In short: Still too many people In full: The race is now far better organised than it was a few years ago. HOWEVER, the underlying issue to all the problems that people mention is that the infrastructure can't cope with a five figure strong race. That's the course, traffic, parking, awful lapping of runners in a free for all, congested finish area etc etc.
As it's a commercially run race and reducing numbers would impact their revenue I can't see that the sole cause of recurring problems will be addressed. Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: One of my favourite Dorset races In full: Quite literally something for everyone.
Very supportive marshalls who cheer on and guide runners by their names where they know them - difficult to acknowledge in full flow so giving the recognition here instead. Date of review: November 23, 2010
In short: Dorset's new top marathon In full: I really hope this race grows into a bigger and better event as it certainly deserves to do so. Only 100 in what was more or less a pilot running of the race, but this could now be expanded on the back of its success. Date of review: May 3, 2009
In short: FAO Bath, this is how to run a half marathon In full: This is one of the best organised races I've had the pleasure of doing and the high standards maintain year on year.
The entry fee is 1/3 that of the Bath Half marathon and the following aspects have been consistantly better over the years: General organisation, speed of results, marshalling, goody bag, more accurate mile markers, medical facilities in place and on time, a baggage collection that lets athletes access clothes should a shower hit unlike Bath, a race run for the good of the athletes rather than to make a profit and organisers working their butts off for free and not on a salary.
Well done Dorset Doddlers. Date of review: August 3, 2008
In short: One of Dorset's best races In full: The Poole Runners team do an excellent job every year to put this race on. The race caters for the sub half hour to the one hour plus, the marshalling is great, there is plenty for family & friends to do and the course is potentially very quick. Date of review: June 2, 2008
In short: A jekyll and hyde race In full: For a race that has so many positives, it was a shame it proved a massive let down.
Starting with the positives, it's a super quick course and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the goody bag at the finish.
However this race can not cope with 15,000 people and the organisers have long since overstepped an acceptable race limit.
To pay thirty pounds on entering a race and have an hour delay is unacceptable. Runners eat, drink and warm up specific time periods before races (and this is a race that on its web site prides itself in the number of elite athletes running) - you do not expect problems with the park&ride and medical facilities and this is not the first time there's been a delay so I'm not quite as willing to provide benfit of the doubt. This would never happen at FLM or other major races.
Runners have always used the sports centre without charge on the generosity of the centre, it seems their patience has worn thin and possibly understandably so. It wouldn't take much to provide the centre with a fee to allow runners use of it given the revenue the race must generate, I stress once again we've parted with thirty pounds worth of entry fee, which I don't mind paying, but only if there is value for money - which is based on a lot more than a goody bag at that price.
Having done the race before I knew the exit from the field (which gets muddy when it rains as all fields do, can't really fault organisers for that) would prove a bottle neck so warmed up around mile one and made my way backwards to the start.
The first half of the race went well enough, but it was miles 7-12 that really showed up why they should not accept so many people next year. Lapping runners in their hundreds was difficult enough (and it was the sheer number, nobody was intentionally getting in the way and everyone has their race to run whether you're a one hour or a three hour runner), but the set up made it impossible for the faster runners to take drinks between miles 8 and 12 and there is not really much benefit in taking a drink half a mile before the finish.
Many of the problems can be resolved by reducing the number to what it used to be - this used to be a 'must do' race for me if I was looking for a March Half, but unless they drop numbers by at least a third next season and reduce the entry fee I'll be off to Reading. Date of review: March 16, 2008