In short: Great event - tough but manageable at all levels In full: Don't go expecting PB's, but you can expect a great day out with some challenging hills and superb views.
Just one suggestion though (and this goes to all race directors where you have different races running alongside each other). Can the relay runners not wear a number ON THEIR BACK to indicate which race they are in? I guess most won't care, but I was running in the top 10 on the fringe of the prizes and would have been really useful to know which of the long line of runners in front, during the final 10k particularly, were in the same race as me, and which were relay runners. Suppose you should just run as fast as you can, but it turns out that I missed a prize by less than a minute. Same applies in marathons with a half or relay alongside; can be annoying to race someone then they just peel away or stop mid-race.
Minor point on an otherwise great race I'll definitely do again. Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: Nice race, slick organisation, well done WG&EL In full: A bit undulating with a few uneven pavement sections, but overall I really enjoyed my first run here since 2003 and it still doesn't disappoint.
Lots of marshalls covering the road crossings, but inevitably having so many side roads and driveways there are still motorists to contend with as the roads aren't closed. I had to swerve several times to avoid collisions, but no damage done.
Great use of the running track (always nice to finish on a track), although this meant that finish line was about 500m away from the 13 mile marker which was a surprise having finished on the driveway on my previous visit.
Only suggestion I'd make is to try and find a date that doesn't clash with so many other big half marathons in the south of England, as this will have affected entry numbers, and the race deserves a bigger field. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Organised by runners for runners - and you can tell. Excellent. In full: An excellent well-organised race that's worth the trip from London every year. You can tell a race that's organised by a running club - all the details are considered and the enthusiasm of the marshalls is superb. Signage, traffic management, pre- and post-race admin all flawless.
A bargain at £14 too. Why people shell out £50 for some event company organised events over even shorter distances (Great Run series, particularly the GSR, I'm thinking of you!) is a mystery when there are gems like this around. Well done Gosport Road Runners. First class. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Horribly corporate feel. Far too expensive. In full: Easy to tell that this is an event organised by an events company for profit, rather than by runners. No real understanding of the elements that make for a good race. In fact, it is not a race; it is a mass participation event. There is no focus on the winners, the prizes or the times.
One example is the insistence that everyone runs in the official t-shirt. All this does is suck the individuality out of the race and turn it into one big advert for the sponsor. The crowd are such a big part of making the atmosphere in a race, but by uniforming the runners it makes it very hard to cheer for any individual by running club, name, charity etc since everyone looks the same.
The Great Run series is very similar in the heavy marketing budget that enables them to target far more beginners than regular runners. Encouraging newcomers to the sport is undeniably a good thing, but it's such a shame the masses are unaware that there are many smaller and better organised events organised by running clubs, which offer significantly better value for money. Date of review: October 31, 2012
In short: First class - particularly for a race in its first year In full: Really impressed with all aspects of this race. Ran like clockwork from arrival to final departure. All the small things considered, and runners catered for at every level.
I was with the official pacers & we all had a great experience. Some really kind & positive feedback from many participants. Hope to be able to support this race again in 2013. Even the weather was on side today! Date of review: September 30, 2012
In short: Functional training run - needs a couple of tweaks In full: This race doesn't really advertise itself as anything more than a paced training run, mostly for those doing spring marathons. In that regard it delivers what it promises.
The main constructive tweak this needs is that with multiple laps, quicker runners (anyone under 1.45) will be lapping slower runners and there needs to be some instruction as to how to avoid holding up fellow runners.
Very simply, the organisers could instruct all runners who are likely to be lapped to run on the right hand side, or even cone off an overtaking lane. Due to the pacers, big groups of runners formed and were difficult to pass. The decision to allow headphones & iPods meant that runners were unaware of quicker guys coming up behind them.
To be fair, some of the pacers were actually shouting at their groups to move out of the way, but with no protocol in place they didn't know which way to move, left or right. A simple note in the race instructions or more vocal marshals would solve this problem. Or else go back to staggered starts.
Oh, and the wind ruined any chance of a PB, but don't know who to blame for that! Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: Good race - wrong distance In full: I spectated, but talked to many runners at the end who all measured the course at around 13.5 miles.
It always seems to be that races organised by clubs & runners tend to be more accurate over these things than those organised by charities or events companies. The latter must realise that getting the distance right is the most important element of the whole race. Try advertising it next year as a 13.5 mile half marathon and see how many entries you get.
There are people and organisations who can measure race courses properly. Suggest you look them up. I felt very sorry for all those runners who missed out on PBs due to the extra distance; that's thousands of miles of training that have gone to waste for many. Please don't make the mistake of thinking this is a trivial point, or runners will vote with their feet in future years. Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: Tough for an individual; bit easier for a team In full: Heard there were some mix ups last year, but organisers seemed to have taken note. Loads of signage and marshals, so thought it was very well organised. Some nice touches like gels being available at end of lap, and race director on the finish line to shake finishers by the hand.
Couple of constructive suggestions though for next year. Perhaps relay runners could wear a label or additional number on their back. For those of us racing for places we didn't always know who we were racing against. And perhaps a clock at the end of each lap or finish - not that important, but had no idea of time until the results came out. Could have worn a watch I suppose!!
Other than that, strongly recommended and will do again. Well done organisers. Date of review: November 27, 2011
In short: The template on how to organise a good marathon In full: Same as everyone else really. Can't find any fault and wouldn't wish to.
This is the real difference between a race organised by runners and those organised by events companies (eg Edinburgh Marathon). All the main things were like clockwork, but also all the small things as well.
A clock at the 26 mile marker so you know what you need to do if you're close to a target. Baggage that was ready to pick up as you got to within sight of the tent Accurate mile markers Loads of "caution runners" signs to help with traffic issues Good announcer standing in the right place to keep the crowd informed
Only bad thing is that this race is understandably getting more popular and harder to get into, so you need to commit in January!! Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Piece of cake.... In full: ...was a nice touch at the end. Really enjoyable race, reminded me of school XC. A race to not worry about times, but just to run for the pure love of the sport. Don't let the "Toughest race in the UK" tag put you off - this is very doable for most runners if you accept that everyone will walk parts of it. T-shirt, mug, medal & food at the end are all good touches although I'd rather a bit less in exchange for a lower entry fee which I imagine some people simply can't afford. A minor gripe but overall I loved it and will do again. Date of review: June 19, 2011