In short: Tough conditions, a satanic hill at mile 18. Organisers need to learn from some mistakes. NOT flat In full: Firstly, I live in Bournemouth so was very familiar with the course. I was expecting the hill at mile 18, but no amount of training could prepare me for running up it after 18 miles in that heat. I suspect this is where everyone's race fell apart a bit, I know mine did. The course was described as flat, and those expecting a flat race would of been cursing left right and centre at this hill.
Starting area was good, although nowhere near enough toilets, the queues were phenomenal. Lots of local support along the whole route. The buzz running through the finishing area twice (mile 18 and the finish) was great, although crossing the actual finishing line knowing you still had 8 miles to run is mentally destroying. Also I didn't feel that there were enough water stations, particularly from mile 20 onwards, it was a very warm day and everyone was wilting out there. Thankfully I live in walking distance from the finishing line, I can only imagine the cost and inconvenience of getting back to the start area to return to your car when thoroughly exhausted. It is not a flat race as described, one huge hill, another short uphill blast at around 13 miles I think, plus a whole 3 mile section of gradual incline along the cliff top.
Finally, the steps going down to the meeting area from the finish line, a route all runners had to take after crossing the line, was just mean. Do you really want to walk down 20+ steps after running 26.2 miles, no need for that as I know for a fact better planning would of avoided this. Please learn from these mistakes Date of review: October 8, 2013
In short: Flat, windy, high PB potential, nice medal and t-shirt. Parking a nightmare, and race photos extortionate In full: I returned to run this event only because I was unhappy with my first crack at this race, missing my target time by 44 seconds. I knew what to expect and the chance to run around the F1 circuit is brilliant for racing fans like me. Getting there early is an absolute must, as getting into the circuit really can be the headache that is synonymous with the venue, and can leave you stressed out before you even start running if you cut it close. The ‘athlete village’ area is very crowded, to be expected with a race of this size, but the baggage is well staffed and organised, and they are brilliant when you come to reclaim your bag the worse for wear. The start is great, crossing the line with the F1 music in the background as you head down to the famous maggots/becketts/chapel corners, such a good start. The start/finish area is the only part where you will see gathered spectators though, as for large portions of the circuit it’s just you and your fellow runners, can be quite lonely. The track is very flat, with only two incline of around 100m, really nothing to concern even the most scared of hills. Each mile marker has the race clock on it, very useful indeed, especially if you forget your watch like me!!! The atmosphere running into the finish area is brilliant. The medal and t-shirt are brilliant, and you won’t be short of water and lucozade at any point on the course. Now for the downside of the event, leaving the circuit was a nightmare, and I was sat in a queue for well over an hour, and I left before the masses!! Not a marshall insight, a real free-for-all. The race was attended by marathonfoto, and their photographers were plentiful on the course and in the finish area, however charging £55 to download your images is absolutely scandalous, that’s over twice as much as the fee to run the race!!! I can’t imagine they did much business in this day and age, surely they would do more business and have more happy customers by charging a respectable fee? I have achieved my goals for this race now, so combined with the headache of parking and outrageous memento photograph prices I will certainly not be back. A good event ruined in my opinion.
In short: Very poor organisation at start and finish In full: No signs to parking, and the cost was very steep, no warning about this. The early start hurt people trying to get there via public transport. Not enough toilets at the baggage area. Incredibly crowded start, now i know what sardines feel like. And it seems nobody took any notice to the starting sections which meant overtaking and weaving for close to half the race, which is not ideal for keeping a pace. And to start and then have to stop after 20 seconds for the bottleneck was inexcusable. The route was nice a realtively flat, but the poorly divided two-way road sections combined with narrow roads led to even more weaving. The hill at 10-11 miles was not a nice surprise and was like coming up against a mountain. The last 3 miles was very tough and challenging (for me at least). Thankfully i crossed the line before the congestion started, but again this is inexcusable, i really feel for the people who trained hard and got the finish and had to wait to cross the line. Easily the poorest race organistaion i have experienced and has put me off coming back next year. Lessons need to be learnt. Date of review: October 24, 2010