In short: Can not be faulted. brilliant In full: My fifth marathon and the best by far. The organisation was the best of any of the 30 or so races I've done over the past few years. Marshals and support excellent. Route super. A few hills onwards from 20miles, but there has to be a tester. I've done four other marathons and not had good experiences. This was make or break time. On the back of this I'll do another - says a lot to me! A big thank you to all the organisers. Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Tough... In full: I found this tough. Have been doing regular 18milers for marathon training yet this really sapped my legs. Don't know if it was me on the day or the sand draining power or at least 7miles of relentless headwind! Good: unique race across the sands. Refreshing water crossings. Finishing! Average: start and finish organisation. Hats off to the marshals along the course as ever, but all felt a bit clunky at start and finish. Sure I ordered a race t-shirt on the web, but team at finish had no idea. Bought one anyway as for a good charity cause. Emails went astray. There were water stations every mile for first few miles, but then they dried up... Poor: atmosphere. Sorry, for me, there was no buzz on this race. Maybe it was the wind and showers keeping everyone's heads down. Overall - thank you to the organisers, these races wouldn't take place without you, but sorry, this wasn't one for me. Date of review: August 13, 2012
In short: Challenging In full: Like other posts while you could see the effort the organisers put in, they let themselves down with the bus ride. If they are planned to leave at 7.45, then leave then, not waiting for stragglers. Was on a bus from 7.15 till near 9.30. Simply too long and slow a ride with bladders bursting. Start was a little rushed, but it beat standing in the cloud and rain! Hilly course - challenging, scenery great and loads of water stations - organisation shone through from here on. Support through the small villages and Inverness was great. Thanks go to the locals. Because of the hilly challenges not sure a good course for beginners. Organisation at the finish slick and professional. Good run in to the finish line. Shame about the muddy park and would have appreciated a foil blanket (or something) to sit (collapse) upon and recover before leaving. Let's be clear though, these are icing on the cake for an otherwise great race. Thanks to the organisers.
In short: i found this tough... In full: Organisation - was 'ok'. Long walk to the start was not good, and delayed start. But they didn't really cause problems. While advised beforehand water in cups is a bit of a problem - bottles would be better and have an odd gel / energy drink would be good. I found this course challenging with the hills and different surfaces. kicked a big stone and got a black toe nail for my efforts! This race didnt work for me - my third marathon, was just a poor day for me on the day. Good small field and thank go to the chatty fellow runners. Marshalls pleasant and chatty too - thanks. FInish - was ok. Would have appreciated a bannana or something to eat and a space blanket. I was frozen when I finished, but it was in the car park and easy to get to the comfort of the car. I had a poor performance which maybe tarnishes my view of this race. Its definite "maybe" whether i try it again. Date of review: November 13, 2010
In short: Hilly & Friendly In full: This is my fifteenth half and is one of the better ones. Field big enough to have some atmosphere, but not too large. Challenging course - those hills - not to be underestimated. Didn't see anyone run up the 11 mile hill! Finish a little croweded and goody bag poor; medal and t-shirt fine. But the best comment is saved till last - people of Hanlay and surrounding area - thanks. They lined just about the entire course, cheered, clapped, offered sweets and hose pipe sprays. Good on 'em! Makes it special. Date of review: June 15, 2010
In short: Hot Hot Hot In full: Thanks go to all the marshals on the water stations - loads of fluids available to off-set the scorching weather. I think the start and the course were very well organised.
Weather was a killer - got mild heat stroke despite best efforts to prevent - but was happy there was loads of first aid about - just in case!
Thanks go to other runners for chatting and encouraging - Jill and the chap who has done this 8 times before.
Great medal and tee-shirt.
Disappointed with arrangements at the finish - just finding way to reunion area, squeezing through bottle necks, etc was frustrating when just wanting to collapse on the floor.
All-in-all positive experience. Maybe start earlier to prevent problems with running in middle of day Date of review: May 24, 2010
In short: Good for a first race - good support on route In full: Good - nice distance, route ok, support good, general organisation, t-shirt and medal at end, local support Average - scenery Bad - parking (distance from venue and paying for it - felt ripped off), toilets -come on organisers when will this be right, not rocket science. Lots of people hydrating needs lots of toilets. Urinating against housing simply not on. Waiting around at the start was a bit of a bind and cold. Not sure the right pens started at the right time as there appeared to be lots of faster runners behind me...
All in all, a fair attempt at the first organising of such a race. Date of review: March 20, 2010
In short: Excellent Organisation In full: Well done to all who made this work. Plentiful marshalls, first aiders, water stops and signage. Great to have all roads closed - unlike other races I've done battle with (and traffic). Nice testing hills in the first half - but not enough to really push you to the limit. Couldn't do the full race, but the half was well worth it! Well done to all Date of review: September 16, 2007
In short: Both good and poor to this one. Thankfully it didn't rain! In full: Application and pack through the post quick and efficient. Had no problem finding the place or parking - but is the second time doing the race. Nice touch having a urinal cubicle for blokes toilets - helped reduce the queues. Start good. Have been to more congested races! Twists and turns of the course was a little off-putting in pacing as were the undulations at the end...but if it was easy everyone would do it! As one who sweats like mad struggled to get enough water on board and flagged badly towards the end. Improvement might be to have bottles so can carry along rather than gulping from cups. While not the main aim of such races - a nice goody bag at the end is a fine touch. An Aldi bag with a nana is not good...Medal is smart tho'. As ever the marshals and fellow runners / spectators make this worthwhile.
In short: Pretty Good Organisation In full: Overall - good.
Couple of recommendations - one - the same for many races - toilets. Lets get plenty of toilets at the start - although I would add there were plenty along the route.
Secondly - while the majority of the rute is traffic free there were occassions at the 6 mile area when there could have been better segregation of runners and traffic. Given it is only for an hour or so while the vast majority of runners get by would a short road closure be in order?
Weather great. Plenty of water stations all with plentiful supplies. Overall a well done to the organisers! Date of review: April 29, 2007