In short: Tough course but well worth doing In full: When I was milling around the start line and heard the public announcer welcoming someone or other who'd done something like a zillion half marathons and had returned to this one as he thought it was the hardest in the universe, my heart did sink a little! But it wasn't AS tough as I'd then imagined, although the steep descent for the first mile and a bit did mean there was a lot of height to regain, and then lose, and then gain, and lose again, and then gain... Good fun though, and a nice atmosphere to boot. The organisers and marshalls were all very friendly. I don't tend to do many races twice, preferring to try new ones instead, but I would recommend this as a toughie. Only downside of the actual route is there's probably no stretch longer than 0.75miles of 'flat', so getting into a pace and sticking with it is impossible, and that big long (steep) drag up on the main road past the golf course is a little soul destroying! Date of review: March 2, 2010
In short: Very challenging course - bit chaotic at finish In full: Tough course and no chance of a PB! Even the downhill bits were so steep that you didn't really feel as if you'd got back what you put in, but it was enjoyable all the same, and some of the scenery was nice.
Bit of a gripe about the organisation at the end - due to the only way to leave the car park at the end was down the road the finishers were running along, the actual finish line was only one person wide, and we had to wait in single file for a good 5-10 minutes after finishing to collect t-shirt. Also, with cars and vans driving down a single track road that was also the finishing strait, and where the t-shirts and water were being given out, it made for an exceptionally busy and unrewarding end. Enjoyed the run itself, but won't be back. Date of review: March 2, 2010
In short: Fantastic event In full: Loved every minute of this race - organisation was superb, course fantastic and scenery is great around there.
Absolutely superb event, will be there next year and can't recommend it highly enough.
Now for a couple of related gripes... Agree with the sentiments re people's starting positions, I placed myself realistically, but for the first mile or so couldn't get into a decent stride as the amount of people running around 9-10 min mile pace - who'd obviously started in a sub 1.30 finishing time - was ridiculous - I even had to pass a couple of people who'd not been able to run up the first hill...
Now onto the hills. The hills are 'nice', they're all short and not too steep, and you obviously go down as far as you go up too, but some of the reviews on here would have you believe it was a run up Everest! 'Brutal'?! Come off it - they're only brutal if you only train on the flat or live in York or Amsterdam. If you're training for any sort of event that's described as 'undulating' you should be incorporating some hill work into your training.
Some of the reviews on here re the hills would be enough to put people off this event, and aren't a fair reflection of the race. Date of review: March 30, 2009
In short: Brilliant event In full: As a first marathon, I probably could have picked an easier one, but being familiar with the area I knew what I was letting myself in for! The organisation was superb, from the car parking to the marshalls, it was fantastic. Good atmosphere between runners, and some beautiful scenery to look at on the way round. There are a lot of 'small' hills at regular intervals, the steepest was around the 7 mile mark, but the second half of the course is continually up and down, which was very testing!! I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's thinking about it for next year - the event needs supporting - despite a 1800 capacity there was less than 900 competitors, so get signed up for next time out! Date of review: May 19, 2008
In short: Nice course, challenging in parts In full: First time I've done this race, and it was very enjoyable - it was a little hilly, not as much as I thought it would be but enough to minimise the chances of a PB if you're a regular half marathon competitor.
Marshalls were excellent, very friendly and encouraging. Recommended. Date of review: March 17, 2008
In short: Very long half marathon In full: The biggest problem I have with this race is the distance - it was 13.4 miles according to my GPS, and a lot of other people around me at the finish were saying the same - quite frustrating as I was trying to get sub 1.40 - and my 'official' time was 1.41.
Other than that, very good race - disappointing T-shirts though - cheap and huge. Date of review: March 10, 2008