In short: Damn the hills and the shuttle bus In full: For a race that is so well supported by the locals it is a shame that some things let it down.
The shuttle bus service to the start was appalling - queued for a good 30 minutes for the bus and just like public transport 3 turn up at the same time. Result was arriving at the start just as the gun went off. Yes I could have got to the park and ride earlier but 50 minutes before the start should have been sufficient if the organisation was better.
Finishing line area was so muddled I had to ask where the drinks were as I had ended up in the baggage tent by mistake. Too many milling around left it all very crowded.
Course was tough - nothing that can be done about this - and the 2 mile finishing straight was just cruel especially when we had been blessed with such great weather.
A good race with all the right intentions - was just expecting a great race from the previous comments. Date of review: March 15, 2009
In short: Better than I remembered it In full: A classic event. Marvellously linked to local village fete and flower show so something for all the family. Great organisation and marshalls with runners of all abilities willing to pass on advice to all. Although course the same this year as last sure that a couple more hills have grown but still took 3 minutes off last years pb. Defo back in 2009. Date of review: July 21, 2008
In short: 100 minutes quicker than my last marathon In full: I trained hard and it paid off. 3:59:22. What could have made it better? Better mileage markings, remove the Gosford loop and the silly detour at 16 miles by moving the start or looping round Leith Fields a bit more. Start line organisation was only average, with poor toilets and layout, but finish area was best I have ever come across. Great volunteers throughout. Move the Expo into the City Centre - there is a massive International Confernce Centre - use it! Loved it all and will return in 2010 after I resolved my issues with FLM in 2009. Date of review: May 27, 2008
In short: Nice and flat - busy in places In full: Lovely race but poorly supported. Organisation very good - no problems with toilets if you followed the advice in the letter to queue up at each loo and not in big queue. Bit congested at the finish and also on the tow path 1st time round. Worth going for a pre spring marathon run (Edinburgh for me). Date of review: March 30, 2008
In short: Much better than last year except the baggage drop In full: With the weather 100 times better than last year this race was a pleasure rather than a chore. Organisation left a little to be desired. May as well as just thrown my bag on the baggage lorry as the queue was so long and the ticket had gone by the time I came to collect it. Water stations could have been manned better - decided not to bother at the 3rd one. However the race was ace. a pb by 13 mins on a course you could hardly call flat, and 335th place. Could have been a better reward for finishing than a plastic cup of squash and a banana. May go elsewhere next year although still a special race because of what I achieved. Date of review: March 5, 2008
In short: Did it last year, did it better this! In full: Fantastic describes this event perfectly. Runs like clockwork with excellent facilties and marshalls who really encourage you to find that last drop of energy. Beat my pb by 2:10 so made the cold weather inconsequential. Best 10k I have ever run and I now have 2 fantastic t-shrits to prove it. ps - choccie biscuits were varied and very well received. Date of review: February 10, 2008
In short: Needs to imrove it's organisation In full: Have never run this before and wasn't sure whether to given previous comments over accuracy of course distance. However website claims a certificate of accuracy over the course distance so thought I would.
Guess what, they got it wrong. Sent us round the track 2.5 times at start rather than 1.5. Tried to compensate by moving finish out of the stadium to a blind corner where you had no chance of judging your finish sprint and yet still left the Garmin distance as 10.25.
Real shame as race was worth better - hilly and challenging but friendly and if organised better could become an annual event for many.
Will only turn up in 2009 if the 2008 reports prove they have solved the problems Date of review: October 7, 2007
In short: A pb .... but a long finishing straight In full: Fantastic race and for a well worthwhile cause. Extremely well organised and some very good marshalling. Pitiful support from the crowds - they only had support for those they knew. Longest finishing straight I have ever seen at just under 3k but still managed a sub 50 minute pb. Date of review: September 9, 2007
In short: Hot and Hilly In full: A very well run event with a great family village fayre as well. Hills all completed by halfway so the 2nd half was nice and flat and enabled you to get some energy back. Well marshalled and while roads were open as they are country lanes traffic not a problem. Will be back next year to improve my 7 mile pb. Date of review: July 15, 2007
In short: Well organised but no pb potential here In full: A very well organised proper X country race. With the number of narrow parts there was a lot of bunching and only being able to run at the pace of the person in front of you which was slightly disappointing as was hoping for a faster time. Scenary probably better than I have rated but given rain and my glasses misting I lost most of my vision for the 2nd half of the race Date of review: June 24, 2007