In short: Great Stadium Finish In full: The stadium finish was great, but I can't find any other reasons for wanting to do this race.
The 0930 start on a Sunday makes timing tight if you are coming by public transport from out of town. Arrived to find a field full of runners milling around looking for the baggage drop, no signs, no one to ask and no mention on the PA. When I did find it the "number stamping" mentioned in the instructions wasn't happening and afterwards nobody checked I had the right bag. Fortunately the start of the race was delayed 10 mins by some other administrative problem, so I made it.
There were over 10,000 finishers and it was very congested for the whole 10k. Impossible to settle in to a pace. We were promised that next year there would be "even more" runners taking part.
The stadium finish is atmospheric and it's worth doing it for that, but not a race I'll be doing again.
In short: Great atmosphere. In full: Well organised and friendly half. It's a bit hilly, but surprisingly quick despite this. There's great support along the route. I'll be doing it again. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: You can't trust Sweatshop. In full: The most significant factor for me was that the 3.30 pacer gave up half way. I've heard he had planned his from the start, but to many followers, myself included it came as a surprise.
Sweatshop promised pacers and did not deliver. I will be avoiding everything to do with them in future. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Flat and good support In full: Well organised, good support most of the way round and, as advertised, it's pretty flat. Baggage tent worked well and the marshals were great. Thanks to all of them. Minor niggles: the way to the start could be better signed, as could drinks stations. The promised race tracker never materialised and there were a few issues with the results. Date of review: June 2, 2013
In short: Hilly, but great atmosphere In full: The race was very friendly and there was great support from marshalls and spectators throughout. Once under-way, organisation was excellent and results available almost immediately. Other races please copy!
Just a few very minor niggles in the pre-race organisation: It would be nice to have the numbers signed outside the baggage tent, so you know which queue to join, rather than finding you're at the wrong end of the tent once you get in. Calling “This way please over the PA” is not entirely helpful, which way is that exactly?
But overall it was great and they arranged much better weather than last year. Will do it again. Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: The hills are alive with the sound of gasping In full: Interestingly hilly, but we knew that before. Organisation in the start/finish area seemed very slick, no problems checking in, or in collecting bags afterwards. There was some slight confusion exiting the park to get to the start and why have the smaller bottles on the last water station? Other than this it seemed to go like clockwork. Very impressed with the support all along the route and particular thanks for the hosepipe showers and to the girl who gave me a jelly baby in Cliddesden, without which I might not have crawled across the finish line. Date of review: October 4, 2011