In short: Surprisingly quick considering the hills, could do with staggered start In full: I thoroughly enjoyed the race, despite the 40 minute loo queue beforehand. This left me 2/3 down the queue to start, which meant the first 2 downhill miles was very slow - average 9:20 on the first mile :-( and the second mile, a very steep downhill, was also way too slow due to congestion. I would easily have taken 2-3 minutes off my time with a clearish run. I second the suggestion that it would be good to stagger starts for those aiming for particular times, to relieve the congestion.
Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of support round the course, and all the marshalls / cadets were terrific - big thanks to you. The parking was a bit of a horror, with queues and cars needing to be pushed through mud. But overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere very much, I thought it was good value, lovely but very challenging course, and I even managed a PB despite everything (mind you, it's only my second half-marathon). One gripe, the timings shown on the results page appear to be taking the clock time rather than the chip time which if true is rather annoying - I'd like to know how I did on my net time please.
I may be weird but I was glad of the fizzy drink at the end - desperately needed that glucose after a very physical course. If they repeat this course, you definitely want to do some hill training beforehand - nothing seemed flat. What has worked really well for me is at the end of each training run on the gym treadmill, I do 1 mile slow walk at max gradient. It's worked wonders for hill performance for me.
Tips for the future - arrive with empty bladder & bowels, your own loo paper if not, with plenty of hill training behind you, and in a 4x4 with a pack of cards to while away the time as you queue to arrive/ leave. There were niggles, but I had a great day and I hope it raised plenty of money for charity. I'll be back for sure. Date of review: March 30, 2010