In short: Ideal prep for spring marathon, Undulating, 4 laps, well organised, helpful marshalls, In full: I echo many of the positives stated already (and I hardly saw any negatives!). An unseasonal warm day made this a challenging event given the undulating 4 lap course. This event is organised by Hillingdon Athletic Club who have done an excellent job: first class organisation, welcoming clubhouse, good facilities including showers after the race and ample refreshments(2 drinks stations) along the 5 mile route. The marshalls were informative and encouraging. I found the final lap the most challenging: 1) it was getting warmer; 2) I was overtaking other runners (and I agree with the comments made that other runners should run single file on narrow roads with traffic passing); and perhaps 3) facing the final lap for the 4th time it was beginning to feel like gound-hog day. However, I think this added to the challenge of making this ideal prep for a Spring marathon, of which I am running Paris in 3 weeks time. Date of review: March 15, 2009
In short: My Third FLM in succession; incredible atomosphere and support through out make it a special day; crippling heat and runner congestion made this difficult for meeting target times. In full: This is my third FLM in succession and in terms of spectacle nothing surpasses it. Overwhelming crowd support throught out. Generally excellent organisation esp along the course and at the end (I did not encounter the water shortage and travel problems experienced by other runners). A very special atomosphere.
Not ideal for PB potential (although I did manage a PB, I did not meet my target time of 3 hours 30 (just outside at 3 hours 32)). Reasons attributable to this were the heat (obviously outside the control of the organisers) and the conjested blue start. I was in Start pen 3. After the race had started runners were halted for 30 seconds due to congestion and it became increasingly crowded when the runners from the Red and Green starts merged. A number of those ahead were slower (with higher pen numbers 4 and 5 as well as fancy dress)and I gave up trying to zig zag my way through a slow field in order to preserve energy esp given the weather conditions. As a consequence I was never able to make up lost time. I decided to follow the crowd and kept a consistent pace through out. (I was on the Blue start last year and there were no such problems - we got off to a good start straight away).
That said - the FLM is a very special race. Excelent support, bands on route, a great finish; absolutely awesome. Date of review: April 23, 2007
In short: A challanging course due to steep climb for a mile towards Beachy Head and a number of tight corners and turns in Sovereign Harbour. Not ideal for PB potential. Run along the promanade very scenic (albeit windy); Not many spectators. In full: Challenging course due to steep climb towards Beachy Head at mile 3 to 4 (and then a steep run down hill to the sea front). Run along the sea front very scenic. Organisation could be better: water stations infrequent and difficult to pick up a plastic 'vending machine' cup of water (without spilling most of it); Route not that well sign posted - couple of sharp turns in Sovereign Harbour (over narrow metal bridges) means you could easily get off track; the route is not completely free of traffic, I recall going past a roundabout trying to dodge traffic which would not give way! Poorly supported (and in fact on crossing one of the bridges I had to dodge a couple pedestrians who clearly did not know what was going on).
In short: Top class! Excellent organisation; Fast course (a few minor undulations); Good support; Different bands around the course; Great finish at Reading FC stadium; One of the top H/Ms in the UK! In full: Great race (in its 25th year) and a substantial improvement on the 2005 race (last time I ran this H/M). It has to be one of the best H/Ms around: the one to start with or to get a PB (the course is mainly flat, well planned route with few minor undulations). Excellent organisation: race start and finish at Reading FC site; sufficient car parking (you need to pre-book), good toilet facilities (at car parks and race site); well planned start area sectioned by time zones; pacemakers' too (full credit to the sub 1hr30min pacemaker who ran with the sign in his hand!); sufficient and well spaced water and isotonic drink stations along the course; well organised finish with attendants on-hand to take 'race chip', hand out medals and goody bag.
The stadium finish is very good. You are looked after with a nice goody bag and plenty of drinks (although one minor observation - I'm not quite sure why they included a sachet of soup in the goody bag).
A great pre-FLM training event with a large, mixed field.