In short: I really can't understand why this event didn't sell out.. In full: Having done this event last year as part of my training for FLM, I was eager to do it again, and got my entry in early this year. As entries were limited to 300, I didn't want to miss out.
However, when I turned up to race HQ yesterday I was staggered to discover that there were only 250 pre-entries.
I cannot for the life of me understand why more people don't do this event. I can only assume that they don't enter because they won't get a PB here. How terribly sad.
The hills in this race are fairly horrendous - the one at mile 8 reduced me to a staggering, hyperventilating wreck - but isn't the wonderful scenery, friendly atmosphere from race officials, runners and spectators alike, and the superlative organisation worth more than merely getting a good time?!?!
Events like this are the reason I run. There was just so much to like about this race, and other organisers should learn from it.
Agree with all the comments on here about the organisation and atmosphere, but I thought that particularly nice touches were the little labels on your race info pack and baggage label, and having the goodie bags prepared with your race no on so you didn't miss out and got the right size polo shirt (again a great memento and infinitely better than a cheap t-shirt that fades and stains).
There was even a little compliment slip in there saying we hope you enjoyed the race and inviting feedback on this website. Wonderful.
Note to runners world: in the "would you do it again" section maybe you should add the option "when can I sign up for next year" because this event certainly falls into that category. Date of review: March 31, 2008
In short: Flat but boring for the most part In full: Pretty flat course but the boring first few miles knocked the stuffing out of me.
Scenery after that was ok but winds were strong today which didn't help. Also there was a section where you had to stick to the path and couldn't run on the road which meant having to overtake on the grass - not ideal.
Plenty of drink stations which was good and the marshalls were very cheerful and supportive. Good mix of runners and nice of a few locals to come out and cheer us on.
Would have liked a bit more for my money than a medal and a mars bar at the end, and this was too far to come for me (only came this year because I was offered a lift) so probably won't do it again, but this is no reflection on the organisation. Date of review: March 22, 2008
In short: Would love to do it again, but not at that price In full: To be fair this race has a lot going for it. Good PB potential (I was a few minutes slower than last year, but not too unhappy with my time bearing in mind I hadn't run for two weeks due to injury) and terrific crowd support, despite the inclement weather. Decent goodie bag and medal, and I was pleased to see we got a nice t-shirt this year as well.
You can't blame the organisers for the rain or the late start, but someone should have known the runners village would turn into a quagmire if it did rain.
My main beef is with the price of the event and the attitude of the organisers. I didn't enter because £30 is extortionate and I don't see how the organisers can possibly justify charging more than the entry fee for FLM.
I was offered (and took) the race no of a friend who couldn't run and checked the organisers' policy on refunds and transferring race numbers. I was shocked to discover that not only is there no possibility of a refund, but transferring of race numbers is strictly prohibited and anyone doing it will be disqualified. In other words, "we've got your money, if you can't run, tough."
The organisers seriously need to buck their ideas up. Very often there are perfectly good reasons why people can't run. I don't see what harm it can do to give your race no to someone else, all it requires from the organisers is a small amount of administration. If other organisers can do it, surely these people can.
If the organisers wish to disqualify me for taking someone else's number, let them. I'd like to see them come round to my house and ask for the t-shirt and the medal back though.
As I say, would love to do it again next year, but only if the organisers stop ripping people off and treat them fairly.
In short: One of the better big city races In full: Not a great day for me as I suffered a calf strain during the race so no PB and didn't enjoy it as much as I should have done - but this is no one else's fault except my own.
Best thing about the race was the crowd support which was absolutley fantastic and one of the reasons I enjoy big city events so much. I had a top with my name on which proved a good move, especial thanks to the girls who started chanting "Give me a J.." etc at 9 miles - that made me smile and gave me a big lift!!
Not really a PB race for me as there are a couple of steep hills so not as fast as say Bath. But if you get far enough forward as I did there is potential for a good time.
Loved the finish in the stadium, just a shame about that horrible loop you have to go round in the previous 2 miles. It seems interminable on the way out!
Quite expensive but not a blatant rip off like another event I may already have mentioned. And they did let a friend of mine get a full refund when she had to pull out with an injury so credit to the organisers for that. Bit disappointed with the t-shirt, logo could have been better.
Very disappointed to hear that some of the slower runners did not get medals etc, 13 miles is 13 miles whether you do it in 1:05 or 3:05 and everyone who completed it should be very proud of themselves. Again, credit where it's due for acknowledging this mistake and ensuring those concerned will get their well-earned medals in the post.
Look forward to coming back next year - hopefully sans injuries! Date of review: March 3, 2008
In short: A hat-trick of PBs at this event, so I went home happy! In full: Managed to get a PB for the third year running on this flat and scenic course. Good weather conditions this year, no wind and a bit milder than the last two years.
Excellent organisation and very friendly atmosphere, again brilliant to see such a broad range of abilities from the very elite to fun-runners of all shapes, sizes and ages.
The only cavil I would have is that some of the marshalls seemed very young and a tad disinterested, so did not get the vocal support I would have liked.
Look forward to another PB next year! Date of review: February 24, 2008
In short: The condtions may have been easier this year, but the hill wasn't!! In full: Really enjoyed this fantastically organised event for the second year running. Special thanks to all the marshalls who turned up despite freezing temperatures.
Wonderful sunday morning run with glorious views out to sea. It was a lot less muddy out in the woods but still not easy going with some tricky stretches especially downhill. The hill is still an absolute killer, my legs were like lead after the second climb!
Managed to knock 7 minutes off my time from last year so got to be happy with that. All my friends improved their times as well.
Have another coaster to add to my collection and bought one of the race t-shirts with the runners' names on the back.
Top day out, definitely one do do every year. Date of review: February 17, 2008
In short: Mud, sweat and tears In full: My second time at the rough 'n' tumble and kept thinking this event is like Christmas - great fun, but I'm glad it's only once a year!!
Still found this very, very tough, even on the flat bits I found I was so exhausted from the hills and marshes I couldn't get any speed up. How anyone runs round this course is beyond me.
Great training run, just the thing to do if you need to toughen yourself up, mentally and physically, for bigger events (eg FLM). Great views from the hills but mostly too busy concentrating on what I was doing to take in the scenery.
Made sure I got my cakes before the race as I doubted there'd be any left by the time I finished!
Thanks to all the marshalls for your support and good humour, thanks especially to Steve Goulding for providing a top-notch event! Will be back for more next year. Date of review: January 14, 2008
In short: Great end to the year's racing, shame about the weather. In full: Well done to all who turned out to take part in, support, marshall or organize a great event in terrible weather. The strong winds and wet muddy beach made this my slowest 10k of 2007, but in better conditions I reckon there is PB potential here.
Having said that, this was more like a running party for runners, so PB attempts should probably be saved for another event. Great to see so many people having fun and dressing up for the event.
Organisation was spot on, the race information told you everything you needed to know, and the t-shirt and mince pie at the end made the toil feel worthwhile!
Not sure if I'd travel all the way from Swindon for a 10k again, but that is no reflection of the quality of this event, so take it as a yes. Date of review: December 10, 2007
In short: Seems to get better every year In full: My third time at my local race and like a fine wine it seems to improve with age!
A tough course but a PB is not entirely out of the question, especially when you know the route well (I use it regularly as a training run). The real killer is the uphill stretch in the 12th mile and I warn every newcomer to save something for that part of the race.
Always good to see so many local people turning up and the shorter fun runs make this a great day out for everyone.
A big improvement this year was the addition of the lucozade stations but I managed to miss the one at 3 miles. By 10 miles it was a case of too little, too late for me!
Excellent value for money, decent medal, funky t-shirt and a mars bar at the end, and more water and lucozade if you want it! (At bath you pay double the entry fee and don't even get a t-shirt - God alone knows how that works).
The post race massage was very, very good, much better than the usual gentle rub down you get at some events and much needed when you have a dodgy hamstring like me!
Parking was good and close to the event but from my house I could have walked there - guess I'm just lazy!
The Swindon half marathon and fun runs has put a lot of bigger races (Bath, Bristol to name but two)to shame this year. Well done to all concerned. Date of review: October 15, 2007
In short: Nice scenic race, memento disappointing In full: Lovely run through Cirencester park. Not really a PB course as not entirely on tarmac. Couple of hills but nothing suicidal.
Good value for money, but would have happily paid a couple of pounds extra for a decent memento - not really sure what I can do with a bum bag that goes round my wrist!
I entered this race specifically to get back into running after my holiday and was carrying a niggle so not expecting to get too much out of it, instead I just enjoyed the run.
Thanks to the marshalls and everyone who turned up to support, but I swear to God, the next time I get race no 1 I either won't run or will take it off between the start and the finish - do people know how annoying it is to hear people shout at "come on No 1!" all the way round??!!
Should be back next year. Date of review: September 23, 2007