail race In full: I completed this race a couple of years ago and discovered that the 2014 route different and was lumpier than the previous one.The grass was wet and slippy and the tracks were pitted and flooded in places.The centre of the tracks were muddy resulting in two 'crocodiles'of participants running( and walking) along the wheel ruts.This certainly impeded progress at times.The hill was a killer and when I arrived there along with the slower runners , most were walking as the surface was packed slippy mud.No blame must be attached to the organisers as their literature clearly stated that trail shoes were recommended-I am glad that I heeded there advice. Overall this was a good well supported and organised event , the only fly in the ointment being the wait to allow latecomers to park and reach the start.Why do these people always spoil it for the early birds?
In short: A bit of a toughie In full: Unfortunately I was unprepared for the terrain. The route basically takes in four parks but in traversing these one has to pass along ginnels where progress is impeded by slower runners and walkers. The course has 360 feet of climbing and passes over muddy steps , lumpy grass and muddy tipped tracks.Be prepared!!!! However the event was well organised and well supported and all were rewarded with a technical t-shirt. This event is well worth supporting but beware the hills and underfoot conditions. Date of review: April 1, 2014
In short: The best marshalls ever!!!!! In full: A well organised race where everything went smoothly.The marshalls were all without fail happy and encouraging. Only one fly in the ointment - a lack of correctly sized t-shirts at the end. Surely with no entries on the day this should not occur?
In short: Very friendly race for a first time half marathoner In full: A very hot day bearing in mind the rubbish weather previous endured the weeks before. The Xscape was a superb venue allowing a sit down and coffee before hand. Even the outlets had got their acts together ,several being open early.Parking was a doddle and cheap.A little confusing however was which event started from where and when but all came out in the wash.A nice course with the expected up and down stretches under roads etc.with parkland and lake views.The different cut off stages for the shorter races were clearly marked and shouted by marshalls. The t-shirt and medal were a disappointment as they were non specific with even the different coloured ribbons being anonymous! I did not miss the "goody bag" as these are often a waste of time - the water was enough! A good event worth supporting. Date of review: March 10, 2014
In short: Schame about the gale force wind In full: Great start venue at the Hilton Hotel. Well done marshalls who were all cheerful and supportive despite the aweful conditions. Only one complaint:no-one handing out water at the north pier end when the back markers went through - I had to break into a large pack and hand bottles out to those around me. Good medal as usual for this part of the world. Well done everybody in the dire conditions - it was an achievement just to finish! Date of review: February 24, 2014
In short: This event is not for the slower runner In full: I pen this critique as one of the slower runners. The marshalls were possibly the most unfriendly and taciturn I have ever encountered ( except for the odd one!)One was also totally unhelpful at a road junction in that I was nearly run down by traffic.This could have been avoided if he had have been attending to what he was supposedly there to do. On returning to the finish I was nearly mown down by club runners cooling down running towards me in bunches with total disregard of the slower finishers.Those who had finished , including spectators were streaming across the road to the car park , thus obstructing the race. I am not normally one to carp about races as I realize the effort to organise them.The above criticisms are those which I trust will be addressed on a future event. Apart from the above the organisation was good and I enjoyed the event. Date of review: February 3, 2014
In short: The weather did not help! In full: The route was different from last year in that the puddled track was avoided.Definately a plus. The marshalls were cheerful despite the wind and rain.Good medal.This event is well worth supporting.However the start was a bit chaotic especially for those at the back as there was no awareness of the actual starting line. Date of review: January 27, 2014
In short: A good race for a first timer In full: The venue is definitely more user friendly than the previous one.Parking was excellent but as others have reported , toilets were a bit sparse.The straight road past the Inskip never gets shorter!!! An excellent event with cheerful helpful marshalls.A good medal(as usual!) Date of review: January 8, 2014
In short: One of the best In full: Whilst not carping at the race which was brilliant I append a few observations: -the race numbers were a good idea as at every marshalling point you were cheerfully addressed by your name which was very uplifting. More race organisers should follow this practice! - the videos were hilarious.When can we expect the TV series? -I was not happy with the new off-road bit as I reiterate what a previous correspondant stated about slippiness and dodging the potholes. -Why was the arch removed prior to the back markers arriving in the stadium? -Good t-shirt! -I still noted , despite many warnings , that folk had earphones in.Are these runners loony especially with the traffic which was encountered on route.Do they realise that an accident to prejudice the future running of the event ??? -See you next year. Date of review: December 9, 2013