In short: Tough Race - Superb organisation In full: First time I have done this course. Found it very challenging and didn't realise that it would be off road with some fairly steep climbs. There were some decent downhill sections though. Not one to do if you're looking for a personal best, but still well worth doing if you like a challenge. The organisation was superb and the Army Cadets were very helpful and made excellent volunteers. Good encouragement from the locals, very friendly atmosphere. Date of review: June 22, 2014
In short: No Pacers next time In full: This is the third time I have run this race. I don't think that the pacers were a good idea. Whilst the organisers may have had the best of intentions,I don't think that this worked. All that happened was there were large groups of slower runners, which meant that trying to get through them was a nightmare. This ruined it a bit this year for me. There also seemed to be a lack of organisation at the water stations with volunteers not having drinks ready for runners. Date of review: May 11, 2014
In short: Much Improved Organisation In full: This is the third time I have run this race and am pleased to say that I achieved a new personal best this year. The issues with necking in previous years have been greatly improved by the decision to change the starting areas. I thought the pens were clear this year and the general organisation seemed much better than last year. I was able to run my own race and avoided the lines of slower runners encountered in previous years. Will be returning next year. Date of review: November 17, 2013
In short: Less runners, better organisation In full: The start of the race was disorganised. Whilst making my way to the starting area I noticed a load of runners walking by and joined the queue as this was my starting group. (The race was split into two starting areas depending on your number). This didn’t work well as my group started the race 10 minutes after the starting gun had fired. It also felt like we had to walk quite a distance to our starting position which seemed to be down a back street?
The race itself seemed far too busy with too many slow runners and corporate runners walking in long lines 50 metres after the event and at various points during the race. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you run a 10K in July that it is going to be hard work and perhaps this may not be the one to enter as a ‘first timer’. Whilst I agree that the fee goes to a good cause, I do think that there needs to be a disclaimer or terms and conditions that disallow first time runners from participating in this event due to the risk of getting injured due to the heat.
I think if the organisers could revaluate their position with how many runners they allow participate and how they organise the start and finish then this would be a very good race to enter. I would pay extra to run this race with less runners.
The Technical T-Shirt was of good quality and there was a medal, which is always a bonus.
In short: Great PB potential In full: The start wasn’t too busy and was nice and chilled out. There were a couple of hills, but overall the course was flat. I achieved a new PB for a 10K, will definitely be back next year to beat my time. The organisation was superb.
In short: Great Value for Money In full: The start of the race was very well organised. Last year there was a bit of a bottleneck at the start, however the organisers dealt with this by opening up both sides of the Headrow this year.
There was course generally was undulating and there was quite a steep uphill part for the first 4 miles or so. Throughout the course there were enough supporters cheering everyone on. I think that the lack of supporters mentioned were only in places that could not easily be accessed by the public. The Police were even cheering runners on at one point. The finish was well placed and there was enough room for my family to get a good spot near the finish and take some decent pictures.
This is the second time I have done this race and I achieved a new personal best. For a half marathon, I think that this race is excellent value for money and I will definitely be coming back this year. My only criticism is that there were no energy drinks this year, however I am not sure if Asda were one of the sponsors this year as they provided the drinks in 2012.
In short: Too many runners In full: I did the Abbey Dash last year and thoroughly enjoyed it; however this year was ruined as there were far too many runners. The starting and finishing area was badly organised for the volume of people and I couldn’t get out once I had crossed the finish line, so I had to resort to jumping over the railings. Although I did get a personal best this year, I spent most of my time trying to get past lines of slower runners. I have done a 10 K in training on a more hilly terrain in sub 50 minutes, but due to the number of runners this year I was not able to complete the race in under 50 minutes. I will not be running this race again as it will only become more crowded and am disappointed that the organisers have sold out. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Good race In full: This was the first half marathon I had run, having run the Edinburgh Marathon and various 10k’s. Having done most of my training on very hill terrain in Huddersfield, I didn’t find that the course was too hilly. There was a good mix of support from the locals and the overall atmosphere was very Plenty of water stations, also offering sports drinks. The goody bag was a nice touch and the t-shirt was very high quality, I’ll probably wear this again when training. I didn’t expect to receive a medal either and this was a nice surprise discovering this in my goody bag later on. On the downside, the start of the race was a bit disorganised and we were all led into a confined area. This caused the start of the race to become bottlenecked. This meant that we were walking over the start line and it took a while to get going, which meant that I lost some time. Perhaps a slight change of the route and pens would eliminate this problem next year. Also, there were not enough toilets. The Abbey Dash in Leeds had portable urinals for the gents to use.