In short: nice flat course, well marshalled and good fun In full: my first marathon so have nothing to compare it against however i made a point to thank as many people as i could on my departure about how pleased i was with the day. the course has definite potential for a quick run with very little elevation difference, although due to the hot weather and a reoccurring knee problem haunting me towards the end i didnt make anywhere near the time i was hoping for. the organisation was brilliant, the route took in a number of different sceneries from town to country to main road and a jog along the beach promenade. all the marshalls were friendly and supportive, there was plenty of water all the way around and plenty of locals offering support and more. there were only two drawbacks that i encountered on the day and that initially trying to find registration from being stewarded to the far end of the footy pitches to park, but once familiar with the scene it was easy enough, the other being that it was a two lap affair, it'd maybe have been nice to change the direction for some distance. but neither of these took away from the great experience i had on the day. i'd like more people to join in next year to make it even more atmospheric.
In short: like my school report cards "has potential but could do better" In full: a very bad experience through lack of organisation.
having got there resonably early and making my way to the start line i was still astounded to find myslef well back in the crowd and right from the off zig-zagging my way around the 'fun runners', walkers and fancy dressers. is there any need for these people to fight their way to the front, as many were, just to then hold up people who are trying to get a decent time, and have paid extra for the timing chip.
i found the baggage bays easily at the start of the day and to be honest was quick enough to drop my bag off, but then at the end of the day the 'cages' around the bays had been removed and 3 or 4 lots of previously split up numbers were all of a sudden together, making finding ones bags very hard.
after the lengthy walk to the start line we waited then at 0925 we had a tannoy announcement warning of a 5 minute delay to the start, and then we heard nothing more until 0947 when we were all told how great we were for being there etc... and that went on for far too long when many people stood around me were keen just to get running, eventually the countdown began at 0954 after many renditions & verses of the national athem.
the actual route was a pleasant enough run around with minimal elevation difference, but i was getting increasingly frustrated with each 'bottle-neck' which could easily be avoided by planning the route around a 'block' instead of halfway up a road to then get turned around, and also despite it being in the 'race-day pack' advising 'slower' runners to keep to the right, there was no evidence of there being any signage advising of this on the day, meaning you could dart from behind a walker on one side to be met by a group of giggling girls, skipping hand in hand blocking everyones paths that wanted to get past.
the goody bag was/is a complete waste of hand luggage space on the train home to yorkshire, and having to fight for a t-shirt after first spending 15 mins trying to direct a lady on finding my bag was simply rediculous, the t-shirts were not clearly marked in size order, and if i hadn't asked some kindly gentleman if he had a medal in his bag, i wouldn't have known that the medals were in fact being stored separately in a black bin liner at the end of the row, and i would've come home without it. making the day an even bigger waste of money.
i have unfortunately fallen into the hype of the '12th London 10km' with it being the famous 2012 and all that rubbish, so i am sad to say i WILL be running this next year, but from then, this is one run i will be staying well clear of. a big thumbs down.