In short: Wow what a scorcher!!! In full: Hottest Half I've ever done and in an all time PW time but by the first water station we'd already decided (2 friends and I) just to take it easy so we could finish, stopping for a chat and a laugh with the water station marshalls (a number of runners didn't even make it to mile 1 and we passed quite a few poor souls requiring medical treatment).
Support was terrific - from both locals and marshalls. Plenty of water which we were actively encouraged to take and the guy with the hose was a real life-saver, thank you so much! Wonderful young lad offered us jelly babies too and the all the good will (and sympathy!) from supporters was what really kept us going. Special race t-shirt with all our names on the back was an excellent touch I thought.
We'll definitely be back next year to do this one. Spectacular scenery and so well organised. Besides - what are the odds that we could have such a scorching day for the race next year ...?! Date of review: May 13, 2008
In short: Lovely bank holiday run! In full: Didn't care too much for the hill start(!) but you couldn't beat the scenery throughout and the friendly atmosphere. Had been forewarned about the hill at the end, so was ready for that and it didn't go on too long anyway. I thought the hills at the beginning were worse for me as they seemed longer (maybe that's just me though, always takes me the first couple of miles to get into a rhythm!). Had to watch your step on the muddy farm track section but scenery was at its best there too. Fantastic support I thought, from locals and marshalls alike. I'll be back next year! Date of review: May 6, 2008
In short: A lovely (but very challenging!) 15-miler! In full: Did the 10k version last year and enjoyed that despite the taxing hills but did feel a little anxiety about how would feel for 15 miles this year! Well, the last couple of miles downhill was BLISS and we knew that was there to look forward to (after the first loop) so it wasn't too bad in the end! Water stations strategically placed and plentiful really helped.
Wonderful WONDERFUL marshalls, which you really need out on the lonelier parts of the route (i.e. most of it!) and the villagers of Naseby were utterly wonderful too, really gave us a much-needed boost by their cheery support (even had festive tables laid out, kids offering us sweets and drinks, etc - was very touched) , so I thank you for that! I'm glad this now seems to held in April these days instead of Feb; means I'm sure I'll do this again next year! Date of review: April 27, 2008
In short: Misty, hilly and completely enjoyable run! In full: Didn't hear the start gun/horn, just noticed runners surging forward all of a sudden, so my legs were already startled into moving before my brain really registered it!
Enjoyed the whole run with (as ever) cheerfully encouraging marshalls and very scenic route. Definitely doing this one again next year.
Have to say ... poshest portaloos I've ever seen too!
Thanks AFF for yet another fab race! Looking forward to Marston Forest next! Date of review: April 20, 2008
In short: Excellent - very slickly organised In full: Great PB course due to being so flat (and in fact got a PB today!) and a good atmosphere. Winding in and around the race track for that distance got a little disorientating at times but enjoyed being allowed to plod in such a venerated location!
Some good crowd support and welcome music in certain sections, which helped recharge the batteries!
Lucky with the weather too - was ideal! I didn't do this last year (and glad I didn't!) but heard how bad the conditions were then, so was relieved to see the sun and lack of rain from the threatening clouds in the end!
I agree about the t-shirts ... now I don't need to buy that tent I was considering!! Top quality medal though!
In short: Well organised In full: Considering that the race organisers met a surprising amount of opposition while trying to get this Half 'up and running', I think they did a bang-up job, so a huge 'well done' to them. Would have loved to have run within the city around more of the sights but with all the building work etc, I appreciated this wasn't to be. Sefton Park however was a very attractive alternative, so no complaints there!
We had some terrific local support (I especially remember one very kind bystander offering icepops to us as we laboured up Upper Parliament Street!) - some very vocal locals, which helped spur me on in places where I was flagging the most!!
Overall, I enjoyed this (any aspects that I didn't were down to my poor pacing strategy, not the Half itself) and would definitely do it again if the course were to be held in the city centre/include the docks. I don't feel it's local enough to me to warrant the travel again otherwise. If I lived more locally, I would certainly do this again next year though.
Many thanks to the organisers for putting together an enjoyable Half. Getting a quality medal, a t-shirt AND goody bag made it particularly good value too! Date of review: March 4, 2008
In short: Full of praise for this excellent run In full: Many thanks to GVH for a brilliantly organised training run, scenic and friendly with encouraging marshalls. I'd recommend this to anyone training up for a marathon; great way of getting the mileage in with friendly company and picturesque surrounds. Longest run I've done to-date and a couple of biggish hills made it a challenge but the downhill section towards the end was bliss! Wonderful cakes and tea at end too! Oh - and my thanks also to the cheerful, friendly organiser who entertained us with local historical tales between miles 6 & 7 too! An added bonus! Date of review: February 24, 2008
In short: Lovely race and much more scenic than I expected it to be! In full: Fantastic Half and one I'll be entering next year too. Loved every moment of it ... even those hills! Friendly atmosphere generated by the terrific marshalls, other runners and also locals who also provided cheery encouragement us as we jogged past them! Majority of the course was in scenic countryside however, which made it a real joy to do.
Very lucky with the weather - it kept dry the whole while and the sun even made an appearance for a long spell. Wind was cold but then it is still winter! Date of review: February 3, 2008
In short: Mud, mud, glorious mud In full: ... and hills, hill, glorious hills! Terrific fun and beautiful scenery. Not a race to do if you're squeamish about mud (and especially muddy inclines!) but if you enjoy a scenic challenge of a manageable 5-miles, you can't beat this one! Well organised and friendly, many thanks! I'll be back in 2009 for some more of that mud, mud, glorious mud!! Date of review: January 20, 2008