In short: my favourite half marathon In full: 2nd year here and again a great race. The course was tougher with a lot more of the dirt turned into mud. the encouragement at the drinks station at the Globe was awesome - and I have run the Ashby 20 - really well organised and the mountain of free cake at the end plus the ability to immediately see your gun time and position were nice touches. the first and last of the main hills have a real bite to them. somehow i got a pb! back again next year for sure :) Date of review: November 17, 2012
In short: Excellent organisation, at the hillyish end of "undulating" In full: Great pre-race info - everything you need. Very friendly on the day. I ran Ashby 20 2 years ago and I think this event is probably as good. It has better scenery and friendlier marshalls (although the legendary Ashby drink station friendliness is still better). My one gripe would be that the water was in cups, and on a hot day that was a bit of a pain. The only mark down on beginner-friendliness was the "broom wagon" at 4 hours would be a bit off-putting, although I note several people recorded times after 4 hours. Excellent hoodie at the end, nice finishing venue too. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Excellent first attempt at a Marathon in Milton Keynes In full: I think that most of the negative comments on here are niggles or weather related. The lack of a clearly demarcated finish line and slightly disorganised bagaage reclaim the only two I would really endorse (the latter made worse by the weather - for us and the baggage volunteers). I don't care what anyone else says the weather made a huge impact. Yes the stadium was crowded at the start but only because we were all sheltering. At least we could! I can't think of another race I have done where the ability to shelter at the start would have been as good - imagine all those schools or gyms where we normally congregate filled to the rafters? Yes the weather was forcast but seriously what more could the organisers have done> What would London have done differently at Blackheath? Nothing - shelter under the trees if you are lucky to be near some.
The marshalls, and the support and the drinks stations were so relentlessy happy and supportive under the circumstances it was nothing short of astonishing. And these people are volunteers!
I loved the stadium finish and I loved walking slowly round it afterwards savouring the atmosphere. Not the best goodie bag, no but not the worst and a really good medal.
When I read people complaining that nobody was there to put the medal on them. . .crikey!
We just need to consider how we would have reacted to things or experienced them if it was sunny to think if something was genuinely wrong and needs improving
Well done to the organisers, big thanks to the marshalls and volunteers I will be back next year. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: steps at bison hill were brutal In full: My first trail run and i loved it. I thought the organisation was fine given that it was the first time it had been held - I have been to much worse. Stunning scenery. The route seemed clear and the marshalls efficient to me - but that isn't good about the leading group so perhaps that marshall had an unforgiveable "moment". Ref a couple of gripes mentioned by others below; I saw the medics in an ambulance / SUV parked between tents and I don't think we were at any time that far from where they could get reasonable access; directions? once you know that you are going to the NT site on Dunstable Downs then I don't see how that could have been hard to find? My gripe would have been that I had to stop and queue for water but to be honest I needed the rest after Bison Hill. I can't grumble about the value though - I won free entry! My major complaint would be about fellow runners listening to music. Normally I hold no strong views on this debate but in a race where it helps to be able to hear the Marshall's as well as see them it would have stopped the guy three in front of me going the wrong way and then holding the rest of us up as he fell trying to correct himself. Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: The most amazing atmosphere In full: I have experienced nothing as tremendous as the atmosphere at this year's London Marathon. There really wasn't anywhere where the support was lacking as I thougth there might be and for most of the race it was nothing short of phenomenal. The trouble with the pens / start is a tricky one. Many people are very optimistic about their planned finish times. I passed a particularly out of condition gentleman from pen 2 or 3 on the red start(couldn't see which) walking at 2k! When people know this happens of course other people do their best to hop into more advanced pens. (Or fib about their projected time like my colleague who knew he would get nowhere near his 3hr 20 but wanted lots of space to run!) Hard to really see how the organisers can combat that short of doing a "Boston" and that isn't what this race is about. Did I mention the atmosphere? Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Lived up to its reputation In full: I can't add a lot to the comments before but have to say thank you Ivanhoe Runners for a great day, thank you kids and adults at the water stations - the best I have come across, thanks marshalls and thank you Marie from Huncote Harriers who ran with me for about 12 miles helping me find and stay on my pace Date of review: March 22, 2010
In short: nice little course In full: my 4th year doing these cancer research runs which got me running again. this year my local one wasn't in the grounds of a stately home as they have always been but in milton keynes and it was better for it. there were more entries than at stowe and the course was really quite pleasant - all red routes and leisure paths and very green. these events are absolutely made to convert people to running, especially women who have previously done the 5k race for life (at the same venue) like my neighbour. Date of review: October 4, 2009
In short: you need to be in the right place for a good start if you do it's pancake flat and PB heavenn In full: 2nd year here - Brilliant atmosphere at start and finish - the band was a great touch this year - fantastic start and finish venue at the Honourable Artillery Company Ground slap bang in the heart of the City. The only critcism is that the course is very tight in places. They have 3 separate start pens based on estimated finishing time submitted with entries. The entry to the fastest pen is strictly controlled. Despite all this there are still lots of people going backwards in the first km and frustrated barging very quick runners who didn't submit an estimated time so had to start in the slower pens. Ran a PB but it still had a 2 at the front of it. Next year. . . Date of review: July 17, 2009
In short: brilliant race In full: my second year here and i love this race. the organisation, friendliness, village atmosphere and the course itself in the northants countryside all stunning. even the crappy weather couldn't put me off will be back next year. everything written about the hill at the end is true it's a monster for a finish Date of review: May 4, 2009