In short: Fantastic! Sooo glad I finally did it. In full: ...but once is enough, I think. That's not to say I'll never do another marathon. In fact, if anything, this has inspired me to try out some of the other 'Major City' marathons.
Only one criticism. The whole bit around Canary Wharf seems to go on forever! I found it really motivation-sapping. Especially when the hail started coming down. It just seems like you run for ages and ages before you finally get past the main tower. It's a shame the route can't cover more of London for the 26.2 miles, rather than looping around quite so much. Date of review: April 14, 2008
In short: All up, good fun but a shame about the baggage reclaim chaos In full: Hyde Park is always a great place for a run, and making an event out of it always adds an extra bit of fun. I did this run 2 years ago, though, when it was just Capital Radio and BUPA, not a 'Great Run Production' and I have to say, the organisation of the first event was a lot more laid back and somehow ran a lot smoother.
As much as I always enjoy crossing the finishing line at events such as this, the only thing that left me more disappointed than my Personal Worst of 1:09:38 was the 1hr I had to que to get my bag back.
I only have myself to blame for my poor race time, but I'm surprised that a company of Great Run's size couldn't have got something as basic as bag storage running a bit quicker. Date of review: July 16, 2007
In short: Great Atmosphere, Good fun all round In full: I've done the Capital Radio 10k and the Nike 10k around Hyde park before, but this was a different route and, although 2k shorter, slightly more challenging (as challenging as Hyde Park can be, anyway). I love Hyde Park on a Sunday morning and I think the guys at Imperial College certainly made the most of it with this race. A fun atmosphere. Very relaxed. I hope they do it again next year.
If, like me, your outdoor running takes a slight dip over the winter, and you're just starting to pick it up again, this is well worth adding to your calendar. It has definitely spurred me on to get back into the routine again. Date of review: February 26, 2007
In short: Cold and a little muddy in spots, but well worth the money In full: I'm really glad I entered this run. It was my first event since injuring myself shortly after the Dublin Marathon in 2005. I've never run a XC before and haven't run 5 mailes since the middle of last year. This was challenging for a 'first time back' race, but I got round and at least didn't come last.
The organisation was great, the atmosphere was lovely and I'm spurred on to re-populate my race calendar for the year and put a few more XCs on the list.
And yes, the cakes were great too! Date of review: January 30, 2007
In short: I'm sooo glad I took up running! In full: Well I may be slightly biased about the venue, because a cool, clear sunny morning on the South Coast is one of my favourite places to be. But when it comes to everything else about the day, I have to say it's the best time I've had since I started running. OK that was only 6 months ago, but I've done enough events in that time to know a good event from a bad one and this truly lives up to the 'Great' part of it's name.
I was a bit miffed by my race pack not arriving, despite having signed up in early July for Cancer Research, but the Great Run team were very helpful, BazDad very kindly sent me a scan of the main information leaflet so I'd know where I was going on the day, and there was a race pack ready and waiting for me when I got there.
I agree with StillSmiling about the Mile markers needing to be placed higher, but that's the only real negative that I can think of. On the other hand, having missed a few markers, I spotted the 8-miler, checked my watch and got a nice surprise when I realised I had obviously picked up the pace and was about 4 minutes ahead of my estimated time. So missing markers, not necessarily a bad thing ;-) I'll definitley be back next year and will be doing my best to get some friends to come and run it with me. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Not 10K, a bit too hot but all-up a lovely day In full: The whole concept of the stately homes 10k series is great. I loved the setting and will definitely use the Home Park for some of my weekend jogs, when the weather cools down. It's just a great shame that - for all the effort that was put in to the organisation - somebody found it impossible to measure out a 10K course. I know it was only a fun run and not a race, but I think that if you get 2,500+ people to turn up and run around with your logo splashed across their chests, raise money for your charity, and pay you £17.50 for the fun of doing so, you owe it to them to measure-out and properly mark a 10K route.
I know it's silly, but some of us can't help taking all the events we do, seriously. It's only human nature, when running is your chosen sport, to want to improve and do well. We do, therefore want to know that when we record a new PB, it has at least an outside chance of being accurate.
Come on CRUK, let's get this sorted for next year please. Date of review: September 6, 2005
In short: Cowboy organisation lets down a potentially fantastic race In full: Anyone would think that running along a closed-off Picadilly and Embankment on a Sunday morning, with the crowds cheering you on would be the best experience a UK runner could get (London Marathon excepted). What a shame that such an event can be so badly let down by such poor organisation. I still don't understand what my £29.40 went to pay for, but whatever it was it wasn't worth it. This is a run that is obviously growing year on year. Unfortunately the organisers have been unable to grow with it. Somebody (namely the FLM organisers, in my opinion) needs to take it over and run it properly, if it is to ever live up to it's potential. Sorry, but I'm forced to give a big thumbs down to something that should really be getting a thumbs up. Date of review: July 4, 2005