In short: Totally flat, and a fantastic finish In full: Ask anyone from outside Lincolnshire to describe the county in one word, and 97% of people will say "flat". Elsewhere in the county, race directors make it their mission to disprove this.
Not in Scunthorpe, though. When the biggest gradients are 2 bridges over a motorway, then you know that a race is designed for nothing other than to get a massive PB. And to finish on the pitch at Glanford Park, even for a non Scunthorpe fan, was the icing on the cake.
OK, so it wasn't the most scenic route ever, but nor was it without its charms on a mostly rural course, with traffic free roads, plenty of water and encouraging marshalls.
Thanks Neil, I'll do it again next year, if I may. Date of review: May 16, 2012
In short: Nice race, not too good before the start, though In full: Pleasant enough race. A good distance, good challenge and large and fast enough to be a worthwhile day out.
My major gripe, like many here, was related to the pre-race. Having travelled to the race from somewhere near enough to make the journey without needing a hotel, but too far to be considered local, I relied on the timetable printed in the race information to help me plan my morning (I got up at 4.30 for the race!). To ignore the published timetable and rush people - when the last shuttle bus hasn't even arrived - then leave folk shivering for fifty minutes because you've rushed everyone to get bags on trucks, get into pens etc made for a shambolic feel to the beginning of the race. This was a shame, because I really enjoyed the race - once I got going.
And what's the point of an organised warmup an hour before the start of a race? Any benefit of the warmup is surely gone by the start if that's the sort of delay.
In short: Not PB conditions today, but a very enjoyable race nonetheless In full: Very nice race, with enthusiastic marshalls. The wweather wasn't going to help today, which meant that the Viking Way got a bit slippery. Hills nothing to write home about, although I didn't tend to notice the downhills until they were finished and the shallow climbs started again.
I'd love to do this again in better weather - but in February there's never any guarantee.
One small gripe, though. There was some loose barbed-wire across part of the dirt-track. An athlete in front of me got caught in it, unentangled himself, and then got caught in it again. This was probably because we were running to the sides of the track to find relatively stable ground. I'd have hoped that a hazard like that would have been spotted while checking the route conditions and marked, ideally by putting a marshall there.
Apart from that, though, and despite the weather, I enjoyed it. Date of review: February 28, 2010
In short: Faultless In full: I run this every year. Every year it's faultless. A lovely run through the East of England's highest "peaks". Bottled water, clear mile markers and enthusiastic marshalls. Results online within hours. A real gem. Date of review: September 6, 2009
In short: Really enjoyed it. In full: Almost traffic-free, with mars bar and hot drink at the end. Arrived in plenty of time to find plenty of parking. Some uphills, but nothing challenging- slight inclines if anything. Marked in kilometres (albeit with Miles printed below the number, but we were warned about that in advance.) A thoroughly enjoyable race that even the wind couldn't spoil. And beating my PB by a minute could only have helped. Date of review: May 17, 2009
In short: Remember - Lincolnshire is flat In full: There seems to be a pact amongst race directors throughout Lincolnshire to dispel the belief in the flatness of the county. Once again I found myself hauling myself uphills, although this time the organisers added the sadistic little touch of motivational messages- "Are you walking?", "Lincolnshire's flat", "While you're running this we're stealing your car" (I made that last one up!) up the sides of both of the hills. The towpath was a nice forgiving surface, but it was quite difficult to pass along its length and quite narrow under the bridges. There was plenty of water, both on course and afterwards. The marshalls were encouraging, if sometimes a little too crazy for a knackered athlete to appreciate. After that second hill it was good to have a downhill coast into Grantham- a stadium finish is always a nice touch, and unlike in Stamford last month, the clock was spot on. Despite the terrain, I managed to take about a minute off my PB- though we were promised by the race director that PBs wouldn't happen, I set mine in Watford in February- which is another hilly course. Took a while to pick up the tee shirt, though. Helpfully, we arrived just 20 minutes before the race and could still park right outside the stadium.
That was a very enjoyable race, thanks GAC. Date of review: March 8, 2009