In short: Brutal weather but a very well organised marathon In full: Ignoring my own horrendous run, which I'm going to lay at the door of the weather after training in sub freezing temperatures I thought this (a few minor squabbles aside) was a superbly well organised event.
Start was a little bit too narrow and there were a couple of occasions when it was a bit too easy for people to get onto the course - and the mindset of people is sometimes oblivious to a marathon runner trying to get by them - but the stadium organisation was amongst the best I've ever come across.
Support was great, the weather no doubt helped but it was vastly superior to any race of a similar size I've done before. Marshals and water stops too. Free t-shirt not so, one-size only Large and heavy cotton but the medal is the same no matter what time you do and at least there was water and a Mars bar too!
I blew up at about 10 miles, meaning I had over two hours of torture on the day but I remember thinking at about mile 18 that it was quite a quick course but then at miles 22/23 there were a couple of nasty little inclines which might have hurt if I were actually running by then.
They've been unfortunate with the weather, monsoon last year, heat-wave this but I'd recommend MK Marathon I think, although not sure I'll return due to the danger of another heat-wave, early spring for me next time! Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Great but not without it's problems In full: Blue start was horrendous due to people in completely unrealistic start pens - had lost three minutes off my time by mile two and had to weave to do that. Coloured numbers for starts and runners with decency needed. Otherwise organisation was top notch and it's London afterall, although hardly the prettiest parts for the first half of the race. Great support for those that could soak it up. Would have been a good t-shirt if it wasn't a one-size fits all, but it was free so can't complain about that. Will be back from GFA next year so hopefully will lose the start annoyances and at the end of the day it's as much about experience than PB, there's always smaller races for them. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Excellent organisation for a tough course In full: I've been injured / unfit most of this year for but a race starting 400m's from my house I had no excuse - even fit, this would be a tough course where a PB would be some achievement, added to the weather made that near on impossible for all but the ever-improving.
Organisation the best I've encountered for a long time - numbers of waters stops (must have been 8-10) in a half marathon should be commended and baring the little section at the start where you go by the Childrens play area in the park the start is fine.
One improvement I would say is to narrow down the starting pens 1.30-2.00 hrs is a lot of difference!
Can't comment on the parking other than to say stop parking outside my house!!! Will be back next year hopefully fit. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Almost a very good race... In full: As I am sure many people have already said, this race is close to being great, but not quite. My suggested improvements;
1. Water stations in the later half of the race. Approx 15/18/21/24 isn't enough for tiring bodies. 2. Finish area needs to be improved - consider larger runners only area + runners only exit. 3. Buses back to Edinburgh - we took a local bus as First buses had a mile long queue. Not much fun running for over three hours to then spend the next hour queuing - even for a brit! 4. Course profile - cannot be right - was certain anticipating a more noticable drop at the start and wasn't expecting the three mile climb just after half way. No major hills mind. 5. Start - Toilets and baggage on walk through to the start caused mayhem and congestion. Non-runners should be kept out of the start area also. 6. Expo - Was a joke really, goody bag below average but a fantastic medal helped to remove that issue. 7. Last but certainly not least - The less said about the f--ing gravel section the better.
If the organisers can take on board and improve on the above issues, I think there is potentially a very good marathon here. Not sure I'll be back anytime soon, but I was happy enough with the overall experience.
I'm too blaming the energy sapping head wind for not getting my target time! Excuses excuses!! Date of review: May 27, 2008
In short: What I'd give for nice weather here... In full: Just once I'd love to turn up at Dorney Lake and it be sunny so you could perform to your full potential. 6 - 8k was horrendous wind, just short of sub 40 so annoyed but will get it one day. Average organisation, some good things but lack of proper start / finish and car parking situation are really inexcusable.
In short: Enjoyable race and enough down hill for PB potential. In full: First time doing my home race and was good to see some streets I used to go through all the time. Enjoyable race - tough part at 6 to 7 but overwise more than friendly enough for a good time. Did 1.27 so was happy with that.
Not a clue what people are moaning about with chip timing. Fastened to your number and on your running top is so much better than chip around ankle - ignore comments there.
Nice momento, although do like medals. Great to get bottles of water at stations - good for a small-ish half.
Shame the football was so bad the day before! Will be there in 2009 - disaster permitting! Date of review: March 16, 2008
In short: A great value and well organised race. In full: Fantastic value - £15 for as much water and lucozade that you can shake a stick at along with a good medal and a dodgy T-shirt - not bothered on T-shirts as they only find the bin anyway but I guess different sizes would be good for others.
Good race, a little hard in the middle part when you are running on your own / with fellow runners with not too much to look at but the track parts were great and is a quick race, even with the wind.
Really well organised, shame weren't a few more cheering on etc but well worth doing. Date of review: March 10, 2008
In short: Too long but great otherwise.. In full: Was at least .1 of a mile too long. My Garmin came in at 13.2. Think it was the first mile marker which was wrong. Still PB potential but really it's not difficult to measure a course right! Nice course in one of my favourite towns in the country. Well organised. Didn't enjoy running down the cliff as it was far too steep, uphills weren't anything to worry if you've done over halfs. Lovely day for it thankfully, couldn't have asked for any more from the weather. Minimal improvements and this could be a fantastic race. Date of review: February 17, 2008
In short: Well organised, challanging race In full: Firstly ignore the comments about the times - it's the people reading the wrong time (gun time - finish rather than chip time - finish) - they are spot on, as were mile markers etc.
Tough first half, a lot of up and down and steep hills, (none too long though) once I recovered ended beating my best by almost three mins. Nice scenery - my only gripe would be that the last few miles were on path only due to traffic which made overtaking pretty tough - only cost a few seconds with tired legs I am sure. Date of review: February 4, 2008