In short: Excellent new city centre race In full: I think some folk were in a different city to me.
Yes, the finish is seriously uphill but other than that it was pretty flat. In fact an excellent fast, if a little twisty, course. Marshalls everywhere. Crowds almost everywhere including the high fiving dancing lady.
The traffic management needs a little work but that is to be expected for a first event. The route incorporated the good bits of Derby's long established 10k course (albeit backwards) and also the bad bits e.g. a long dull drag through Pride Park to get to Alvaston Park then a long dull drag back alongside the A52. The city centre bits were great though.
The mile markers left something to be desired and the 13 mile marker arrived with half a mile still to run which they crammed into the alleged last 0.1 of a mile. Loved it though and will be back next year.
A great date as well, midway between the other local city halves at Nottingham and Leicester. Don't move it! It also throws down the gauntlet to the Ramathon, Derby's other half.
Only 500 in it but it was hardly advertised, could be a massive race with promotion. Sadly a cheap looking medal and t-shirt.
In short: Mixed In full: So many things about this race are well organised but then they usually spoil things by marking the course in miles not kms. This year they didn't even seem to bother with that, I only saw one marker at one mile and you do get two laps to check for these things.
Other than that its a toughish run around my local park.
My only other wish is they'd spend the extra 20p per runner and slip a cream egg in the mug you get at the finish. Date of review: April 22, 2014
In short: Good course, shame about everything else In full: Firstly I loved the course. I did Nottingham two weeks ago and the organisers there seemed to go to great lengths to avoid including Nottingham in the route. Leicester however took the route straight through the city centre by road, showing off the city and then after we’d reached Watermead Park, we came through there, Abbey Park, along the canal etc all on tarmac paths until we reached the city centre again and spent most of the last two miles in the pedestrianised centre. Excellent.
Also most of the marshals were good and considering the weather the crowds were good too.
Everything else though left much to be desired. As someone else said, it smells of cost cutting and amateurism.
I've got no problem with collecting race packs on the day but the pack included useful parking that isn’t on the very poor website. Not much good when you’ve arrived. Also not on the website were any directions to Victoria Park for those who weren't local. A copy of the excellent and useful site plan that was available on the day, although not included in the race park either, should also have been on the web.
It should need to be said - drinks in cups is a total no-no for a big race, particularly for a full marathon. No goodie bag.
I missed all but one of the first six mile markers as they along with hundreds of other race related signs were the same sized yellow signs. Next year please, a different colour, bigger and on both sides of the road.
As has also been said, the timing chip was stuck in a plastic bag on the back of the number and the first mile was accompanied by a cascade of these chips crashing against the pavement as loads fell off. I lost mine, so I picked another one up off the road, so at least they couldn't charge me for losing one. So somebody out there will get a surprise time. That is if they get any times off the chips at all as apparently the whole system failed and they reverted to manual timing. This caused a huge bottle neck at the finish as everyone queued single file for them to record everyone’s number in the order they finished. The organisers at least deserve credit for this and trying to recover the situation.
Also all the medals and t-shirts say marathon on them, so I can't show off ether as I only did the half! Date of review: October 14, 2013
In short: Good but really should be a lot better In full: Re: Half Marathon
It's my local race, so I'll be back whatever but it's sad to see this race treading water and not kicking on to the next level.
Organisation was mainly good and the atmosphere at the start/finish area excellent. Race village good, drinks stations good, mile markers ok but could be clearer.
Main problem is the incredibly dull course that does nothing for Nottingham. The old course was much better and even that didn't take in enough of Nottingham.
Support out on the course is probably half what it was on the old route due to it going to less places of civilisation and not to Wollaton Park which was always the highlight and always pulled the crowds. This may also have contributed to the reduction in bands/music around the course.
Then there's the horrific last two miles where you loop back on yourself and the awful Boots Industrial Estate (why oh why?), both of which must go if they want people to come back.
Hopefully the old course (or better) will be restored one day once the current obsession with 'fast n flat' dies out, which seems to have had no effect on the numbers entering.
It's also expensive particularly as no t-shirt is included. This is a major deterrent to doing the race. I travel all over the place doing races but why travel to Nottingham to do this one if they're not even going to give you a commemorative t-shirt. Which of course you will then wear with pride and advertise their race for them bringing in more people. A mystifying omission as I doubt the revenue they make from selling t-shirts makes up for the entries they lose by not including one.
Sort these problems out and the race will start pushing up towards the 10,000 entries mark that a city like Nottingham deserves rather than being stuck where it is pulling a steady 6,000 every year. Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Good but should be a lot better In full: As has been said it is an incredibly dull course and does nothing for Nottingham. The old course was much better and even that didn't take in enough of Nottingham.
Support out on the course is probably half what it was on the old route due to it going to less places of civilisation and not to Wollaton Park which was always the highlight and always pulled crowds.
Also agree about the horrific last two miles where you loop back on yourself.
Organisation was good though and atmosphere at the start/finish area also excellent.
It's also expensive particularly as no t-shirt is included but it's my local race and it's still a good day out, so I'll be back next year.
Hopefully the old course will be restored one day once the current obsession with 'fast n flat' dies out. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Friendly race but a bit dull In full: Pleasant-ish run but I was baffled by the km markers or lack of them - I only saw 1, 4, 6 and 8, and they weren't in the right places. They referred to the Varsity 10k and I thought they were being reused but now it appears, as that race had a slightly different route, they had just been left up! Very confusing. Date of review: April 25, 2012
In short: Good race, poor organisation In full: Others have mentioned the schoolboy organisational errors so I won't go over them again but all are valid.
Overall it was a pleasant run. Hopefully in future years rerouted to include something of Worcester perhaps and maybe a stadium finish?
I'd also like to stand up for cotton t-shirts. I was well pleased to get something I can wear down the pub and did so on Sunday night. I now have so many technical t-shirts I have to run four times a day to make use of them all. Can more organisers revert to cotton t-shirts please. Date of review: April 16, 2012