In short: Lovely off-road run through beautiful countryside but extremely pricey. In full: Low key, well organised event, with a lovely run through beautiful countryside. As someone who doesn't have any need for yet another running T shirt and medal, I prefer events to give their value from the run rather than unnecessary extras.
I ran the Ampthill Trophy the week after, just as beautiful and probably more challenging for half the price. Date of review: October 31, 2013
In short: Good idea, but problems because not organised by runners In full: A really well intentioned race, with ambitious road closures and good pre-race information.
I quite liked the course. In terms of an urban race, I thought it was better than the first half of London (for instance).
But so much not thought through. The start was far too narrow and I hate to think what might have happened if there was a larger entry - so if it's run again with more runners that definitely needs to change.
There were plenty of marshals, but little encouragement or directions given. The last mile was a lucky dip as far as directions were concerned.
I thought the finish was poorly placed and the PA was a pain. A finish in say Wardown Park would surely have worked better.
So, next year, a different start and a different finish and try and get more runners marshaling, or at least brief them better. Also get more people involved who have experience of organising running events. Date of review: October 31, 2013
In short: Great local race In full: I only did this as a sort of training run for Chester marathon. After a six mile warm up (on the most boring part of the course) I wasn't particularly looking forward to it, but the route picked up and was really enjoyable. Loved the undulations, especially the hill at 9 miles with the sting in the tail. The marshaling was outstanding. Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation which was excellent. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Excellent Race In full: I really can't fault this race. If you are looking for a marathon to beat your PB, with reasonable support and pleasant scenery, you'd struggle to beat this. Definitely in my top 3 road marathons with Amsterdam and MK. Date of review: October 26, 2012
In short: One of the best In full: This was my 49th marathon and I would definitely put this in the top 5 that I've done. Flatest course you could imagine and a very scenic off-road route. There were about 300 competitors so the last half was a bit of a personal time trial, but for someone who wants a fast time and can organise for perfect weather as we had, this is the race to do. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Pleasant race, but needs tweaking In full: Many positives: Good race HQ close to the start, friendly race, reasonable course with a lot of variety, good value for money, regular and well stocked water stations, fair amount of support.
There are other points needing attention. The marshaling was non existent for long periods. If someone had come along and removed an arrow the whole race could have fallen apart. There was no marshal policing the bank towards the canal, which was positively dangerous.
This is not a PB course as there are too many slow sections and obstacles - adding about 10 minutes to a tarmac run.
In short: Really enjoyabloe In full: My third time at London and I really enjoyed it. As I am training for a 100 miler I could just treat it as a training run with no pressure and enjoy the day. Once it thinned out I got into my running I did a negative split for the first time. Marathon heaven! It's a really great feeling to get stronger as the race goes on.
The crowds were great and thanks to all the volunteers who did a great job.
London is not a pb race unless you can go off the GFA start and I do feel sorry for those who trained hard and couldn't convert it in the race. Hopefully if that applies to you, you've got the marathon bug and will achieve your goal in a smaller event or a better big city marathon (try Dublin, Edinburgh or Amsterdam). Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Really well organised, mostly off road marathon. In full: This was a friendly event, which was great value and really well organised. It was a clockwise cicum-navigation of Bedford taking in some lovely scenery. The LDWA style instructions were outstanding and made for a very easy to follow race. The three checkpoints were well placed and well stocked.
Thanks to the organisers for such a pleasing event. Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Just great to get out on Boxing Day for a run. In full: This a completely unpretentious race which suits runners of all abilities. It's a great opportunity to meet up with friends and fellow runners after the excesses of Christmas Day.
Thanks to the organisers for making sure the race took place. The course change added a bit of challenge running back down the hill against the traffic!
Thanks to all the organisers. Date of review: December 29, 2009