In short: Great race - well organised and with excellent support In full: A very well organised city race with great support from the crowds.
Bag drop worked very well.
Could have been more toilets at the start - are there ever enough?
The coral system worked well and I enjoyed seeing the elite runners as they headed off into town - often, as a back of the pack runner, you never get to see these spectacular runners.
The race itself was a mixture of scenic and hard-going. The first half was great - the run out to Ovingdean Valley was undulating and the climb up the valley itself was no where near as hilly as I expected. The second half if harder, for obvious reasons but also the route is trickier. The stretch along Hove high street and back again was REALLY long and wore me down. I was actually better prepared mentally for the Power Station section, though those speed bumps weren't helpful (I tripped). The last few miles felt like a slog but the crowd support was great.
Aid stations - great support. Loved the Clif Bloks. Am undecided on the water pouches - sometimes they worked really well but othertimes I couldn't get any water out. In the last few miles I didn't have the energy to fight with them. They are rather a surprise if someone steps on a full one as they explode water everywhere. Poweraid stations were good... though I was having to force it down towards the end.
All in all, a great event. Friendly and supportive with a good medal and a reasonable goodie bag and t-shirt. Liked the space blanket at the end - the steward helped me get wrapped up cos I was incapable.
Repatriation - I regretted meeting under letter L - couldn't find it and neither could my family. We did in the end, but it needed to be a bit more obvious!
In short: Scenic Half... some long exposed but gentle climbs (felt it in the heat) In full: Pros: Beautiful place to run Good atmosphere at the start Plenty of water stations Lots of cheering at the finish line Easy to park up and no delays in arriving Enjoyed the energy gel Great t-shirt
Cons More toilets needed Would have been nice to get off the tarmac Delays at the start Tough exposed sections in the heat Some strangely silent spectators (especially during the first 5-6k) It felt a little as if spectators had come to see their friend and relative and were only inclined to cheer when they saw them. Date of review: October 2, 2011
In short: Off to a good start for Oxford In full: The pros: - fast course - good support throughout - Friendly marshalling - scenic through the City - Lots of parking - Good toilets (maybe I was lucky) - Good water stations - Great stadium finish - Nice medal (and I liked the water bottle too)
Could do betters: - Traffic management on the way to the start - more road closures (some fighting for space with pedestrians and cars) - A little less time on the roads... maybe taking in some of Oxford's lovely riverbanks and more scenic parts (Come on City Council, get on board) - No pizzazz at the start... could barely hear the guy on the megaphone - no idea what he said!
Overall, really glad to have a race like this in my home town.... a few more tweaks and some learning from the mistakes and I think this could be a great event. Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: A bit of a challenge! In full: I'm not a fast or super runner. I found this race tough but I'm glad I did it. It was well organised and friendly. The run itself is largely on rural lanes. There are some pretty challenging hills - I thought I was going backwards at the 8 mile mark! Some welcome pockets of support around the route. Enjoyed it, even if it nearly finished me off. Date of review: March 22, 2011