In short: Out of Season Marathon with PB Potential In full: If you can cope with a few inclines and the December weather (cold and windy), then worth having at crack at this race for a fast time. Course is not very inspiring, and feed stations are not really adequate, but 3 lap format allows you to have your own support team handing out personalized nutrition. Date of review: December 11, 2009
In short: Goes from strength to strength. One of the best Half Marathons. In full: Was worried by the extra numbers, but didn't encounter any organisation issues. Great venue. No problems at start (although I was up near the front). There seemed to be plenty of water on a very hot day. Lots of marshals and helpers. Well done Hinckley Running Club. Date of review: May 11, 2008
In short: Great race in the past. Diabolical organisation in 2008. In full: This is usually a very good race. It is cheap, the fun run goes off while the main race is on and if there is no wind it has PB potential.
2008 was not the race director's finest hour: - No race briefing before start. - Hardly any countdown. - No marshal on first junction. The whole field went the wrong way. Confusion at the front followed by a messy attempt to cut back over a lumpy field. I ran into a fence and had to double back finishing my race. - Badly placed marshals in the bendy section at Aston so once again it wasn't clear which way to go.
To be fair to the race director, when I spoke to him afterwards he admitted the start was a disaster and there is an apology up with the result.
In short: Well organised 1000+ 10K over a fast, but dull course In full: Not the most inspiring of race routes, but very well organised. Did it in 2005 and the new route a big improvement. Enjoyed the final 1K up to and round the Castle.
Foil at finish helped prevent cooling down. Results up by 4pm with no obvious errors due to use of chips.
Expensive for a 10K, but a no risk option if you get frustrated by short courses and dodgy results that take weeks to come out.
In short: Well organised single loop rural race with rapid results In full: Well organised with plenty of marshals and water stations at 4 and 7. Single loop on rural roads. Accurate visible distance markers every 1K. Smallish field of 160 so no crowding. Results up by early evening. Well organised parking. Basically exactly what you want from a local 10K.
Potential PB although very hot in 2006 with some long unshaded sections. The memento towel was called in to action straight away. Date of review: June 4, 2006
In short: Well organised medium size event over challenging course In full: The challenging hill between 17.5 and 18.5 miles makes this a tough spring marathon. 2500 run of which around 2000 are doing the half. This means there is a good atmosphere on the first half, but the support does dwindle for the second circuit. Plenty of water stations and toilets on route. A couple of marshals were patrolling the last 6 miles to check on the strugglers. Minor quibbles: - The start is narrow. - 5 of the last 6 miles is flat, but dead straight along a disused railway trail. It can seem a very long way. If I was ever going to run another marathon, I would consider doing this one again, but after another encounter with the wall, I'm sticking to 10Ks from now on. Date of review: May 7, 2006
In short: Too many runners for narrow pavements on busy roads In full: Starting the 8 mile off first meant that the narrow pavements were blocked for the 16 mile runners by the larger slower 8 mile runners running side by side between miles 5 and 8. Second lap was fine, but this race is trying to do too much and needs a rethink. Date of review: April 2, 2006
In short: Ideal pre marathon warm up race In full: Very well organised race round a not too challenging rural course. Watch out for the fast downhill first mile and a half if you are trying out your marathon pace. Date of review: March 21, 2006
In short: A tough off road challenge for longer distance runners In full: 21 miles around Cannock Chase following a sawdust trail. There are usually only around 150 brave souls so the gaps do open up. After a bumpy and hilly first 800 metres it all seems pretty easy for the next few miles along flat well made tracks. It gradually gets more off road until you hit the dreaded 'switchbacks' at around halfway (short steep muddy climbs followed by perilous descents). Most runners are reduced to walking. The surface gets easier after this, but the damage has been done. A final sting in the tail is another climb in the last mile. Not for beginners, but great fun if you are up for a challenge. Date of review: March 5, 2006