In short: Fast! In full: Saw some people had problems with the official parking but I found it pretty easy to find and park up (I was very early and was aware of the scam parking from organisers emails). Race village was quite small & getting a bit cramped with 30mins before start - seemed enough portaloos. I liked the fact there was plenty of space outside to warm-up pre-race. Race pens not very secure, don't think anyone was checking numbers etc. Super fast course aside from a little congestion over the first 2 miles. Maybe a full dull spots on the course where support was patchy but I liked the long straight roads and flatness. Mileage markers weren't always obvious - make them a bright colour instead of white maybe? Finish stretch was fun - quite quick getting through, baggage storage efficient, good goodie bag. Quickly away from parking with it being so close. Maybe needs a few tweaks here and there but I'd recommend it if you want to go for a PB. Main grips was chip timing - my number went missing in the post and there was some late panic waiting for a replacement; then my bib time didn't register post-race and only appeared on the results page the next day...so my PB elation was replaced by worry when I should've been celebrating. Got to get that stuff working! Date of review: April 21, 2015
In short: Like a well oiled machine In full: 2nd time I've run this, both times as a follow up to a major city marathon. Forgot about the hills (oops!) and the wind was unrelenting but this is a very special marathon superbly organised by people who love their event. Big thank you to the cadets, marshalls, water station folk and baggage girls - everyone involved was fantastic. Thank you. Date of review: May 11, 2014
In short: Keep up the good work UFD! In full: 3rd time I've run this & is my local 1/2. I always enjoy the down to earth friendliness of the organisers. Fast course, got my 2nd fastest 13.1 yesterday from 16 runs at the distance, and although the lap counting can get to you, the cheery marshalls keep it entertaining! Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: Slick organisation and great start/finish location. In full: Very impressed with this marathon, everything was well organised and really good use of the racecourse for the start & finish; fabulous coming down the home straight, hearing your name and getting a handshake at the end! Lovely course, lots of country roads broken up by enthusiastic support in the villages. Can't fault anything, though the incorrect placement of the mile 24 marker might have thrown a few people. Highly recommended & very tempted to run it again in the future. Date of review: October 6, 2013
In short: UFD 1/2 maintains its special community feel In full: 2nd time I've run this but the first was 3 years ago. Pleased to say it's lost none of its charms as a friendly, community feel 1/2 marathon. It has great PB potential, the laps can be mentally challenging but as you come to the final lap it does provide you with that boost knowing that you're nearly there!
Only note I'll make is I had a car leaving the far side changing rooms drive deliberately towards me as I was approaching the small lane just before the water station, forcing me to stop and I then got a mouthful of abuse for my troubles. Perhaps a temporary sign just before the crossing asking drivers to give way to runners might be an idea (although I think I just got unlucky with this idiot). Great, friendly and encouraging marshalling. Thanks UFD, I'm sure I'll be back again next year.
In short: Huge event and experience everyone should try In full: My 2nd LM, last one was back in 2005. I trained very hard for this race and overall greatly enjoyed the experience and atmosphere, once I'd written off and accepted I wasn't going to get a PB.
There was some pretty bad congestion in the first mile or two coming from Blue pen 4 and I was forced to stop and walk a couple of times, very frustrating. Took a long time to get into a settled rhythm because of the frequent stop/start nature; I'd suggested the course has probably reached it's maximum capacity and it would be great if they could vet entrants a bit better somehow, far too many people in faster pens that shouldn't have been there.
However, the support and atmosphere generated by the great UK public blows other big city marathons I've done out of the water (Paris + Berlin). I will keep applying to do this run - maybe one year I'll get a clear run at it as I'd love to do my PB here, but if not I will make sure I enjoy and savour the atmosphere. Date of review: May 14, 2012
In short: Beautiful run through the countryside In full: I can see why this race gets such good feedback and is so well supported. It's a lovely course, challenging and testing, but fair. I ran London 3 weeks ago and did almost the same time in this race which I'm very pleased about, such a different experience! Organisation was *clockwork* and a special thanks to those manning the water stations and the marshalls who did their job expertly and offered great support and encouragement. Loved the crowd support at the junction we went through 4 times, really spurred you on on a course where you can often be running on your own for long periods. Highly recommended. Date of review: May 13, 2012
In short: Missed out on cracking PB In full: Little more to add on the distance problems - I got 13.5 on my watch. OK, this race for me is a warm-up for VLM, but I've been trying to break my PB for nearly 3 years and felt I was on for it today; I had a great race and if the distance had been right I'd have come in just over 1:32, as it was I "officially" clocked 1:34:43 - about 15 seconds outside my PB!! How frustrating! Oh well, at least I discovered a sprint finish I never knew I had as I tried to beat my time.
Lovely weather, enthusiastic support, nice medal and thank you to all the volunteers but I won't be running this race again after such a basic organisational error. Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: Enjoyable run in the countryside In full: Perfect weather, scenic course with some challenging sections. Organisation mostly good at the start of the race and getting out of town was straightforward. Did think there was a long gap in water stops 1-2 though fortunately carried my own supply. My only question mark was the end when the run into the final turn was on the pavement due to oncoming traffic and there was a lack of mashalling at that point as others have pointed out. But overall I enjoyed it and glad I made the effort to come down from London - perhaps would've liked the route to head more into the city but I guess that would be difficult. Date of review: October 17, 2010
In short: Love this race In full: Have run all 3 of these 1/2 marathons and it's easily my favourite event. Great organisation, loads of freebies as usual and once again the sun shone for everyone. Fab crowd support this year; can't fault this race. Date of review: October 10, 2010