In short: Wonderful Wycombe In full: The organisation and value for money of this race have to be seen to be believed and combine to make this, to my mind, the best half marathon in the Bucks/Berks area.
The race is brilliantly organised in every single aspect - a perfect start and finish area, loads of friendly marshalls and an excellent commentator.
The 2007 medal was top quality - showing a detailed map of the course and alone would have been good value for the £11 entry fee. Amazingly, there was also a goody bag containing : A well designed T-Shirt, soft drink, water, apple, orange, 2 pens, chocolate bar, cereal bar, sweets, 3 free visits to the local gym AND an aeroplane shaped stress toy !!!
Some people moan about the hill at the start and the fact that the last few miles are boring but, whilst a PB might be out of the question, the race is a pleasure to run in.
Well done to Handy Cross Runners...your race is a credit to your club.
In short: Brilliant organisation and fantastic value In full: This was my 5th half this year and I would rate it as the best for two reasons : Organisation : No hold-ups at the start/finish, results posted quickly and the marshalls were first class - lots of them and they were so friendly. Thank you to Handy Cross Runners. Goody Bag : Lovely paperweight, T-Shirt, Alarm Clock, Air Freshener, Water, Apple, Orange, Mars Bar, Penguin, Lollipop, Leaflets. I came away feeling as if I'd got every penny worth of my entry fee.
Much is made of the hill at the start but it's not as bad as it's made out to be (although it would have been a lot harder had the sun shone). If this race was run in March/April, it would deservedly get many more than the 1,000 finishers from this year. Date of review: July 13, 2006
In short: I used to think Bracknell was flat..... In full: Not the fastest of courses - lots of hills particularly around halfway. It would be a quicker course the other way round as there were several long climbs followed by sharp drops. The organisation couldn't be faulted and the medal was really good quality so good value for £10. I was particularly impressed with the marshalls who were all very friendly and encouraging. Date of review: May 12, 2006
In short: Very well organised half marathon - massive improvement over recent years In full: POSITIVES - Started on time (first time this has happened in all the years I have run it). - Brilliant stadium setting end to the race, excellent organisation after the finish. - Plenty of support from locals - the race really seems to be a big event in Reading.
NEGATIVES - Water stations were a bit of a shambles, first one was on the right of the road at the point the route turned sharp left ! - Loads of runners lining up too far forward at the start. One guy started right at the front with the elite athletes. The next time I saw him, I overtook him after 2.5 miles. Bear in mind he probably started about 7 minutes before me !
GENERAL COMMENT - Could be the only time I get to visit a Premiership stadium in the near future unless Leeds United can score some goals to win the play-offs. Date of review: April 9, 2006
In short: Well organised 20 miles race over a nice (but windy!) 4 lap course In full: POSITIVES First class organisation - the marshalls did a great job and were very friendly. For £10 entry fee, this standard of organisation puts many "big" events to shame. Results were being posted next to the finish line via a laptop. Fantastic course - completely flat with a lovely breeze behind you down the sea front which seemed to turn into an in-the-face gale down the back of the course !
NEGATIVES Measurement - There were no miles markers from lap 2 onwards and the ones on lap one were inaccurate. Traffic - there were a lot of cars on the route (altough the drivers were generally patient). Date of review: April 2, 2006
In short: Well worth running - good value for money and quite scenic in places. In full: Fast(ish) course but not pancake flat, generally well organised including excellent parking. Problems at the finish - when you've run 13.1 miles you want to be able to at least cross the finish line rather than stop 20 yards beforehand and join the back of a queue ! Date of review: March 12, 2006