In short: MK needs a major course rethink In full: For some reason I gave this event the benefit of the doubt after doing the Marathon last year I returned to run the half this year. This event needs a major course rethink.
It all started with the traffic chaos approaching the stadium. Not sure what was going on but traffic wasn’t moving, a problem that we didn’t have last year. This caused us (4 in a car so we did our bit) to be late arriving in the stadium. The scramble for the final toilet stop was made even more difficult as a result. Football stadiums have plenty of urinals but don’t really have enough ‘traps’ for a marathon. A few portaloo’s outside would have helped.
The start was chaotic. No markers were displayed for pace. Slower runners just jumped in wherever they wanted. This was very frustrating.
Now the course: Terrible. The half was nowhere near as fast as was advertised. It was just a way to squeeze as much money out of this event as possible. Even the section around the lake at 11 miles (which should have been so good) was bad. The path around this section was in real poor condition and in parts a hazard.
The stadium finish was fantastic and it was nice sitting around in the sun waiting for friends to finish the marathon.
So, in summary: The stadium is fantastic (apart from a lack of ‘traps’), it’s just that both courses need a major rethink. Surely, closed flat roads are possible in MK.
Oh, I’d also prefer the race on the Sunday. Means everyone can have a drink after the race and not have to worry about work the next day.
I’ll never say never but as it stands I won’t be coming back.
In short: A great London alternative In full: This was my first Manchester Marathon. After failing to gain entry into London this year I thought I'd go for this as an alternative. I was not disappointed and as a result I may not even bother trying London next year.
So in comparison to London here goes; No irritating Expo to have to go to. Hotels were cheaper. Parking was easier. It was easier for spectators to get around. Technical t-shirt (you only get cotton at London). The whole event was far more hassle free. The plus points are endless. The only thing Manchester didn't outdo London on was the 1 million supporters on the streets, But give it a few years and who knows!!!
One grip only relevant to me and a few others was the 3:15 pacer. He went flying past me at 22 miles only for a probable 3:12 finish. That did play tricks with my head. But I still came in at 3:14.
I'm coming back. That's for sure. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: A great training run In full: This was my 2nd outing at Ashby and as it was only 4 weeks out from my Marathon so I used it as a training run. Going steady for the first 10 and racing the last 10. The weather made at extra special this year (unlike last year) and if was a relief to see water bottles at the water stations. Also if you were using High 5 gels then there was plentyful supply too. I'll be back next year and I may or may not race. Date of review: March 11, 2014
In short: One of my favorites but why no UKA? In full: This is one my 2nd outing at Folksworth and as before it was a great event.It has a great local feel to it and is essential marathon training. This year the organizers went for chip timing which is great, but why didn't the they use the extra money for a UKA license? I'll be back next year UKA or not though!!! Date of review: January 20, 2014
In short: What a way to finish of the year! In full: My first outing at Nos Galan and my first ever 5k (I normally do the longer stuff). Brilliant.
The event is like no other. The crowds were brilliant. The value is second to none. For £7 I got a fantastic event, a t-shirt, a medal, water and a glossy event program. I did the elite race so was finished fairly early and it didn't take over my NYE.
My only slight negative is that as of the next evening the results have yet to be published. It was chip timed so you expect quicker.
I can see why people travel for miles to run Nos Galan. It is truly one of a kind. Date of review: January 1, 2014
In short: A chance of a last pb of the year. In full: My first NVH10. The course was nothing special. Fast but you had to keep you whits about you. Loads of bollards/posts to bump into and curbs to trip over. The two laps were fine as I like to have it clear what's left. The results came out on the Tuesday which is acceptable without chip timing. Race HQ was very busy with so many entering on the day. But at £11 on the day I can't be too critical. I'll be back next year, which says it all really. Date of review: December 5, 2013
In short: A great race if you're not to worried about time. In full: Pros: Scenic course, good value, good atmosphere, nice t-shirt. Cons: Little chance of a pb, Water in cups only half full. No bag drop-off as advertised(unless I missed it).