In short: Continued excellence! In full: Last year I missed my PB by 39 seconds, this year I was 7 seconds slower than last year. Oh well. Fantastic race, very well organised, gels were welcome too! No complaints except for the hotel bed which gave me back pain before the start! 100% uplifting crowds, the official marshalls were full of encouragement too. Great start, queues at the loos were better than for many local races, baggage transfer spot on. Just replace 10,000 non-runners (i.e. the ones who didn't even register!) with ballot places please! Date of review: April 18, 2011
In short: Still not perfect, but getting better In full: local race that I was bullied into doing again... organisation isn't fantastic, delayed start, very poor water station for 4600 runners... not sure where the 900 non-finishers got to when they said 5500..! medal is brilliant, tshirt non existent. Crowds are great, finish is still far too compact and disorganised. If you want a grandstand finish, find somewhere that's got space!!! Date of review: April 10, 2011
In short: Almost perfect! In full: Cock up at the start where everyone was walked in pens to the start, except when the 3:30 runners reached the start line everyone else had gone and we didn't know the race had started. Otherwise, a very well organised, well attended, excellently supported race. Great to see villagers lining up before water stations too! The route is undulating and perhaps a little playful but as I beat last week's PB (which itself was a flat race) I can't say that the "hills" affected my running speed. None of them were particularly steep or long, and the downhills matched nicely. Well done to all concerned, and a fully-grown warm hoody, cheese bap, chocolate, crisps, fruit, drink?.... incredible value! Date of review: March 13, 2011
In short: lovely race - just made my holiday! In full: I must admit, I only ran this because I've been staying with family on the south coast and wanted a race at the end of the week. Luckily the race distance matched my VLM training plans, and with such a pleasant, well organised race, I'll be tempted to drive the 240 or so miles next year to do it again! Marshals were excellent, drinks stations excellent, I especially liked the option of water or energy drink, the route was teasing straights and curves of the local narrow roads, traffic control second-to-none. With a proper wicking t-shirt, very good value, thanks to all involved! Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Job done but nothing special In full: The goody bad was just a bag, no tshirt or momento, so no frilly extras this time. The rugby club hosting the HQ was friendly, though there was no sign of the showers advertised on the RW event page. The race itself was "okay", no sign of a starting gun, or "GO", just alot of suprised people starting over an unseen start line; marshalls were friendly and helpful, the course was playful and the off-road woody part fine. Date of review: February 28, 2011
In short: I like to run, it makes me smile; I think I'll run another mile In full: Lovely race! thanks to the Race Director who greeted me like an old friend at the start (though quite possibly gritting his teeth "oh no not this one again..." after my last place last year) and the other marshalls who were extremely friendly and cheerful. The route will kill you if you're not prepared, and having spent over 4 hours there last year, I should know... (course record is 1:30 something). It wasn't so bad by me this year, and as I was only 2 mins off my 30k PB - set on a much less hilly route - I'm "happy" to say there is PB potential here. Fantastic atmosphere, well organised, good facilities, THANK YOU STAMFORD!!! Date of review: February 13, 2011
In short: Yorkshire wit, grit, weather and better than the tourist traps In full: Out and back through a grey town centre doesn't make this as picturesque as the rolling hills or dales of Yorkshire but what the race lacks in views it gains massively in practical old fashioned well-organised racing. Can't think of a fault from the start to the finish, helpful chaps at the start, including a bit of starting line humour, marshals who cheer and don't interfere, a cup of water at half way, and a bottle at the finish, chip timing, a great t-shirt, and plenty of space and facilities at the local gym for changing. Parking, good. Location, good. Race, great. Just a pity I missed my PB by a minute! Date of review: February 6, 2011
In short: Not worth the 80 mile car drive In full: This race had so much promise - 3 laps of a residential estate and a lap of a park and lake. A novelty medal and a novelty start time (which I thought would be engraved onto the medal?) gave the race an appeal I thought would be worth the 4 hour round-trip. Sorry for those who did put time and energy into this race, but it was poor. The course for the half marathon was amended at last minute due to flooding but there was no clear explanation, and it wasn't until we'd started that I found out we were running the park and then the housing estate together 3 times, then the park again. At the end of the first time I had to shout to marshals asking which way to go, and it took two answers to get the right direction. On the last lap I had to wait for water as the marshal was filling a water bottle for a finisher.. until I had to call out that I was still running. Oh dear. When I was about to finish (even though my Garmin read 12.9 miles) I had to call out to ask where the finish was, which apparently was an unmarked point where a group of people were standing. As I ran into them I still had to ask again "is this it, do I stop now?". The medal was a fair novelty, but no mention of the date or the 11:11 on 1/1/11 start time. Great pity. The marshals along the route were mostly friendly and supportive, as were other runners, so thanks to them.
In short: Gallons of potential for a big PB race, but ruined In full: Sorry, I wanted this to be a great race. I got the PB I wanted, but it was ruiend by very poor organisation. I'll list the problems rather than moan: -Baggage. If you're expecting 6000+ runners, you need more than one 8m wide tent and 6 people. The queue was 20 minutes long! Just as bad after the race too. -Start. When the start spreads back 10 minutes, have a big gun or tannoy so we know when the front runners start! -Start. If you're giving out coloured numbers according to predicted time, try and monitor the pens! For a sub 55 minute runner, I was overtaken by no more than 5 people all race, and overtook hundreds. No idea where I started (7 mins 30 down the road) but I may have run 200 yards more than needed by overtaking (sorry folks) slow, nearly-non-runners who had started at the front. Water. When watering 6000+ runners you need more than 2 tables, cups with sides (i.e. not split) and to stop some bloke pouring a jug over his head when all the cups on the tables are empty. Lucky it was cool and grey!
Other than that, it was a good race. Fast flat route, friendly staff, lots of noise and support. Date of review: November 21, 2010