In short: Poor organisation let down the runners In full: Lets get something straight. Not mailing out the race packs is not saving the carbon footprint. How can it when everyone has to travel individually into an extremely busy Brighton city centre? It took me 3 hours to drive to Brighton, and a further 3.5 hours to park up, queue up and collect an envelope, and then drive out of Brighton to my hotel in Worthing.
If I'm honest, the queue at the Expo was so long I seriously considered driving home and abandoning the 16 weeks of training. Only my stubborn streak (instilled in all long distance runners!)prevented me from doing so.
Honestly, the day before a marathon you want to be off your feet for as long as possible.
Surely the truth is that Expo's make money for the organisers and are no doubt demanded by key sponsors. We're paying good money for these events, why can't we at least have the option of it being posted (doesn't seem to bother the Great North Run for instance!), or the Expo should stay open until much later on the Saturday and be in a considerably more accessible location. Feels like the organisers want to offload the problem of race pack distribution to the runners, and make extra profit at the same time.
1. Why no sub 3:15 pen available for non-elite runners? I emailed 2 weeks before the event and asked at the Expo - no answer.
2. Start area - shocking lack of toilets and very muddy. Don't get me started on the tiny clothes bags - ripped instantly!
3. Cups - no problem with these, most European marathons use them, there is a drinking technique whereby it shouldn't slow you down.
4. Crowd support and marshals - all fantastic - a big thank you - as always we couldn't do it without you.
5. A tiny bottle of water at the end. No chocolate. Come on guys, I've just run a marathon. Surely I can have a decent sized bottle of water and a chocolate treat?!
6. When leaving the finish zone I asked two marshals for the nearest tap to fill up my bottle. No one seemed to speak English.
Overall, a decent course, excellent support, glad I've done it once but for the reasons above it was pretty disappointing.
In short: Excellent event In full: I ran this in its first year in 2012 and was critical of its poor organisation, which at the time I acknowledged was challenged by some absolutely horrendous conditions. However, I read the positive reviews for 2013 and thought I would give it another go. I have to give credit where it is due, I found 2014 to be a really well organised and enjoyable event, with marshalled car parking at the stadium, undercover bag collection, opening much more of the stadium to spectators and participants, changing the route so that it takes in more of the centre of MK and also significantly reducing the number of underpasses, even small touches like now presenting finishers with medals over their heads rather than leaving in goodie bags. All in all it was an excellent event, even if I did finish a minute slower than last time! Well done to the organisers for listening to previous issues raised and implementing so many improvements: Milton Keynes has a marathon to be proud of. Finally, a massive thank you to all the volunteers for their support, us runners simply couldn't run these events without you. Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Well organised and super friendly event In full: My second year and again found it to be a really well organised event, with super friendly marshals, priceless St John's support (needed a minor bit of attention at the finish) and excellent value for money.
The course is not the easiest - the hills and general rural isolation takes real mental toughness as well as physical endurance to overcome - but that just increases the satisfaction at the end.
I wanted to break 3.30 on this course having narrowly missed out last year. Having now achieved that I probably won't run Bungay again, but would certainly recommend to others, particularly those that have run a big city marathon in the past and want to experience something a bit more authentic. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Great organisation and atmosphere, challenging route In full: My fourth year at Ipswich HM, really enjoyed it again. Fantastic support and organisation. Lots of variation of scenery makes it interesting route even with 2 laps. I'll possibly give it a miss next year because of the hills and lack of PB potential, but would certainly recommend to others to try at least once. Date of review: September 28, 2013
In short: Great event In full: Well done to all involved, an excellently organised event, testing but fair course, good support and above average goodie bag. Look forward to doing it all again next year! Date of review: March 31, 2013
In short: Terrible conditions, great support, ordinary organisation In full: Undoubtedly, the marshalling on the course and general support was absolutely fantastic. A huge thank you to those that gave up their time to help, a truly unbelieveable effort in biblical rain and cold wind.
The course was perhaps more undulating then the organisers suggested (mainly due to the underpasses and the surprise hill at mile 24 - thanks guys!). Underpasses also meant some sharp 90 degree turns.
The need to adapt the course, which increased the distance by 0.23 miles, was unsurprising given the widespread flooding, but still not sure why they couldn't have moved the start line, or perhaps adjusted our finish times to compensate - after all, a marathon is meant to be 26.2 miles - I guess that technically means we all ran an ultra instead!!
The finish in the stadium was oddly underwhelming - no big finish marking - nearly stopped in the wrong place!
Goodie bag was really disappointing - where was the mars bar or fruit? No t-shirt? For the money it did seem pretty light. Also, would have been nice to have awarded people their medals rather than being in plastic bag in the goodie bag (small point, but for some, particularly those completing their first marathon, it might have been a bit of a shame).
Worst thing, and certainly the most dangerous, was the queue for our bags (and dry clothes) after the finish. Standing in the driving rain and wind for half an hour with nothing worth eating in the goodie bag and no foil blanket was excruitiating. I didn't stop shaking with cold for at least an hour after the race.
Car park was flooded, but stewards on hand to push me in and then out (big thank you to those guys) and the bus was on time for me both going and coming back, but I've heard stories from others that they had very long waits.
All in all, unbelievable support and marshalling (thanks again), very unfortunate weather, I'm sure next year will be better, but I certainly won't be risking it again. Date of review: May 10, 2012
In short: Very well organised event In full: Considering it was the 1st event it was very well organised. The course has an excellent variety of scenery, but it had far more twists and inclines than I had expected and there was little opportunity to get into a rhythm. Good fun though, and many thanks to the marshalls for their encouragement. Date of review: September 10, 2009