In short: Wet, Muddy and tough as old boots In full: Well, the weather played its part and unfortunately made for even tougher conditions; This was the first outing for this race, so it's bound to have a few teething problems. Weather aside (and well done to everyone for turning up on what was a very wet, miserable Saturday morning!) this was a challenging but enjoyable course.
It's for a good cause, for the local community - and seems, for the most part of it, it be single handily put together by race organiser, Rob.
It's good to see a trail race on the calendar, as we already have a good selection of road races in the area. However, the course is somewhat ambitious; fine for seasoned club runners, but could put off those just turning up in the spirit of being involved in a community event.
The scenery would be top class if: 1) The rain and mist had lifted 2) Your lungs weren't busy bursting outta your body and flying away 3) You could risk lifting your eyes away from scanning for hazards such as rocks, tree roots, low hanging branches etc.
The course was certainly demanding - quite narrow in places, so overtaking was limited. Not a problem with a small field, but if it grows in popularity in the future...
The weather can't be helped, and I think as a result, a number of people didn't turn up - and that perhaps also included marshals! The first couple of miles were well signed over open fields, but once into the woods, signs and marshals seemed few and far apart.
Often I found myself running in splendid isolation; no-one in front of me (no, I wasn't first!) and no-one behind me (no, I wasn't last, either) - often wondering if I'd taken a wrong turn down the many paths branching off. Luckily, I had local knowledge on my side to managed to keep to the right tracks (more luck than judgement - and certainly signage!)but several people were not so fortunate and took wrong turns.
This definitely needs addressing for the future Like Rob said at the start, it's a local event - and not the London Marathon. But that's no excuse for getting people lost in the woods.
This is the first event for this race, so hopefully issues can be ironed out for the future. It's all for a good cause, but still needs to reach a certain level of organisation to succeed. And I hope it achieves this.
Not sure where the advertised 'T shirt for all finishers is' rumour has it they will be posted out....
Only water is at the start / finish location. The plan was for a family fun day, with bbq, bouncy castle etc. and unfortunately, the miserable weather put a halt to all this (with the bouncy castle moved indoors) - shame.
However, what I really like about this event is the sensible start time (11am) and the fact it's on a Saturday - so you can do the race (without getting up at daft-O-clock) and still have a Saturday night out!!
I hope the problems get sorted for next year - in particular lack of marshals and signs - and perhaps a review of the course with a view to making it a little more beginner friendly - as I would like to do it again (hopeful in the sun!!)
Top marks for effort and intention. Just need to work a little more on the execution for future events. It's a lot for one man to take on, so perhaps need to rope a few more folk in to help for the future? Date of review: August 24, 2013
In short: Slick organisation, but at a price! In full: A great setting, and thankfully, despite recent heavy rain, conditions not too bad underfoot. Was a very well organised race - no problems with traffic or the race itself. Was a bit dubious about lack of posting numbers etc. out beforehand, but collection on the day proved no problem. Good to see plenty of things to keep non runners interested whilst I was away for 50 minutes; things for kids, things for adults (Bar!!) and all in the great setting of Clumber Park which meant you could make a full day of it.
Not cheap though, but partially balanced by tech. T-shirt & quality goody bag. Having done it once, not sure I'd be too quick to part with £30 to do it again which is a shame, as apart from the entry cost, everything else was tip top! Date of review: June 15, 2012
In short: Tough, but worth it! In full: My 3rd year at this race, and how it's gathering in numbers now word is getting round. A great - but challenging - course. Thank goodness for fine weather otherwise could be pretty grim!
Well organised by local Lions club, although my only gripes are the same as last year; Lack of a dedicated website (still can't find any results!) and some isolated areas of the route could probably do with a marshal or two just from the point of view if anyone suffers an injury, you're a long way from help.
Great send off & presentation by the Mayor. Ace grub at the end at race HQ, and all in a fantastic setting. I'll be back for more.
A definite challenge, but well worth the effort Date of review: June 15, 2012
In short: Hot & Hilly!! In full: For the size of the event (6000+ runners), the organisation was poor. I've seen better at local running club hosted races. The water situation was a disgrace - especially so for such a hot day. Plastic cups?? where were the sports bottles & Isotonic drinks? Congestion was caused at the water stations, with only one side of the road used. Only one sponge station (mile 3 & on the return, mile 10). And then no water at the finish other than the small bottle in the 'goody' bag - or should that be 'lack of goody' bag? usual bog standard cotton t-shirt. Scenery was poor, mostly through industrial areas. Support was patchy, due I guess to the above. However, Eccleshall (half way point) was brilliant. Fantastic crowd support with some entertainment thrown in. Start / finish at Don Valley good too. Although I think the event is not able to support the number of runners taking part. Traffic congestion severe at the start, despite allowing plenty of time.
For the number of runners taking part, the event should be much slicker organised. Other cities put on so much more for their half marathons. Sheffield can and should do better to make it a top notch race.
First half of the race virtually all on the uphill. Not too steep, but a constant slog upwards. Really can't believe how bad the water situation was - especially considering the hot weather.
In short: On the up! In full: This was the first running of this new event - and about time a town the size of Huddersfield hosted a half marathon. And all in aid of a local childrens hospice.
Obviously, it's got to find its feet a bit, but, being a local, hope it continues to grow and grow.
Word needs to get around, and I think it did suffer from a lack of marketing - I only found out about if a few days beforehand.
There's an option for teams of 5 to do it as a relay, so this makes it accesable for non serious serious runners who don't want to tackle the whole course.
Although it starts and finished in and industrial area of Huddersfield, a lot of the route is out into the wonderful scenery surrounding the area. However, this does involve 3 notable climbs.
Fortuanntly, the weather was reasonable for October, except a bit of a breeze. But in less inclement weather, some of the more exposed sections would be a even harder slog.
Unless this is your first half, you're not going to get a PB (unless your usual course is in the Alps!)
There was plenty of (free) parking at the start, and baggage area along with toilets (using the facilitiy of a local business, rather than port-a-loos)
There was plenty of water available at the start, finish and en-route. And generally good, supportive marshalling. Not all turns etc. had marshalls on them, but in place there was sufficient signs so as to not get lost!
The organisers had done a great job of managing to close a lot of roads, and provide stop / go signs to manage traffic where runners needed to cross major junctions. Although not totally traffic free, with relatively low numbers (150 I think) taking part, and a good part of the course on minor roads, traffic was not an issue; and would have been less so had certain drivers not ignored the road closed signs! Mile markers were a bit scarce though, so I was thankful of my GPS watch to tell me how far I'd come.
The goody bag was ok - yet another t-shirt (sigh!) and a couple of things to eat, along with a personalisd certificate with your finishing time (a shade under 1:55 for me). A medal would have been nice though
However, this is run by and for a charity, so the £25 entry fee goes to a good cause.
The main thing the organisers need to work in the future is generating more publicity for the event. I'm sure it will attract more runners if they know about it!
A dedicated pre and post (with results) web site would be good, with considerably more information regarding facilities etc. available (at the moment, there was just a small page link from one of the sponsors home web site)
I really hope this becomes a regular event. The later start time is good for a Sunday - but you will certainly earn your Sunday Dinner by doing this race!!
In short: Tough as old boots but well worth the effort In full: There's no doubt about it - this is a tough course. Described by the organisers as 'challenging'. Mostly up hill, and mainly off road on paths & tracks. Over fields, styles etc. etc. it really makes you work. Forget a PB but do enjoy the fantastic scenery, and very friendly atmosphere.
Bit of an initial bottleneck going through woods right at start, making overtaking difficult, but then field soon thins out so you can find you own room. Good marshalling at junctions etc. and course well marked out over fields etc. where you're on your own. Had great weather this year (if not a little too hot - but shouldn't complain, and I guess it would be a bit grim in poor conditions) but found trail shoes really useful - especially after a recent bout of rain had main uphill section of cobble stones rather slippy and caused a few mud patches here and there.
This is very much a low key event, organised on a local basis for charity so don't expect anything flash with all the trimmings. But then, that's part of its charm. No goody bag or medal etc. but that doesn't really matter - it's only a tenner & I get the feeling it's all going to the right place with very little taken out for running the event. Nice presentation ceremony, with spot prizes, and also prizes for both 1st club and non club runners.
Nice change from pounding the roads. Give it a go - you'll feel like you've earned that pint at the pub afterwards! Date of review: June 29, 2011
In short: A real little gem of a race In full: 2nd year in its running, and a return outing for me too. This is a great local race, very friendly and well organised. The course is tough - mostly uphill for the first 2/3rd but then all downhill for the final 1/3rd with a quick finish. The scenery is stunning (if your lungs haven't burst!) and thankfully the weather was better than last year. Race HQ is fantastic - instant results on the screen and delicious food and drink to build your energy levels up again. All rounded off with a fine pint of real ale in the Riverhead pub afterwards!! Even a massage service for those tired muscles. Super friendly, low key, non-flashy event. And all for charity.
If anything could be improved it would be addition of mile markers & maybe a few marshalls posted on the more isolated sections of the route. Not a question of getting lost as very well signed, but if anyone had a problem, they're a long way off summoning help.
A dedicated website would be good too - still not found on-line results yet?
But one thing is for sure, I'll be back - make a date in your diary for this one next year Date of review: June 6, 2011
In short: Scotlands Capital city, but not exactly the equivalent of London marathon In full: I think this race is maybe becoming a victim of its own success. It's billed as a major race, but is certainly not able to compete with the likes of London etc. - especially on the organisation front. Sometimes it felt like your local town marathon, (which is not always a bad thing), but had becomed swamped by the numbers.
Course was good - flat so a PB is on the cards (despite that headwind on the way back in!) although don't think the enery sapping off road trail section around mile 18 did anyone any favours! It was nice and scenic following the coast. Water / Lucozade stations were fine, but mile markers were very small and well hidden! Support was always good - but sometimes thin away from the towns. At the start, we were pretty much left to our own devices - very little marshalling etc and no fixed pens so was nice not to be hearded like cattle. More toilets would have been good though - especially mens urinals which would have eased the demand on the portaloos.
Can't really add much more to what has been said re. the finish area; personally, it wasn't too congested when I got there (3hr 48min) but I can see where potential problems would be. Got my goody bag etc. ok but there was a definite bottleneck leaving the area to go to the reunion area = narrow street, with members of the public swarming over it. Totally agree that it's just not on not allowing spectators see the finish line - and could have done with a countdown from 800mts to the finish for the runners. Would have been nice to be able to finish back in the centre as then there's no hassle of getting back to where you started (long walk / queues / cost of coming back on public transport) and would also give spectators something to do whilst waiting.
I thought it was an over priced event - £45 is steep. OK, was nice to get decent 'technical' T-shirt rather than yet another cheap cotton one, and medal will make a good paperweight! but not much in goody bag. At the very least, shuttle buses should be provided free back to the city centre.
Also, on the point of price, I was really disappointed to see most hotel rooms taking advantage and hiking their prices so much. I'd heard of several fold increases in room prices. I ended up staying a bit further out (but then spending a lot on cabs backwards and forwards!) I know it's a case of supply and demand, but by the time you've paid the entry fee, travelled, paid for a couple of nights accomodation and eaten, then it soon mounts up. Would be cheaper to actually go abroad.
Not sure if I would do it again as it's not special enough to make it a rival to London etc. As I say, it's looking like a victim of it's own success - not big enough to be on a par with the major city marathons, but not small enough to be forgiven for its downfalls. Not at the price they are charging anyway. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: A cracking race In full: A local one for me, so I least I have the advantage of training on them thar hills! don't worry though, after the first 4 miles and 3 climbs of note, things do start to ease off. Good value for £10, and well organised with a good size field making for a good atmosphere. Got a course PB this year, but some way off a distance PB which is never going to happen with these inclines. It's a challenging course, but an enjoyable event and a rewarding experience. Highly recommended Date of review: February 28, 2011
In short: Ideal for PB chasers In full: Alhough certainly not cheap for a 10K, don't forget it included chip timing which I guess is cruical on a fast course such as this. It's not pancake flat - there is a slight uphill gradient on the way out, but of course this means a slight downhill on the return (although today it was hampered by a headwind). But it's not going to get much flatter in West Yorkshire! Don't do this race for the scenery though! Top marks for keeping a (very) major road traffic free. A good, friendly atmosphere, with straightforward organisation; nothing fancy, but well run. A decent enough (if not 'yet another fruit of the loom') T shirt, although for the entry fee, would have been nice to be upgraded to a technical T.... Although I missed out on my PB this year, I would certainly consider trying again next year, although I'd say this is a race built for a purpose, rather than beauty. Date of review: February 7, 2011