In short: Excellent Race but better information required In full: I can't fault the running of this race. Yes it was hot, yes it was tough (5 mins of PB!!) and yes the demand for water was high resulting in the organisers struggling to accommodate. However the race was excellent, organiserd really well, local support was fantastic and the atmosphere was first class.
However .... My major gripe is with the information available prior to the race. It was appalling. First of all the maps that came with the race info. They are the worst maps ever. For somone like myself (who has been to Warwick, visited the castle but does not live there) I found the St. Nicks park was not opposite the castle as the map would lead you to believe and at one point we almost got lost. This was further compounded by the fact that we saw no signs on the road to show us where to go. I could not find a race map which I would have liked but I think the biggest one that made me laugh was the RW description of the race ... flat/undulating! I wonder how many people thought that was a flat undulating route when they crossed the line. I have been to undulating routes before and they were not as hilly as the Two Castles Run. Basically if you are local, then go to this race and expect a challenging run. If you are not local I suggest you look in the A to Z for where the race starts. By the way the medal is pretty damn good. Date of review: June 13, 2006
In short: I do like this race In full: I did this race last year and even though the weather was not as hot it had no effect on the race. There was a signfificant improvement on the toilet situation. The atmosphere was fantastic and the PA and marshalls were top notch. There was a slight hiccup with the chip timing however the confirmed times seemed to sort this out. My only criticisms this year are: BRING BACK KAY (Is this microphone on) ALEXANDER. Shef' was so dull and clearly didn't feel comfortable amongst us low lifes. Okay her pre-start speech was more concise than Kay's but she did not look happy. The other thing is; any chance of a medal next year. Even if it means paying a tad extra. I have more water bottles to last several life times of rehydration. Apart from that a real great day had by all. Date of review: May 16, 2006
In short: A truly excellent race In full: Can't complain about this race. Anyone whinging about traffic (which admittedly was bad) should think about entering smaller races. This one had 5 - 7 K runners and it really made the difference on the atmosphere. Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Excellent race In full: Good bits: The course, the organisation, the digital clock at the half way stage, the medal Bad bits: The course was very narrow but not too much of a problem given the numbers running.
Overall: I really really enjoyed this race. It was no-nonsense and it went so smoothly. I think, irrespective, of getting a PB this has to be one of the best races for the year for me. All being well I will run this next year. Date of review: December 18, 2005
In short: A good race but needs improving a tad In full: Good points: A cup instead of a medal (to me this was a good point), scenery (I love Willen Lake), marshalling during the race was excellent, the majority of the cause was flat hence excellent PB potential. Bad points: Having the race HQ so far from the start (although I am sure there was no alternative given the location ... maybe think of changing the starting position), the organisation at the end was lamentable having to be filed into three lanes and wait to have our numbers taken after you have run your guts off is not acceptable, toilets (but then again this is always a complaint of mine) Overall: A good race with the potential to be one of the best, it just needs the rough edges smoothing out. Loved the novel idea of the cup! Date of review: November 26, 2005
In short: A good race with nice touches but room for improvement. In full: Good bits: Excellent medal General organisation was good Nice t shirt (I am still wearing it - I know I am sad)
Bad bits: MORE TOILETS!! Sort out the finish line (simply put the big gantry thing and the chip timing line together) Make the start more accessible - trying to get through approx 1000 runners to get to the sub 50 zone before the race start was a nightmare. I had to climb over the barriers in the end. If you are going to say there is no water make sure that you do not change your mind - too many runners brought water uneccessarily. Little food opportunities for spectators (someone could make a killing at this event selling food).
All these negative comments in my opinion can be dealt with. Even at the risk of increasing the entry fee, this has the potential to be one of the best races of the year. Date of review: October 9, 2005
In short: A good race for all levels of runner or walker. In full: GOOD POINTS: 6k and 10k runs, and 3k walk Nice course (especially with the off road running) Excellent medal (one of the best this year) Excellent goodie bag (banana, pop, water, orange, mars, choccie biscuit bar, pen, flyers and more) Good PA (not irritating and actually rather helpful) Good for all levels of runner and walker
BAD POINTS: Traffic on roads (with the occasional driver advertising their cretinous idiocy with their horn) Few toilets Parking was pram unfriendly But the worst issue for me was having to stop right at the finish line after sprinting half a mile so that my number could be taken down (please improve on this as stopping so suddenly after running so hard is quite dangerous especially if someone behind you is sprints right into the back of you).
OVERALL: Excellent race, would do it again. Date of review: September 18, 2005
In short: AN excellent race In full: This has been the best race I have attended so far. The organisation, the abundance of toilets, the refreshments, the heavy presence of St Johns Ambulance made this a really well organised event. But what gave it that x factor was the little things - the marshalls on motorcycles driving round and stopping to offer water that they carried with them, the ambulance crew offering vaseline (no guesses for what!) to anyone who needed some, the public support and the constant motivation givien by marshalls was something else. The only reason why I selected maybe when answering if I would do this run again, was that performance-wise this was one of my slowest runs of the year and i am finding it hard to get the mileage in for pre-half training due to my wife giving birth to my son - trying to bang out 30+ miles a week with less than 4 hours sleep a night is no fun at all. Good race Wolves you got it right this year - well done! Date of review: September 4, 2005
In short: Worse race of the year ... and it was all my fault In full: I can't fault this race. The organisation, the atmosphere and the course were excellent. The problem was I had a really terrible race and I have only myself to blame. Late night, dodgy breakfast and setting off too fast all added up to me do a time over 10 mins slower than what I was expecting. My only complaint (if it is a complaint) is the starting time (10am). I drove from the Midlands but that race start meant I had to get up at 6am which further compounded the impact of my late night. As I said though I can only blame myself and based on the merits of the race I would recommend this to other runners thinking of running it. Date of review: July 24, 2005
In short: A great race In full: Good points: Atmosphere, location (started and finished in park), beat my PB, nice shiny medal (nice touch with having the back engraved), abundance of water stations (although this was due to circuits during the run), a true undulating course, I particularly liked the final KM being downhill and ran through the park.
Bad Points: Toilets weren't great (I suspect that they were used more as part of the fete rather than specially placed for the race), drinking water at the water stations had a funny chlorine taster to them (my second cup tasted as though the water had been collected from the local swimming pool), the course was narrow in places and seeind as we were being overtaken during the circuit part of the race by the lead runners there was a chance of confusion and people getting in the way. A nasty hill at 7-8K ... but I loved every minute of running up it.
Overall - I really really enjoyed this race. Partly because of breaking my PB and generally I was happy with the way I ran, but also this was one of those races which larger race organisers should look at as a mark of good practice and learn valuable lessons. Date of review: July 3, 2005