In short: Another great run from the Great Run team In full: I thought the whole event was very slick in its operation; obviously the organisers have lifted the entire planning section from other ‘Great Run’ events and plonked it in Bristol.
The start area was well organised, and all the volunteers were very helpful. This was particularly noteworthy because I'd managed to leave home without my race number, something that was very quickly sorted by a very nice lady on the event information desk.
Bag drop was good and controlled by some very polite young people from the air cadets who called everyone sir or Ma’am. They stamped your number to indicate that you’d dropped off a bag and checked your bib number against the tag on the bag to ensure you only picked up your own bag.
I particularly appreciated the staggered start by using 'Waves', I thought that this reduced congestion on the course and allowed the other athletes to get the racing hares out of the way and so enhance everyone’s experience. As always you get athletes in the wrong pen/wave dependent on predicted finish times, however I started at the rear of the first wave and didn’t notice too many people falling behind so it must have worked well.
The course was OK, although if I was to criticise it would be the number of twists and turns, however I accept that it's a city event and these things are to be expected. There was a short section on cobblestone which once wet were challenging but running out under the suspension bridge was a nice touch. The course is advertised as fast and flat, it’s be noted that there were one or two ‘rises’ but nothing you could actually call a hill.
I will admit that had the race ben any more expensive then I probably wouldn’t have entered, which would have been a shame because all in all I thought it was a very well put together event. It has to be remembered that there was an awful lot of road closures in order to get the route through the city centre which goes some way to explaining the cost.
In short: Quaint little race, hard enough to challenge but well worth doing. In full: With two killer hills just after the 4 and 7 Km markers and many other 'undulations' this is certainly a testing course.
However the free parking, traffic free route and friendly atmosphere make it a must do on the calendar.
There seemmed to be a fair mix of abilities, and not too many club vests. The winning time was good for the course, but there were plenty of those not so quick that made this event beginner friendly.
All in all? A nice little race!! Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: No frills 5 miler, worth a trip to get a new PB In full: As you can see from my comment on the thread I had reservations about the change of venue, as it happens I was pleasantly surprised. I accept and agree that running over the same ground three times can be disheartening, but feel that in this case it worked well. It gave the spectators plenty of opportunity to provide support. Especially my girlfriend who tends to be very loud.
It was quite a mixed field, and so should appeal to everyone. However if you’re a slower runner you need to be aware that faster people will lap you.
We always stay behind a little while at the end to encourage the slower runners, it’s nice to see them smile even though they’re obviously working hard. The faster runners always seem to be in a rush to get away, and in this case they had to pass people who were still racing without even a nod or a word of encouragement; come on guys it doesn’t do any harm just to say ‘Well done’ or even the dreaded ‘Keep going nearly there’.
Facilities in the grounds were limited but fortunately it wasn’t raining.
I was surprised that we couldn’t get access to Broadlands until 9.30, this meant that people were starting their warm up around the roads, I feel that a little earlier would have been preferable.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few comments regarding the stretch of the route that wasn’t on tarmac, it was quite rutted. The organisers had gone to the extent of placing a few cones next to the worst potholes. With a little care it didn’t pose any problems.
Even at this price it would have been nice to see chip timing, I don’t imagine it cost too much to stage this race. Am I missing something here?
All in all a nice little race without any frills. If the distance is confirmed it would be worth a trip just to try out for a new PB.
In short: Yes a tough race but well worth trying!! In full: This race was well organised with plenty of marshals. The only downside I could see was a lack of toilets. People resorted to the bushes, as usual, but because the race is set in the grounds of a school for young people with disabilities this was rightly frowned upon.
I have done this race before but forgot just how hard the ‘undulating’ course was! I did hear someone at the start say that if you weren’t running up a hill then you’d be running down one, that wasn’t too far from the truth! But don't let this put you off, go for the challenge!
Obviously the good weather made the race slightly harder fort he athletes even if it was good news for spectators.
Nice course, 3 water stations, good marshals and a medal what more can you ask for??
In short: Well organised, nice touches, in short a great race. In full: I have to congratulate Reading Road Runners for staging a great event, although I do concur with the comments about the lack of toilet facilities and lack of sports drinks en route.
Never the less I found the organisation to be quite slick with some nice little embellishments. They even managed to cope admirably when I arrived with my disabled son and asked if I could park closer to the school. The walk from the car park we saw would have left him physically drained and, as a consequence, in a foul mood. May thanks to the gentleman marshal who worked so hard to sort this for us.
Many thanks to all the marshals on the route for the support; I needed it on the second lap! (Didn’t we all?).
The start was quite tight but well managed, the timing boards helped, although you always get someone who obviously physically is not going to finish in 2hrs 15mins who will inevitably start from that position. The pack soon spread out and everyone settled down very quickly.
The route was undulating but not overly taxing, by that I mean no mountains to climb. Traffic light with only the occasional idiot driver. I saw one driver accelerate to overtake a runner then immediately turn left in front of them, coming close to a total wipe-out of the runner.
Fairly decent goody bag at the end, novel to get a mug instead of a medal and the milkshake was most appreciated.
In short: A once great race brought low!!! In full: I’ve done this race for a number of years and it used to be in my top three ‘best races’, but I’m afraid if the course isn’t changed again I shan’t be back.
I understand that the organisers can be constricted by outside pressures but that doesn't excuse poor planning.
Parking was a nightmare, ended up with a ticket. The walk to the start was a little further than some people realised causing them to get to the start line late, and it was hard on my girlfriend who has a problem walking even short distances.
The holding area at the start was a normal two lane road, but by the time you hit the start line it had reduced to a single lane. Within 100 metres you were forced onto a cycle path barely wide enough for 3 to 4 people. No chance of settling into your race pace or passing all those who don’t understand the signs that stated 1hr 10+ and 1hr 25; come on guys it doesn’t take a college education!!
By the end of the first mile I was 1 min behind schedule, damn hard to recover that when running at the edge of your ability.
It wasn’t so much as a road race but a ‘footpath race’. Members of Gosport council should hang their heads in shame at the state of some of the pavements we ran over today. Don’t we get told by RW to avoid running on pavements?
I friend of mine was perturbed by the lack of water on the course; it didn’t concern me as I always race with a hydration pack but he was none too impressed.
The scenery on the course was totally uninspiring. And running around the airbase was soul destroying (never expected to be back there…. Ever!). And some of the switchbacks were a nightmare, I had a guy in front of me who literally stopped dead to turn the corner!!
Given the parking problems, the lack of space at the start line, the walk to the start line and bearing in mind all the other negative comments might it have not made more sense to base the race in the abandoned airfield?? Plenty of parking space and the start could have been as big as you like.
On the plus side the course is still quite fast, the marshals were plentiful and unfailingly supportive, and the finish area was well organised.
In short: Busy race, but well organised and extremely well run (if you pardon the pun!) In full: We got there early just as the instructions suggested. The start/finish area was well organised and worked very well. There were plenty of toilets, the lack of which is normally a big criticism of many an event.
There was plenty of space at the start. I ran the marathon off the back of a very limited training package due to injury, so wasn’t looking for a good time. I had decided to start slowly and see how it went. As it happened I managed to run the second half in exactly the same time as the first.
The first half wasn’t as hilly as I’d expected or been led to believe, I suppose it depends on which other events you’ve done. My first marathon was on the Isle of Wight! But the second half was as boring as I’d been led to believe. Running up and down the length of the National Sports Centre lake was soul destroying. At least it was flat though!
All in all an excellent day out, and regardless of any minor complaints I had a great day.
Many thanks to the Marshalls who were fantastic and it was nice to have the spectators on route.
In short: Challenging even without the heat, but still well worth doing In full: Don't let the fact that this is a Hampshire League Race, it still had something for everyone.
Once away from the start you enter some truly beautiful countryside. The heat this year was quite punishing, especially on some of the bigger hills on the course. The course is described as ‘undulating’, and this it certainly is, so any thoughts of a PB are probably better left at home.
The start and finish area is within the grounds of a college, and you get use of the facilities there. It is also a nice area to relax and see the rest of the athletes finish their race.
Marshalling was generally very good and there were plenty of them, always a sore point for any organiser. They used the PA to good effect to shout out as many names of finishers as possible, which is always good when you’re flagging a bit.
Not much of a souvenir (a plastic water bottle) I much prefer a medal. With one or two improvements ie souvenir, perhaps having a burger bar on site, this race could be special.
This year on the course entertainment was provided by two female members of the same club having a cat fight whilst coming down a fairly steep hill, as a runner next to me pointed out this was ‘a dashed poor show’, especially for the club.
I only entered this race to pace my old training partner, but I’m glad I did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable event.
In short: Cold, snow, sun, gusts of wind what a day, I wouldn't have missed it! In full: Today had a strange mix of weather as you can see from the one liner above, but it was still well worth turning up for.
The sun came out at just the right time, and by the time you got to the finish there were plenty of smiling faces in the crowd.
The race was well supported and benefited from a lot of volunteers, running aroud a town on the roads is very volunteer intensive and this race had plenty.
Smooth organisation, great attitude from all marshalls and a little local support made this a very enjoyable day.
A flat and fast course, not to be missed if you're looking for a PB!
Many thanks to all volunteers and anyone involved in the organisation. Date of review: April 6, 2008