In short: Really good fun over Christmas ! In full: A big thank you to the organisers and all the helpers who gave up their Boxing Day for us. A lovely village run. A great route, fantastic weather and a good mix of runners, with enough slow runners at the back to keep me company :-) I’ll definitely be back !!! Date of review: January 23, 2012
In short: My first marathon and what an absolutely fantastic experience !!!!!! In full: I wanted to complete at least one marathon in my lifetime and I wanted it to be an iconic and unique experience, Loch Ness certainly didn’t disappoint.
Despite training and enjoying a good plod, I don’t really consider myself a real runner so continuing to run almost to the 17-mile point surpassed my expectations. I felt really well looked after, pre and post event and out on the course. The views on the vast majority of the route are simply outstanding and the mist and hail during the beginning of the run just added to the sense of occasion. I can’t deny this was the hardest challenge I have ever completed in my life but it was also one of the most rewarding. Apart from the bus ride, (which was horrendously long with no loo provision) I loved, loved, loved the rest of the event. That feeling, running in through Inverness to the finish line, is simply indescribable. Part of me feels sad that it’s now all over; Loch Ness Marathon was my goal for almost a year.
A massive thank you to every single marshal and supporter out on the course.
In short: What a fun event !!! In full: On the whole it was a great event and a brilliant day !!!
We arrived nice and early by car, paid to park in the street, which was worth it for a mostly traffic free exit out of Portsmouth. We got into our white start zone so early that we were stood half way back on our own for a while. This meant we had a good hour before we got going but we just soaked up and enjoyed the atmosphere. Support around the course was fantastic, loved the bands, the noise and the colour.
My only negative, I have never seen so many runners (including those in charity vests) display so little ‘charity’ when it comes to other participants out on the course. Yes, getting caught in a bottleneck is frustrating but there really is no need for pushing to get passed other people as if they’re insignificant. Everybody taking part deserves the respect of fellow runners, no one person’s event is more important than someone else’s. With that said, it’s the few who spoil it and on the whole people were cheery and pleasant. I think maybe smaller start zones etc. would help but the organisers can’t be held responsible for some runner’s poor behaviour. A massive well done to all those fancy dress runners, you give the rest of us a smile and lift during the event. Also thank you to all the marshals, first aiders, finish-line helpers etc.
Me, I’m already booked on for next year :-) so I’ve let my feet do the talking.
In short: Another fantastic Swanage Half !! In full: Firstly a big thank you to every single marshal out in the rain today, not an especially pleasant job but you’re vital to a safe and successful event and your encouragement during the miles is really uplifting. It was a wet race but I enjoyed it more than the blazing heat last year. I’m sure the cooler conditions helped me knock a few seconds off my time. A new Half PB for me so I’m chuffed.
I ran this year with my hubby and he said it was the best Half he’s completed; mind you he loves a hilly route as it keeps him interested and challenged. Personally, I feared the hilly stretch after mile seven but somehow this year it didn’t seem quite so bad. A real plus with this course is the amount of drinks/sponge stations available.
Also loved the paperweight memento, a real treasure!
In short: A really enjoyable Half Marathon. In full: A big thank you to all the Marshals who did a great job of being supportive and keeping us safe out there. It was a lovely scenic route and running through Upton was my highlight, plenty of people clapping and shouting encouragement in the town. Loved it because at that point I was still fresh enough to enjoy it and smile and wave back. I had to grit my teeth for the last two miles but by mile eleven I’m getting to my break point, more long runs required me thinks. Well organised start and a super slick finish. I’m glad there is no goodie bag, just means we can get our hands on the cereal bar and banana quicker :-). My hubby and I had a great time. I think it was the new Mayor of Malvern, Ian Hopwood who handed me my memento so that was a nice touch. Well done to the organising team. Date of review: May 29, 2011
In short: A well organised trail Half Marathon in a beautiful area. In full: I was pleasantly surprised at the smooth running pre-race organisation. Car parking was exceptionally easy (and it’s free car parking), chip collection was military slick and then I noted a massive queue for the portaloos. ‘Ay up’ I thought but on looking around I spotted smaller clusters of loos with hardly any queue. That’ll do nicely !
I actually enjoyed the vast majority of the course; I managed to run (I use the term loosely) all except for the last incline, where I walked about six steps before mentally berating myself back into some sort of trotting action. I truly wasn’t keen on the running surface (I predominantly run on tarmac) and I found one particular stretch near the end of the course really bumpy and punishing on my whole body. I guess that’s trail running for you! In truth, only one thing flawed this race for me and that was getting stopped at the road crossing. I felt emotionally wrecked jogging on the spot as the last competitor across the road headed into the distance. I understand the traffic has to be managed; it’s just exasperating when the clock is ticking. To be honest, my time is already slow enough without stopping.
The marshals were well positioned, friendly and did a great job out there on the course, a big thanks to them. The water stations were also well manned. I have always hated the plastic cups of water but after running Reading Half last weekend and seeing so many discarded bottles of ‘almost full’ Lucozade and water, I’m having a change of heart. I say, save them for the end and give them out in abundance when runners can drink them and not waste them.
Thank you for the lovely memento. I know I’m sad but the total highlight after the run was the pancake stall. I just loved my pancake (only £1.50) and if you can promise me that will be there next year then I’m in. April fool or not ! Date of review: March 28, 2011
In short: A credit to Reading !!! Amazing atmosphere around the route. In full: Plenty of positives about this Half Marathon.
1. Amazing atmosphere and support around the route. 2. Excellent venue and race route. 3. Easy car parking [with a portaloo :~) available]. 4. Fantastic water/drinks stations - well manned and well positioned. 5. Plenty of toilet facilities along the course. 6. Super stadium finish - just loved that finish !!! 7. Slick organisation at the finish - blanket/drink/chip removal/memento/goodie bag. 8. Excellent pace runners and Marshalls. 9. Race results available really quickly with split times. 10. Plenty of e-mails keeping runners updated prior to event and post event. 11. Goodie bag was well stocked. 12. T-shirts were technical t-shirts therefore worth buying. 13. Mementos are lovely - good quality and a nice keepsake (with the option to have them personalised).
Just a couple of constructive observations.
1. Race numbers/t-shirts sent out a bit too close to race day. 2. Late race start. 3. Massive crowds funnelling from the race village to the green/white race line. 4. Car parking - possibly a tad expensive.
I managed a PW (it felt like I was running through treacle and I was totally fatigued during the last three miles) but I had such a great time with all the bands and supporters, my time doesn’t even matter. If I enter only one race next year, it will be this one. Thank You Reading !!!!!
In short: Really enjoyable 10-mile road race. In full: Nice easy car parking, close to race start/finish and leisure centre facilitates. Friendly marshals around the route and manning the water stations, thank you for your support! The course was really scenic, loved the meandering river, swans and daffodils. A few gentle hills but nothing to testing. A very enjoyable 10-miles, especially when the sun made an appearance. Plenty of water stations on route but it would have been nice to have an energy drink or snack at the finish rather than just a plastic cup of water. Plenty of T-shirts remaining for slow runners like me but no small sizes left. Fantastic to get a PB and I’m sure that was down to the track finish. Overall, a great day out, thank you Salisbury ARC. Date of review: March 13, 2011
In short: That was a totally brilliant 10-mile event! In full: A massive thank you to the great marshals who were super encouraging, cheerful and friendly. Good job !!! I was a tail ender on the 10-mile and the 20-mile competitors were really friendly, thanks guys. I’m glad the runner who said he wouldn’t lap me kept to his word (mind you I hadn’t been in long before the winner of the 20 mile came in…gulp). Loads of water stations with Jelly Babies, great route, lovely technical T-shirt, chip timing and I didn’t have to queue for the loos (which were stocked, clean and had hand-washing facilities. It’s not often that can be said at an event). Zoom Tri this was an excellent event, top score !!!! I’ll be back next year simply because this was so well organised. Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: That was a Hummmmmdinger alright !!!!! In full: It was my first time but I’m all knowing now. Really friendly marshals all the way around the route and that’s a compliment coming from a plodder at the back of the course. The uphill slogs were tough but running downhill felt just as merciless on my old knees. Mind you if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t be half the fun! Love the T-shirt, fab design and great to get a free photo at the end, thank you. Only one low point and that was when a 4x4 type vehicle forced the female runner in front of me into the hedge. How rude was that from a tweed jacket wearing bloke? I guess he’d lost the plot after getting caught up with runners earlier on the road. Overall, a friendly event, superb location and excellent organisation. Date of review: February 21, 2011