In short: A nice undulating challenge! In full: Didn't get around to it last year, but glad I entered this time. Nice and undulating, great support all the way round, baggage drop very well managed (they ID your race number before you even get there - something basic but few other races do this!), bit of a nause having to park so far from the start (although some parked just down from the start line on the main road - not sure they should have?), but overall good. Definitely will be back next year to tame it again! Date of review: February 24, 2013
In short: Uninspiring organisation failed to dispel my coldness and wetness! In full: Now I realise a lot's been said about medals and certificates and vests before, but since it said on the Fat Feet website that the only memento was either a technical tee or vest, and I was asked for my size, I at least assumed they'd get that right. And, at £35 a pop, I'd have expected a bit more than just a bit of cardboard and a couple of gels/bar.
I had a hard enough race as it was, the wheels fell off nearish the end, (my fault entirely for not covering up earlier), but the pretty anonymous set-up at the finish line, with a few largely silent spectators watching me stagger in and get my vest and card, pretty much took the shine off something I've been training for, for a long time. The vest is too small as well, and has nothing on it identifying that it's specific to this race. Which leads me to suspect it's part of a job lot being used across other races. I hope I'm wrong. I might just find out how much Anglian Water charged Fat Feet to use the reservoir - it might give us some insight into income versus expenditure. I will definitely think twice about running this one again. By contrast, my first marathon was the South Downs last year. Yes, they fecked up the promised "technical Salomon t-shirt" and replaced it with a fruit of the loom shirt better suited to washing cars with, but a) there was a medal, b) there was a big fanfare finish line with stalls and hot food, and c) they actually looked happy to see you. 209 Events is the company if anyone's interested - and no, I have no interest in publicising them. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Special first marathon, great vibe, not-so-welcome Salomon oily rag. In full: My first marathon, and I loved it. Great marshalling, great facilities, well-organised, lovely etiquette from other runners (better so than lots of the road races I've done), and gorgeous scenery and views. Medal was ace, free Goodness Shakes were more than welcome, but the advertised Salomon technical t-shirt was anything but technical. Salomon need to know from everyone who's unhappy - otherwise they'll do it again. Date of review: June 13, 2011
In short: Getting better but still some way to go. In full: Fat Feet have listened to some of the comments last year (not enough water stations or portaloos) but appear to have compounded things somewhat by a) not putting a year or date on the medal, and b) issuing confusing information on the website about a t-shirt. If you're only going to give t-shirts to people who were best in category, say so on your website so the majority of people don't expect one! As others have said, ground was hard going underfoot, which made it more of a challenge, and the water would be preferable in bottles. Nice to see a sausage van in the car park though. I may do it again next year, Date of review: June 1, 2011
In full: A great race, first time I've done it, some challenging hills but some nice fast flat and downhill bits too. Constructive criticism time - it would have been nice to get some advance warning of the water stations on the course (a sign half a mile out, for example) - I realise they're marked on the course route but when you're concentrating on getting a good time, and suddenly you're (together with hundreds of others) on top of a water station, it becomes a bit chaotic. I only took water from one of the stations as a result. The Ashlyn School car park was a bit of a trek from the start/finish, but good to have free parking all the same. And a thanks to the St Johns Ambulance people who tended my head after the race after I'd bashed it on my car door before the race!! Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: A good first-time race for Blacks, which could be improved. In full: More marshalls, better signing, a course route before the race, and a bit more encouragement from some of the marshalls that were around the course, would all improve what actually wasn't a bad start. Some explanation would also be useful as to why the race entry fee was so uncompetitive compared to other events. And was the "goody bag" (a plexiglass jar) plus contents really worth £25, as the marketing blurb said? Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: Good run in London but poor organisation and too many zoned-out aggressive runners... In full: My first competitive race at 10k, and overall fun, but marred, as others have said, by bottlenecks, huge queues, average water stations (not enough helpers at some), no chipped timers, and confusion as to where the "goody" bags were to be found (and yes, apart from the all-important medal, the rest of the contents are now in my bin.) The thing that riled me the most, and yes, it probably would have been sorted by penned starts according to expected finish time, was the amount of people running with iPods, completely zoned out and muscling their way through/past/over/under us slower runners. There's enough space to get around us, just be patient, sure you can make up the time elsewhere? They just seemed to have no sense of anyone else's personal space, which just made it frustrating when trying to concentrate on my own pace. And if you want a fast run, and see other people as a nuisance, why not do your own 10k around a park? Rant over. It's given me the spark to enter more 10ks and even consider a half-marathon, so in that respect it was a success, but ironing out those little niggles would have made it that much more special. Date of review: July 7, 2008