In short: Very enjoyable all round. In full: Lots of exceptional touches:bottled water and sports drink at the water stations;varied,challenging course;great selection of cakes and a brass band at the finish.
The overall package is very good value and the race is genuinely different.
The course is pretty quick up to mile 10,but those hills at the end were tough !
Overall,I really enjoyed it and sincere thanks to the organisers and all those involved for putting on a really special event. Date of review: July 6, 2008
In short: Still No.1-and getting even better ! In full: I find the NDR difficult to rate objectively-it is so damn good that normal criteria go out the window !
The course itself,the way the course is marked out and prepared,the amazing marshalls and other helpers (where on earth do you get them all from ?) and in fact,the whole "package",are simply off the scale.
It has been my favourite race of the year for some time now,and it just keeps getting better-even though it really does make me ache in places that no other race will manage until next year's NDR !
The free cakes at the end,the top quality tee-shirts,the barbecue and bar etc just add to what is,for my money,the best race I've ever entered.
Never mind "one of" my all-time favourire races,this is the one. Date of review: June 15, 2008
In short: As good as ever. In full: I've done this most years since 1996 and it remains one of the best halfs around.
It's an excellent race across the board-accessibility,parking,organisation etc although it's never as fast as you think it should be.It's almost too flat,if that makes sense,as it's too easy to go too fast in the early miles and pay for it later.
It's still one of the best halfs around and I thought the crowd support was more plentiful and vocal than ever this year. Date of review: March 30, 2008
In short: Crowd support is "something else" In full: A really tough workout.Very tough hills in the first 5 miles,with some exhilerating downhill sections later.However,I paid for attacking them so hard as my legs were "gone" by the final 3 flat miles along the sea-front.
Terrific crowd support-even on a filthy morning.You all really lifted our spirits!
Seamless marshalling and the children at the water stations were great-really enthusiastic and part of the great atmosphere.
The Park & Ride was terrific too-efficient free bus service and less than a minute to exit the car park.
The start and finish areas were chaotic,but certainly no worse than other races of this size-and a lot better than some. Date of review: March 16, 2008
In short: Deal 2003 revisited In full: In many years of racing,I have only once encountered more daunting conditions than miles 5 to 10 today (the infamous 2003 Deal 5).I knew I was in trouble on the way out,when I found myself being comfortably outpaced by discarded water cups being blown along at sub-6 minute mile pace.
At times,it was hard to keep going forwards and a PB was impossible in that wind.
However,as always,there were lots of positives-very supportive marshalls who did a great job (and standing around in those conditions would not have been pleasant),excellent polo shirt,warm and welcoming race HQ,friendly atmosphere etc.
If possible,there should be more toilets before the start but otherwise,it's a great race that will hopefully still be there 25 years from now (I hope I am !).
After 2 consecutive years with a ferocious headwind on the return 5 miles,the odds are in our favour for a calm,still December morn next year when the course will be a real pleasure. Date of review: December 2, 2007