In short: Relaxed family atmosphere In full: I did this race 4 or 5 years ago (before Nice Work had the management of it) and I think it has improved a lot.
No probs with registration, parking, race instructions etc. The start and finish is in a field where everyone is parked. This makes watching the race and getting away afterwards very straightforward.
Fast course through some very pleasant country lanes. Marshalling was good (thank you to the volunteers!) and there was a nice mix of abilities. Very welcoming to the slower / newer runners out there.
Chip timing might be an improvement and also maybe a clock with the gun time at the finish line. Although I'm quite happy with the gun time. It's a fairly low key, scenic, friendly run rather than one where time is too important (to most people anyway).
Refreshments at the end. Thanks to the organisers Date of review: June 16, 2013
In short: Fantastic race, fantsastic location! In full: Having entered the race quite late, I received a very nice email from the organisers with a race pack and race instructions attached.
No probs with parking or the start of the race. It was, however, quite congested towards the back this year due to increase in numbers. Good support throughout the race and a couple of water stations in the middle which were great.
After running through some woods, there's a steep ascent followed by a very fast last mile to the finish. The finish area was good. Being on a village green there was coffee, ice cream, beer, burgers etc for people to enjoy once they'd finished.
Lovely atmosphere with beautiful scenery. A great race! Date of review: June 1, 2013
In short: One to say you've done In full: This was my second attempt at the Marathon, having run it last year as well. I really like the start area. PLenty of room for runners and spectators, people taking photos, warming up etc. Once we got going the crowds were brilliant, but this was only in places. Members of the public handing out jelly babies was much appreciated. Support from volunteers at water stations was fine. The bottles of water were the right size (330ml) so well done to the organisers for this.
For the long boring bit of the race where people are running in opposite directions there needs to be some kind of barrier down the middle of the road to prevent any chance of accidents. Once the race was over it wasn't obvious where we had to go. I appreciate the runners only area is good and the reunion area is a nice idea. However it wasn't clear where anything was. In future can I please be handed my finishers medal by an adult? Many reasons for this, the least important of which is that it looks amateurish otherwise. Nice big open space at the finish which is great but do you really expect people who have just run a marathon to walk that far to catch a bus back to the city centre. NOBODY checked our tickets anywhere. I paid 20 pounds to get my parents to the finish and then all of us back to the city centre. I needn't have bothered! Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Good training races to test fitness. Friendly, relaxed atmosphere! In full: I completed two of the series races this year. The support and encouragement from the marshals was brilliant on both occasions, despite the weather conditions.
Instead of doing the same old club run every week, I tried these races to test my speed over an accurate 10K course. I found there was a good mix of abilities and plenty of space on the track while running. Yes there are a few areas of the circuit which are quite dark, but I never find it that much of a problem.
There's a cafe right by the start/finish area for sheltering in afterwards so spectators are well catered for as well. Date of review: April 11, 2013
In short: Great race, superb organisation! In full: My 4th year in a row at this race and it gets better every year. The volunteers were fantastic - thank you very much. Lots of support around the course from locals. Baggage area looked well organised (although I didn't need to use it), and the medal is the best so far.
I hope you disqualified all the runners I saw wearing headphones!!!
I won't be back next year due to personal circumstances but hopefully will return the year after as this is a race not to miss. Date of review: April 8, 2013
In short: Always one of my favourite local races In full: On arrival at race HQ I was directed to the car parks by an extremely friendly marshal. She told me that although it was a slightly awkward drive, there was a cut through route to walk back to race HQ. The instructions were basically turn right, right and right again into the car parks. Marshals were in position at each junction/roundabout between race HQ and the car park. Loads of parking space and a 10 minute walk back to race HQ. I really don't understand why people have been complaining about the parking and organisation!
Yes there were a lot of people trying to register quite late. However with three long queues and potential for confusion amongst runners, the Race Director was present to make sure everyone was in the right queue.
An announcement was then made that the start had been delayed by 10 mintues. On realising this I quickly put on both my chip and race number and made my way to the start. This was a fair distance away but made for an excellent warm up. I had entered on the day and was one of the last through at registration. I'm afarid those that miss even a delayed start can only have themselves to blame!
In hindsight I probabaly was slightly nearer the back of the field at the start than I would have liked but that's life. With about 700 runners it was difficult to get going at the start but after about 2K runners had spread out considerably. I settled into the race and appreciated the countryside around me. Apart from a slight blip at around 7K (due to a sharp hill) I really got into my stride and pushed myself as much as I could. The last 1K was completely downhill and we finished back at race HQ. Despite the slow start I managed my fastest 10K for at least 4 or 5 years. Not sure how many other races could offer that with so many runners given where I started.
Organisation was perfect. Can't wait to run it again! Date of review: February 13, 2013