In short: Inoffensive, dullish but worthwhile In full: Good - Well marshalled Water in bottles Lots of car-parking Technical tee-shirt Challenging, but not 'over-the-top' fully on tarmac and not many problems with cars course.
Not so good- More toilets needed at hq No changing facilities Would be nice to have specific full-marathon tee-shirt rather than a joint half/full one -I want people to KNOW I did the 26! Out in the sticks, rather than in grand Worcester itself More 'stuff' at water stations....there was energy drink in cups but nothing else A banana, a bun...whatever...with the bottle of water would have been nice
Other stuff- No medal - I don't mind, many will No goody-bag - matter of taste
Ok on the whole, certainly better than the first year
In short: Course is good...though a few other problems In full: A nicely undulating mix of mainly off-road New Forest tracks (with a surprising amount of mud, for so little rain) and some 'civilised' tarmac underfoot. Basically 3 times around to make the 50k. Good shower/toilet facilities. Easy parking. Nice tee-shirt.
Water stations - the dreaded 'water in plastic-cups' scenario. One with Clif products etc.
I had to withdraw after 15 or so miles (ankle problem, as you ask)here is my experience. There seemed to be no organised 'rescue/emergency' protocol in place. I merely had a painful ankle and could walk - but the marshalls seemed ill-equipped to deal with anything. The first I limped past just said 'keep going'. The second, a spotty-faced youth sitting on a post said 'are you OK dude?' DUDE!! My reply was more sarcastic than aggressive/angry. After walking for sometime (and starting to feel quite chilly) I was given a lift back to the start/finish by a very nice man from a water-station; this didn't seem to be his 'job', he just did it because he was a good sort. Make your own minds up about whether this is the level of organisation one should expect for a 30mile run, much of it off-road, costing £ratheralot. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: New Forest is lovely - if you like that sort of thing In full: Off-road but firm underfoot and fairly level ground - when dry (like today) I would use road shoes. Marshals encouraging - I enjoyed being called 'sir' rather than mate, chum.... whatever, well done that man! The great thing about this run are the more than adequate parking and toilet/shower facilities...mmmmm luxury. Date of review: February 24, 2013
In short: Good marathon training run In full: All on-road. Not traffic-free, but no problems.Not as flat as Gosport half, not as undulating as Basingstoke half. Years of practice has made this run (rightly) a regular for many. Parking - ample. Toilets - pretty good. Baggage store - good Changing - Ok, but no showers. Date of review: February 17, 2013
In short: Extraordinary conditions made this one for the memory bank In full: It would be a challenging course at the best of times: hilly,difficult woodland tracks etc. However add sleety-rain, cold-wind, rivers of rain-water flowing hither and thither, puddles...no, not puddles but mini-lakes of ice-cold water (up to my knees in one)and mud whose sole aim was to take one or both of my running shoes (it succeeded 4 times) and you have a run that will live long in my memory. All those starting the run were brave, managing to finish it was a terrific achievement - times were not important today.
h/t to the wonderful marshals who braved the elements and gave great support. h/t to the water-station minders with cake, tea and coffee,jelly-babies etc.
More changing and shower facilities would be good.
If you want to challenge yourself put this run in your calender. Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: Can't do better for a tenner! In full: Course is a good undulating challenge, with the last mile being very cruel to a middle-aged man! Well organised, lots of water-stations (plastic-cups), traffic not a problem, nice cake available...free parking (well played the cheerful car-park boys)..good cause..you get the idea
Very limited space for changing etc ...
I must quite like it, that is my 3rd in a row. I would recommend it. Date of review: February 3, 2013
In short: Well chosen route. In full: Pro: Route flat, but still memorable both with the skyline of Portsmouth as you run to Hayling Island and the mix of terrain - road, pavement, shingle, gravel and grass ...with a nice breeze, mud and puddles. December 23rd is a great day for a marathon, nice start to Christmas break from work. The organisers were helpful and friendly, as were the majority of marshals. Parking was easy - on street free parking 10mins walk. Socks and Clif bar in goody-bag.
Cons: No 'proper' changing facilities; that is where you could completely undress to put on your running gear - if you have to drive for 2hours I do not want to have to wear compression shorts etc whilst so doing. The baggage storage was a farce, a corner of a room - stepping in/out/over the baggage was more dangerous than the running! Inadequate toilet facilities. Date of review: December 23, 2012
In short: Well done AVR. In full: It is certainty undulating, and all the better for that. Well organised with friendly smiley helpers and marshals.
Perhaps better changing facilities would be useful for a December run, when runners can be cold and wet and need at least to change even if showers aren't available. That is not criticism, but a mere suggestion. Date of review: December 9, 2012
In short: Hurts, mummy; it hurts! In full: Hilly and undulating is absolutely right. My pacing was all wrong, making the second half absolute hell! This was compounded by missing a turn towards the end (cutting off about 1km) giving me no option but to phone the organisers and tell them I had disqualified myself and to take my name off the list of finishers. No matter, still a worthwhile run with lots of lessons learnt.
Good a plentiful drinks stations - jelly babies, sweets, chocolate bars. However a couple of fast roads to cross - careful! Date of review: August 12, 2012