In short: Fab fab fab In full: Oh just perfect! Alhough I do hope it doesnt get any bitter as runner congestion is getting worse. Am facinated about their website comments each year saying they've changed the oourse to make it easier though... Please can we have sport drinks after mile 9 pls? Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Renewed my love for my long suffering husband In full: I was doing this marathon as a favour to a friend who wanted to run a marathon for her 40th birthday. We trained together then she announced her decision to hie off to Florence. I, chose Rutland. I was always going to be disappointed really...
This was my first marathon and was carefully chosen for its flatness, proximity to husband's aged parents, trail'ness', views and seasonal advantages (ie not blazing hot but not icy either.)
Reality - I woefully underestimated artic blasts, got long sleeved top off for around 4 miles and wished I was wearing longs, by the time I started walking (see later) I wished I had a fur lined cap and boots with me. Not flat / undulating. Way too much tarmac than I can cope with so knee caved in ludicrously early at mile 5, cue distraught phone call to husband (now with aged parents). He then abandoned all family plans to come and shout with me, at me and do all the things that running widows do. A disproportionate amount of race didnt have a view (unless you count graded tarmac).
I learnt so much at this event - and it was invaluable for that. So many of my problems stemed from my lack of running experience - I had a wretched time because of me rather than the event organisers.
This was a stunningly well organised event, with some fantastic marshalls - jelly babies earlier on and at more stations would be the tops for us strugglers! I would recommend it to anyone but a complete beginner. I found the delayed start particularly painful in light of the freezing wind - if people are late, start without them - especially as it was chip timed.
Oh yes and some nugget drove into us in the carpark, Sir, if you are reading this, now that my race is over I will find you and you will pay for our bumper. And then I will beat you. (in a race obviously)
In short: Jocular announcer fed to pack of angry runners In full: A previous post compared this to a very expensive training run and I would agree. The run itself was challenging in a good way, hills at the end of each loop, lots of ducking and diving (although a spot of route clearance wouldn't have gone amiss). The organisation was pretty shocking though.
From the shocking signeage to get to the actual site, through to sending the whole course through forest tracks, to staffing the drinks stations with some very underwhelmed teenagers (Scouts aside - they were fab!) who had obviously not had a briefing on how to run a water station, to the very laid back 'Oh we ran the course last night and it was a bit short so we changed the route' in the pre-race briefing.
I know this was a first race for them but you'd have thought that as Black Sheep have run a few races before, they might have been able to get the basics right. Again, I wouldn't complain if it had billed itself as a pilot and charged less. But to be charged £20 for 2 plastic cups of water (when I could be bothered to wait), a medal, and then be expected to find my way round when I lost the main pack and pick up some poor chap who had keeled over on a root too many and play hunt the first aid team.....not good enough.
Good points: Speedy and efficient registration. No q's for the ladies - let me just repeat that as the novelty still hasnt quite worn off - No q's for the ladies! And a snaking q for the gents.
I think what left a sour taste was the blase approach of the pre-race brief and medal bit. Aside from the distance remark, the chap also said that it got a bit narrow in parts but that there were plenty of places to overtake and anyway they didnt take up much distance. I'm guessing he never ran the course. Date of review: August 4, 2010