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
In short: Don't miss a trick, this is a treat In full: This race killed me last year. Seriously. They had to send my body back to my parents after it was found in a ditch at the side of the route. It took so long, even my clubmates had gone home. This year... the plan was to take 1/2 hour off that time. I managed 35 minutes. But that's not the point. The race overall was very well organised; the route is rolling hills through Clumber Park (woods) and town... The tshirt is halloweeeny and has my name on it (and those of several hundred other people!). The chip and pin part worked well and the race really was a treat! Date of review: October 31, 2010
In short: Great race! In full: For my 10th marathon and first in-land...
The hills in the first half weren't as bad as people made out so I felt great up to 1/2 way. Then felt really bad and struggled. The crowds were much more sparse and water/lucozade upto 3 miles apart made the heat even more unbearable. They could atleast have split and had a gap between so I could drink both!
Otherwise this was a good race. The tshirt is well-worth the extra cost, and the madal was a well-received chunk of bling at the finish line!
A special mention to the Motivation Crew at 19 miles. Wow, great guys - even if we could hear you shouting for over an hour!!
Organisation was good, the start was easy, the finish was well-laid out and well-run.
THANKS NOTTINGHAM!! Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Lovely race, well organised In full: It's a good race. Mostly flat, where the greatest hill really is just a bridge over the A1, and well populated with cheering crowds. The organisation was good, plenty of water stations, and the start and finish were well laid out and bustling with happy people. Cheers Newark! Date of review: August 8, 2010
In short: Fantastic location, enjoyable race In full: This race always brings out the extremes in the weather - it's either flooding with rain or you're sunburnt before you make it to the start line! Water handed out at the start really helped! Well organised, the five+ water stations were well-manned and the friendly marshalls were happy to give 2 cups each. The local population was magnificent, from the shouts of support to the kids shooting runners with water pistols to the grannies spraying garden hoses and calling friendly encouragement! The route is playful, the 2 mile long bridge is an engineering marvel and a pleasure to run along. The finish zone is good, crowds line the last 200 yards well and the sponsoring supermarket handing out punnets of fresh fruit... just extraordinary! Great t-shirt and medal too. Well done to all involved! Date of review: June 28, 2010
In short: Lovely river-run in the sun In full: Well done to all who organised this race; it was most splendid! Perhaps a bit clubby as the field was "very" small but this did nothing to detract from good organisation, friendly marshalls and a fairly valuable goody bag. Perhaps a 9am start next time so I don't have to run in the midsummer midday sun though?!
"I like to run, it makes me smile, I think I'll run another mile"! Date of review: June 20, 2010
In short: I like to run, outloud I'll say, I think I'll run the Woodhall 10k In full: A well organised race, plenty of people, friendly marshalls, good water stations, good finish. And a rockin' PB to finish with. Yay! Date of review: June 8, 2010
In short: Lon-done- if only I could stay out longer! In full: Fantastic! Any race where world record holders, royalty and organisers mingle with the masses (Richard Branson and Tegla Loroupe were even kind enough to sign my number!) must be special. The course could barely be improved, the crowds were extremely noisy and utterly supportive, as were other runners, water/energy stops were perfectly organised, well spaced, and the bottles weren't too big this time. The race is truely amazing, arguably THE BEST race in the world, and with 120,000 applicants for 37,000 places, it's just a pity they can't increase the field! Thanks to everyone involved, especially the millions of spectators! Date of review: April 27, 2010