In short: A bit of everything In full: Very well organised event. Quite a varied experience - parks, industrial, city roads and of course the tunnel. The support tended to come in big gatherings, with long stretches having few or no spectators. Water points and stewarding were all very supportive and well-drilled.
I stupidly ran with an injury so I'm determined to come back next year and enjoy the route with a bit less pain. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: A game of two halves In full: My third successive year here. Many thanks to the organisers and spectators who make the day go so well. Running into a gale after 20+ miles was never going to be fun. No-one else seems to have mentioned that at least that part of the course was altered slightly this year to reduce the amount of time spent running round the waterpark. A definite improvement. The second half is always going to be tough, with so few spectators compared to the first half. Missed my target by 10 mins so will be back for another go Date of review: September 12, 2011
In short: Well organised with a busy and scenic first half, quite lonely second half In full: My second year here and again the organisation was great. Thanks to all involved. The second half seemed a bit less bleak and lonely this year, helped by the motivational stuff at the water park, but probably also due to me being in less pain. Had trained far better and took 28 minutes off last year's time.
In short: A race of two halves In full: My first marathon. I can't fault the organisation - stewards, route marking etc. A t-shirt would be nice, but that's not why I was running. The first half route is great: lovely parkland, some tree-lined avenues, a few little ups and downs. But the second half...I'd read comments from previous years about the soul-destroying water park stretch, and soul-destroying it very nearly was. Hardly any spectators, because I imagine it'd be hard to get out there. No-one else seems to have suggested running the marathon as 2 laps of the first half. I suppose longer road closures might be a problem, but it would be a far better run. Date of review: September 15, 2009
In short: A friendly atmosphere on a town and country course In full: As this was my first time on an organised run I had nothing to compare it to, and was wondering what it would be like running with people all around me. The smooth organisation put me at ease, both in the form of email information leading up to the day, and then on the day itself - transport laid on from the hotel, ease of picking up the race chip, bags even taken from the bus to the finish point. The start went off without any jostling, and a good wide traffic-free first section allowed the field to settle and lengthen out. Stewarding and water stops were friendly, and there seemed to be spectators every few hundred yards. I gather this was the first year on a new route, and all I can say is the mix of town and countryside was perfect. No issues with cars, and where we had to share with traffic it was all pretty clearly managed. finishing on an athletics cheered on by quite a healthy crowd made me feel like an elite athlete for a few moments, and I managed quite a sprint to finish in 1 hour 42. The whole day made me want to do more events, and I'll aim for a marathon next spring. I would certainly recommend this run to runners of all levels, and hope to be back next year. One tiny criticism: it would have been nice to receive a shirt carrying event details, rather than the plain white tech shirt; but that's only because I want to flaunt my new status as an event runner. Thanks to everyone involved. See you next year. Date of review: October 20, 2008