In short: Well organised, good atmosphere and flat. Good to see it a bit later in Sept this year, so no risk of it being too hot In full: The colour coded start makes a difference to the start and we didn't feel too bogged down early on as a result. Tech t shirt good, as was medal. Could have done with more than just the kitkat for refuel in the goody bag and would prefer to avoid cobbles, but only two minor complaints about what was a really good event. Date of review: October 1, 2012
In short: Fairly challenging course with some hills and nice place to finish up on the hoe - great medal but no t-shirt In full: This was the first time I've run this one. Saltram is a serious hill, but most of the rest of the course was flattish bar the climb back up to the Hoe from the barbican which was quite punishing at the end of the run. Despite the tricky hills, I got my second fastest ever time out of ten events. I thought it was a bit pricey, especially as the goody bag wasn't great and there was no t-shirt. The plastic cups were a bit annoying - had to crunch through them as people can't throw them to the side of the road as they can with bottles. Overall an enjoyable race and I'd do it again. Date of review: June 6, 2012
In short: Much better than 2005 - great touch adding musicians in the quieter sections In full: I last did this one in 2005 - this time they made the boring parts of the course interesting with musicians etc. Great atmosphere and support particularly at the finish (loving the big screen to see yourself turning into the finishing straight) and in Queens Square. A mate did it a couple of years ago and trains back to Bristol were a nightmare, but this year they put on lots of extra trains so had clearly learnt from that. It was a bit slow getting to the start but not that bad given the number of runners. Top stuff overall - I'd recommend it to anyone. Date of review: March 9, 2011
In short: The course was a bit dull, but it was varied and I found the lap format mentally useful. Brrrrrrr but hey it is December In full: The laps format helped because you could visualise what was coming and think of lap chunks rather than individual miles. Very cold wind for the third lap, which took my breath away on the exposed areas of the course. Probably my own fault though for running in shorts and t-shirt in December!
Only grumble was that I didn't feel very looked after at the finish line - no foil blanket or water, had to walk a little way to get back to the sports hall to get drinks etc.
Good chance of PB - not really hilly at all. I got a PB but not the overall time I was looking for. Always next time!
I probably won't come back to this race, but thats only because its a long way from home for me - never say never though. Date of review: December 8, 2009
In short: Hardcore hills, the big hill on the first loop was fine, but the number of hills on the second loop were really tough. A real challenge, but great feeling at the end! Good one if you fancy a very scenic challenge. In full: Hardcore hills - before the race I was worrying about the big climb on the first loop, but that went fine, it was the more regular hills on the second half that were the real killer. My second half split was about 20 mins slower. I agree about 17-23 being the really tough bit, I was well chuffed to see that old tractor again that we saw on the way out as that told me I was nearly home (was tempted to try and hotwire it by then mind you). The biomes were a welcome and inspiring sight on the way in. Lovely medal and pasty although they tried to convert me to eating meat again by pretending a steak one was a cheese one. Maybe she thought I looked like I needed the protein. All in all I'm chuffed with 4.18 for my first marathon. I said never again, but that was yesterday...
Top marks to the organisers and marshalls, a really great event - thanks!!