In short: Very pleasant day In full: Was going to do the half following illness, but given the fortunate weather, and slow start, pushed on for a personal worst (!) time, that will teach me!!! It is a lovely race, very scenic, and onpy the Greenway is a challenge, as it tends to be a long, warm run in, but the villages are beautiful to run through - after 11 marathons, this is still one of the best looking around. Marshalls were....efficient? Not overly encouraging, but all very helpful when you needed them, though a little more encouragement wouldn't go a miss! Only gripe would be the start - got very congested in the first mile and a half, ran my slowest ever first mile (9:45!) because of the bottle neck in town...other than that, lovely medal (even though it says half & full on it) and welcoming cup of tea at the end - thanks Stratford! Date of review: May 8, 2011
In short: A run for runners - organised by runners - excellent! In full: Really well organised, though was a little manic before the race in the hall, suggesting that they may have reached their limit in terms of numbers. However, everything was well managed - changing, baggage, refreshments, information - couldnt find fault with anything. Probably the most marshalls I have ever seen on a race course, fantastic turnout, and all were encouraging runners and managing the traffic very well - big thanks. Course was tough going, hilly first lap takes something out of the legs, but very scenic through the villages. Only slight downside was the last 1/2 mile through the houses which was a little dull given you run back past the start, then having to run round the field to get to the finish - I could see it, but it seemed a long, long way away!! All in all, big well done to Bedford Harriers AC - oh, and great hoodie, thanks! Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Where did my money go?????? In full: Where do I start with this one?? Its a 10 minute walk from my front door, but not feeling like making the effort again, such a poor attempt at a race. The information pack was impossible to decipher - only a map!!! Its was 3 laps, though this turned into 3 1/2 due to some flooding in the park, which also, sadly, meant we didnt run around the lake (3 times) as that looked like the scenic bit, though we did get to run up the big hill (3 times!) - joy!
No signs in the park for the start, no start line (I did hear a woman shout go, which made a few chuckle!) and I couldnt find the finish line (there wasnt one) just a kid handing out medals - not even sure they logged the runners back in, never mind recorded any times. There wasnt even a bottle of water or sports drink, glad I took my own. No goody bag. There were insufficient marshalls in reality, as there were a number of road crossings that were unmanned, and no (obvious) first aid station. In all, just a training run with 100 other people, a race number and a medal - all for £21 - I feel robbed. I have been to club runs for less than a tenner, had a medal/tshirt/goody bag and had times recorded and been to get a warm drink afterwards and cake!!!
Furthermore, there was nothing in the park - no refreshments/coffee/burgers so for those with friends/family who came to watch and all the rides/stalls were closed (and I know it was New Years Day), it must have been worse than running up the hill (3 times!) So can someone please tell me where my money went???????
Only positives for me - a nicely designed medal, but no date to 'commemorate' the occasion (1-1-11 @11.11) and the marshalls who were there today were very good, very friendly, and all gave a cheer/comment/smile as you passed by, even in the damp, cold weather we had today, so thank you for coming out. Date of review: January 1, 2011
In short: Another enjoyable day in Nottingham In full: Ran the full last year, and it seemed shorter somehow this year, even if I was 20 mins slower!
It works really well for me, whilst it is a busy field in the first few miles, it stops me going out to quick. After that, found it wasnt an issue, but agree the focus is on the half. Found the second half tough work, but had training issues, so to be expected.
The whole event though is fantastic - parking is great (and for those doing the full, everyone has gone home by the time you finished!)well organised, loads of drink stations, great marshalls, and the paramedics were extremely good, if a little busy. Even the finish line crew were pleased to see me after nearly 5 hours of standing around!!!
I will be back to crack the lake one day..... Date of review: September 14, 2010
In short: You cant fault the organisers for trying, but....... In full: Second year of running this race, and I believe the organisers have listened to some of the feedback(critism)they got last year. Plenty of water/lucozade, given the heat again, they got it spot on. Plenty of first aid support and friendly marshalls (many thanks), and a great finish/crowd makes this potentially a really great run.
However.....they clearly listened to the minor chaos of the finish area of last year/congestion of buses and problems segregating runners from family/friends trying to meet up in the road, and turned it into major chaos!!! Poorly signposted, and access to the village a joke (I climbed the fence - was impressed I could get my leg up that high!!!) Why did the baggage trucks need to be in the school - they worked fine on the racecourse last year????
Seems to me the answers are simple...oh, and a shower on course please, other races do, and I guess it will be warm again next year. Date of review: May 24, 2010
In short: Another great race from Reading! In full: This was my third Reading Half, and I love it! It is crowded at the beginning, but managed to get a PB here for the second time, so well chuffed.
Spectators & bands add to the occasion, and while its not the most beautiful of places in the world, what a finish in the stadium, that more than makes up for it!!
Special word to the organisers - what a fantastic job you have done again. To get that many people through a race of this size, lay on great transport/parking, superb finish and medal/water area, it makes it a pleasure to run! Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Very pleasant run - not too tough!! In full: Had a good run, very scenic, a lovely change from training runs! Hill was testing, but not the toughest (did Mayhill Massacre last week, thats Tough)with really good downhill sections. Loved the varied terrain, a good mix of road/off road, something different to most runs.
Marshalls were excellent, and plentiful, and it was great to be part of a stress-free, relaxing race - Well done to the organisers. Date of review: February 14, 2010
In short: Tough as ever...but still fun! In full: Well organised as ever, its great to have a stress free run - if ever a run was organised with runners in mind, this is it!
The course felt tougher this year, somehow the mud felt as though it was trying to pull you backwards, or you just couldnt get a grip...very difficult to run at times. But thats what it is all about, and I still finished 5 mins faster than last year!! A must for anyone who wants to push themselves to the limit...and a bit more. Date of review: February 7, 2010
In short: It was different!!! In full: What better way to spend a sunday morning than dressing up as santa, running over the Severn Bridge, and raising a little for charity?? Good fun, must be a sight to see so many santas running in the most unlikely place - brilliant. Well organised too, with a very relaxed feel, though the cross wind on the bridge was a bit hairy! Date of review: December 9, 2009
In short: A race of two halves....and worth every second of it! In full: The first half is the best half I have run, very scenic, lovely mix of parks/greenery, and road running, well supported and with a great finish venue. My running partner did the half, and said it was a special run, albeit with some playful hills.
I did the full marathon, and found the second half tough going - the sight of the lake was a real killer - so was glad to see the back of it! Felt like the end would never come, and running past the park on the other side of the river, without the bridge in sight, was pretty tough too! Understand the lack of supporters, but that just made it tougher still. Managed a PB, but have underperformed in other races.
But what impressed me most was the whole event was organised like clockwork - car park on site, well marshalled, plenty of toilets, plenty to do/see for spectators, loads of water/lucozade, everything was top notch! Goody Bag not great, but who cares, its the memories/experience/medal that count, and its not often we get all that from a day of running. And to run round the more beautiful parts of a city to boot.
All in all, well done Nottingham, thanks for a great day! Date of review: September 15, 2009