In short: Well run, fast course In full: I'm in the middle of training for the London Marathon, so this was one of my tune up races. Although it was a rather hot day, the race organisers made sure there were plenty of water stations, and the event was well organised. It's a big race, but it never felt as crowded as Reading has done. And to cap it all, I smashed my PB by seven minutes! Date of review: March 18, 2014
In short: Slayed the demons of two years ago In full: I last ran this race in 2011 and suffered really badly in the heat. This time it wasn't as hot, I paced myself better and came in 30 seconds slower than my PB set at the far flatter Reading.
The race gets great support from the villages on the route which makes it a lot of fun. Date of review: October 6, 2013
In short: Not as well organised as last year. In full: I ran last year and thought it was a very well organised race. This year was a disappointment.
1) I paid for a car park that was supposed to be 5 minutes walk away from the stadium. It was more like 20 minutes.
2) The Mizuno VIP access was a shambles. We were supposed to be sent wristbands before the race - then we were told to collect them on the day - and there was ONE person issuing the bands with a queue about 30 minutes long. I ended up not bothering.
3) Baggage tent was a mess at the end of the race. There was a marshal telling the long line to keep moving forward, and other marshals inside the tent keeping people out. It took 25 minutes from crossing the line to actually having my bag.
4) Too many runners started in the wrong pen. I was a blue start - I spent the first 3 miles dodging people with orange numbers stopping without warning in front of me. (And people with red numbers who were walking)
And yes it did rain, but that's always a risk! Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Hard work in the heat In full: It's a hily course, and combined with unseasonal temperatures, it made it a very tough run. lots of support on the route - most of the people living in Cliddesden, Ellisfield and Farleigh Wallop were out cheering the runners on - and many had hosepipes and supersoakers. They were also offering water and jelly babies. Hopefully it won't be as hot next year. Date of review: October 2, 2011