In short: Pleasant enough route with friendly marshalls but VERY poor value for money In full: First time running this race and I was fairly disappointed. I don't normally review races but I hope the organisers look at these reviews for runners next year.
Pros: 1) Course is nice enough (not so good in the horrible, cold weather of today) with good off road sections. 2) Marshalls were good and very kind to stand out all day in that weather. 3) Support was sparse (as expected) but almost everyone I did pass was very friendly and encouraging.
Cons: 1) As I said, this race is, in no way worth £35. The technical running vest doesn't even have the race name on it (well, mine doesn't), a measly wee certificate which is blank and no medal. There wasn't even bottled water at the end, just plastic cups.
2) No official race photography. My husband couldn't join me at any points along the route so I basically have no photos of the day.
3) Having to pay for parking - goes hand in hand with point 1. They could have at least included that in the entrance fee.
4) The end was a bit uninspiring. Crossed the finish line, took a bag and then basically left. Ok, partly to do with the bad weather but even in the sunshine I don't think there would be much of an atmosphere.
5) Being from Scotland I'm used to hills so didn't find it too bad, but if you are from the east of England I don't think it would be an easy run. And in anycase I don't think it is a pb route.
I don't want to gripe too much as I think it was very kind of people to give up their day to support this race, and that is really appreciated. But my advice to the organisers would be to give out medals and proper memento vests, include car parking in the fee, give out lucozade/energy gels more at water stations and have some sort of photography en route. If you compare this to the Loch Ness marathon (which is about the same price) for value for money, Loch Ness wins hands down.
In short: A fantastic day. Space blankets at the end were an absolutely brilliant idea - made the drive home bearable! Special thanks to the people handing out the orange segments half way round, and thanks also for the spray with the hose...very refreshing! Date of review: September 2, 2007