In short: For the entry fee, this was appalling. But the crowd were awesome . . . In full: What a monster. Weather - not the organisers fault. But made the "traditional" Manchester weather look like high summer. As a result the organisation deficiencies were made so much more apparent. I know the marshals were volunteers, but there were long periods in after the 1/2way point where there was no sign of any (in the "country". The crowd who did turn up were awesome, and I was so impressed that there was anybody still out after a few hours. And what was with that stupid muddy track/pond/track/pond set-up through Dunham Massey? I think that just finished off my road running trainers. (It was a road race, wasn't it?) Since I got cramp at 16 miles and then walked the rest my opinion may be a bit jaundiced (achieved a personal worst and didn't stop shivering until Leeds on the way home in a very heated car!), but I don't think I'll be back. And not unless it gets a whole lot more reasonable in the entry fee (doesn't even begin to compare with the value of London) and that Expo/number pickup/or pay extra (!!!) to have the number mailed out...) Roll on Summer! Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Glad I did it - I needed to prove to myself I could still doi 10K! In full: Was surprised to have to pay to park out by the arena - pretty sure last time it was P&R, as were other runners, and there seemed to be no-one vaguely official around this year - not even car park marshals! The tram company have wised up too - buy tickets in advance, on the platform!
The run was good - as ever, a Great Run organised event, and nice to see the elite coming homeward whilst I was still running out (no, really!). Those little (?) hills at the end though - ugh. Date of review: December 31, 2010
In short: Post event rganisation - is vague too kind a word? Finish area not laid out by a runner! In full: 2nd marathon, so was hoping for a new PB - the sunshine finished that plan off!
The medal was nice, the t-shirt worth having. The spectators were encoraging, friendly (if incomprehensible in places!) and their hosepipes were very welcome.
Now, about the organisation . . . I felt the pre-race info was a bit late in coming out, and the info on the website not very precise until quite late on. For example, I'd planned to come up the day before to pre-register (as per London) and didn't click that it wasn't happening like that until about a month beforehand. The "countdown" emails were good though.
I know the mile markers were wrong - my gps told me that, but it seemed they were inconsistent, too. Some were almost right!Very odd.
The race was great - mostly. Marshalls and crowd good, even if the crowd was "patchy". Route was a bit non-Edinburgh after the first few miles, but pleased to discover there's a sea-side so nearby. And what was with the odd bit near the turnback where you're running along someone's not very well surfaced tracks? It was a bit of a challenge by then, since I'd thought it was a road race . . .
The finish was frankly, a joke. The mats - watched the guy just ahead of me trip on the plastic matting joints, and fall. (I dodged him . . . but did pause to check he was getting back up.) My wife saw more fallers and bloddied knees whilst waiting for me. You can get "locking" mats for racecourses - ask York what they use.
After the photo area, there seemed to be crowds of people headed inwards against the runners coming out - runners only area? I think not. I'm guessing it was supporters who couldn't get into the reunion area due to the crush around the gates, looking for their runners.
The park/school/whatever it was where gates into where the baggage buses and charity village were have already been mentioned. But why were there only 2 small gates open, for so many 1000's of people? I overheard a police officer saying on her radio "It's only padlocked. Can't we get some bolt cutters or something?" Or why wasn't it just unlocked? And there was a further gate inside too. The "Event security" guys were being unhelpful at this stage too - stopping people trying to get in/out and force them to go to to the other gate. Given those people had mostly just run 26.2 miles, I'm amazed there weren't more lost tempers.
The baggage trucks were a long way away from the finish, and in a bit of a cul-de-sac. And not many people returning bags so there was a scrum around each truck - no queueing, even (compare it with London where as I approached the truck someone shouted my number, and when I looked up my bag was being offered to me).
Macmillan were great - they made up for so many of the shortfalls of the finish up to that point. Thank you!
And the icing on the cake - the buses back to Edniburgh. The no 26 (public service) buses were swamped. Presumably with extra people who thought they were getting on the shuttle buses, as well as the rest of us. They weren't stopping, either because they were full, or because the empty buses which went by were just feeling that way out. Bus queue rage did strike - harsh words exchanged between runners around me, and the "exact money only" policy on the bus really didn't help. After a 1 hour plus wait, we got on a bus, but subsequently missed our train back to England - so not a cheap hobby, most of which I would say was attributable to poor organisation at the finish.
In short: At last! Good to see this in York, organisation needed some local knowledge! In full: I'm really pleased to see a 10K in my home city, and it was a great atmosphere. Traffice didn't bother me as I walked to the start - but given the anticipated line up of up to 5000 people, why didn't someone twig there would be a lot more road traffic than normal? York Races have a traffic management plan - couldn't we have used part of that? Also, starting 500 metres up the road would have allowed starting pens - at least for runner, joggers, walkers and the rest, and thinned out the first few kilometers nicely. (You could easily add a little bit extra into the city centre to make up the distance.) But that said, I had a great time, as did my family and friends - runners and non-runners alike. Roll on York 10K 2010 . . . . Date of review: August 12, 2009
In short: Enough fun to make me want to do it again - and try for a better time! In full: It was a beautiful day, in just about every way! I couldn't have asked from more in my first ever marathon, except some speedier legs after mile 16 . . . A great day, thank you London! Date of review: April 27, 2009
In short: 1st time at this distance - and thanks to EHH I'm glad I did it here! In full: Apart from getting a tad sunburned (baldy, no cream - stupid me!)and seeting off too fast (stupid me again!) it was great. I was surprised there was that much nice countryside in and around Hull (it has an unfair rep, in my book), and the route was well thought out, although a little bid odd to come back through a Sunday-lunchtime-deserted housing estate near the end - and that sneaky little hill before going back onto Salthouse Rd was nasty! But it meant for a wonderful downhill finish to an encouraging little crowd. Nice towel, too! Thank you and well to all those encouraging marshalls and the friendly other "plodgers" on the run. Built my confidence for FLM no end - I think I can do it, now! Date of review: March 26, 2009
In short: Gosh, that was chilly! But not for long . . . In full: As others have mentioned, the start in a country lane was a bit of a squeeze. And nowhere for well wishers/spectators to go to see the start - so that all felt a bit low key. Although why any sane person would want to stand around in the freezing cold just to watch I don't know . . . . "Flat" is relative - there were a few sneaky long inclines in there, and compared to where I live and train it wasn't very flat! No killer hills though. A beautiful day for a run, friendly marshals, bit icy without warning in the shady patches, and the pub's blackboards on the pavement was a potential bit of excitement . . . but a good race, a PB, and well organised and friendly enough to keep me happy. Thank you for organising it! Date of review: December 2, 2008
In short: A wonderful day out - but not for the traffic home! In full: A PB for me after 5 yrs - finally broke the 2 hour mark (v. smug even now!) and as ever, great atmosphere and support. But the traffic marshalling at the end seems to have gone downhill - took an age to get off the seafront this year (1 hr 30 mins, actually). And I was a bit disappointed that GreatRun seem to now be charging to download your own certificate when its only costing them less than pennies, espically given the entry fee. Date of review: October 16, 2008
In short: Fun, but just felt it was lacking a bit in the organisation at the start/finish. In full: Hey, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the run (despite being 2 minutes off my PB :-( ) but it just felt like hard work getting in to the starting area and back to the meeting point at the end. Maybe because it was organised more by Leeds City Council rather than a running group? (Slightly officious guys in green jackets didn't add to the atmosphere!)
And just a practical note - the chip collection at the end could have done with being a bit clearer - gave mine to a woman wandering around with a black sack who was saying "chips, chips"! Date of review: July 3, 2008