In short: They certainly didn't lie! In full: There was plenty of warning that this was going to be a hard race, and they were not kidding. The ascents were challenging, the descents were steep and the majority of it on very muddy and/or rocky ground. Forget trying for a PB, it is just not going to happen on this course. Instead enjoy it for the run that it is. The organisation was excellent, and the support from the marshalls was fantastic, just what was needed and at the right time. The second lap did not seem to be as bad as the first, probably because I knew what to expect instead of it all being a lovely surprise. The carrot at the end was the icing on a wonderful cake. Thank you very much for a great run. Date of review: November 28, 2011
In short: Excellent race, superbly organised. In full: Not much more to add to what has already been said really. The organisation was fantastic, for the race in general, the marshalling, the location and the baggage facility. As flat a run as you are going to get in Plymouth, but one with potential for a PB. Thank you very much and well done. Date of review: November 11, 2011
In short: Fast or scenic? In full: One of the problems for any race organiser, but it seems especially for Cardiff, is the desire for people to have it all. Cardiff is one of those places where it is going to be one or the other, not both. The desire for the inclusion of the parks sections from previous years, to me, seems to counter the arguement of others for a fast, pb potential course. Due to the nature of its layout, Cardiff is not going to provide both of these at the same time.
For me, the organisers seem to have taken onboard many of the comments from previous years and provided a course that is both fairly quick (I would say that as I achieved a pb on the day), but also able to accommodate the number of runners.
As for it being scenic or not, it is hard for me really to say. Many have concentrated on the fact that along the dual carriageway section there was not much in the way of scenery. However, by this stage my vision is normally limited to the concrete/tarmac in front of me and not what is away to the side of me. Also, let's not forget, we did also run past the castle and some of the surrounding area.
With regard to the previous references to the course not being pancake flat, I agree, it was not a perfectly flat course. However, having run the Eden Project Half Marathon the week previously, I can honestly comment that it is far from being able to be classed as a hilly course as well. Yes there were a couple of inclines on to/off of the dual carriageway, which itself inclined, as well as the section towards Penarth. However, when considering the whole half marathon distance, then overall it was fairly consistent. As it started and finished in the same location, however much we ran up, we must have done the same downwards.
For the race itself, my main negative was the lack of organisation around the start area. I agree with previous comments that this should be made a runners only area, as it was very congested with non-runners in a very tight part of the city with direction towards and entry to the starting pens difficult to follow. My personal suggestion would be to have the start/finish area relocated back to Lloyd George Avenue, as this is both wide enough for the numbers of runners and enables spectators to gain a good view.
Overall, I feel that the changes made to the route have improved the experience. My personal recommendation would be for the organisers to stick with this course and make small changes, not to try and come up with a completely new course. Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: Do any roads in Cornwall go downhill? In full: An excellent race that certainly shows the Cornish countryside off to its best. An undulating course is one way of putting it, another would be 'it goes up'. I am sure that there were some downhill sections (the aches in my legs are told me that I certainly did some), but the lasting memory will be one of going uphill. However, that is not to say that the uphills detracted from the route in any way. Instead, and as I have noticed in all the runs I have done in Cornwall, the hills made the race. These are the aspects that make the run what it is. Forget the PB, just enjoy the route and the chance to see some beautiful countryside. As well as the route, the rest of the day ran very smoothly. The marshalls on the route, as has already been mentioned, were very supportive in their encouragement which helped some very tired legs to keep moving. The number of marshalls was also very impressive. At no point did I feel that there was any chance of taking a wrong turn. The only possible point (not even a complaint) that I could make about the course administration would be to move the water station at the (half marathon) six mile point a little bit further along the road, as I was a bit concerned that with it being at the bottom of a hill (see, there was a downhill bit) may not be the best when considering the speed of descent. However, I am probably being very picky here. The t-shirt, medal, pint, pasty and free entry to the Eden Project itself certainly made this race good value for money (especially the free pint). This is a race that I'll certainly do again, and my son has said that he wants to do the fun run again next year. With regard to the fun run, my son (9) said how impressed he was with the organisation involved with that run. His main points were (again) the impressive marshalling of the course, and the support that was given as the route went through the biomes. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend of running was had by father and son alike (and a big thank you to my wife for standing at yet another half marathon finish line). Date of review: October 11, 2011
In short: A great half marathon In full: I really enjoyed this run. A very well organised race, and a big thank you to Truro Running Club for their organisation. The course was very well marshalled, with clear direction and support being given. The course itself was a bit cheeky in places, but not so bad that it removed the enjoyment of the run (however, I am now convinced that all roads in Cornwall only go up). These were complemented with the wonderful views that were provided at other parts of the course. Although the organisers can not arrange the weather, the short, sharp shower just added to the level of enjoyment (you can call me sadistic if you like). The goodie bag was very well stocked, and a vast improvement on the ones given out at the much bigger Bristol Half Marathon (I am still to drink the beer due to having to drive). The local support around the course was much appreciated, and a pleasant change for all runners to be on the receiving end of the encouragement, and not just members of the local club. All in all, I am still feeling on a high after this run, and can not put into words just how much I enjoyed it. Once again, a big 'thank you'. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Once again very well organised In full: A very well organised race. Everything seemed to run smoothly, with very good marshalling from both the volunteers and police. Thank you EVH. Date of review: May 16, 2011
In short: A quick run around the bay area of Cardiff In full: First time I have done this race, and I'll definitely be looking to do it again. The course is certainly one with PB potential with it being flat. This year the wind didn't help, but I don't think that it would be fair to put the blame for that on the organisers. It was a little disappointing for there not to be any water on the route. However, with finances the way they are, and the run being for charity, the money has better places to be going. The main down side of the day for me was the start of the Fun Run. My son was tripped by another runner (not putting any blame there). The main cause, as I saw it, was due to parents of other fun runners encroaching on to the road at the start. A few more barriers, or more stewards, would have removed this situation, which meant that the start area was narrowed when being used by very enthusiastic children who are the future of running. Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: Challenging but rewarding! In full: An interesting course with some very cheeky bits in it. However, those who do it can look back with some pride at having finished it. Well done I.S. on a great race. Hopefully see you next year, if the legs have recovered! Date of review: June 19, 2009