In short: The worst organisation of any event I've been to In full: I'm reviewing the race for my partner, but I saw & supported her along most of the course, please bear in mind throughout that this is a premium event, with a £50 price tag
The info received was poor, google was needed to get there!
There was a severe lack of toilets, 250 is not enough when grouped into fives for 19,500 runners (& prob only 200 at the start/ finish but the finish ones aren't accessible for starters, but good at the end).
The start was late, why!
The first few miles are ok, wide roads good space for the crowds, then you're funnelled into narrower roads & everyone bunched up just in time for water station 1 (4 miles) & they tried to get everyone in through a four meter gate & quel suprise it didn't work & we all stopped & waited (lucky it was a good natured crowd). This delayed most people from between 4-10 mins, bang goes any PB chance & now we were all warmed down just when we should really be going!! Arghhhhhh
Still angry we got going again, to be stopped a few hundred meters as they repeat the trick on the way out of the courtyard!
Now you've paid £50, which is a huge premium to hear DJ's yes you do but for prob 4 mins of a 13.1 mile course! They should do an app so you can listen on the entire course.
PB potential, yes it's there except for a few major failings; The water station farce above, that stopped most peoples chances They need to stop with doubling back on little narrow roads, all it does is bunch people up again, so less of a chance of a PB (& people gave up and cut across to the other side to get out of the pile up, it seemed they were there to parade you slowly passed the DJ at the end which means you hear them for 2 seconds and everyone wants out so you're trying to leave fast The docklands area is great but again it's narrow, you've not let 19,500 people especially say in the trying to break 2 hour build up area & you expect them to get through a narrow footpath, shocker it slowed up. The course is flat, except for one hill at the end, how to kill off those struggling with the distance, ie first timers or those having trained up to 18k or whatever. Beyond that the course is there for the taking, if you had a clear run, you could do a good time, sadly I doubt that's going to happen If this is the first year of the new course, go back to the old it must be better!! I know closing off roads is hard, but if you're going to do it, do it properly not a half ar@ed attempt and close off one side for 19,500 runners, hello that's a lot of people when you've never let them spread out.
There were nice spots and the crowd was great
Now, goody bags can sometimes be useless, however, no goody bag at all is shocking, a medal, get your timing chip off now & a bottle of water is what greeted everyone (oh and a few hundred meter walk, which takes ages before people can celebrate with their families), Sarah wanted to carry our daughter, that couldn't have happened.
Nice t shirt & had Jessie Jay been for the target audience a good act at the end with good room to watch & some good food stalls
There were lots of toilets at the end though
Neither of us would run this course again, cambridge/ norwich/ Peterborough or any other half marathon for us Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Hard as heck, but the achievement, views & the finish are worth it (promise) In full: Ok, this was my first marathon & yes I under estimated the challenge (I grew up in Norfolk & live in what I can confirm is flat cambridgeshire) The hill at 7 miles is evil, but if you push up it, it's over soon enough, ice cream hill at 20 miles came on me before I realised & fortunately that meant it was also over soon enough. DO NOT misunderstand me, those hills are nasty, but you're running in the Lakes, shocker! After 20 miles its not too bad (but see the end), the rest is rolling hills +/- 20-30 meters & their not too bad but they are relentless.
For me (I work in k's) k's 23-25 were the ones that finished my 3:30 challenge, those hills do not get the credit they deserve, think they lull you in and mentally kick you, with four crests and then more hill ahead
However, the crowds were relentless, the support fantastic even on the most remote spot, they biked there and clapped all day long (& had sweets awesome!)
The finish was awesome, but watch out for the bridge over the river & the one last hill up the drive I could have cried, why, why, why would you do that ;o)
If you want to say you've done one of the toughest most beautiful marathons this is for you, but if you like pain do the ten in ten that group are inspiring & amazing, one day...
Yes I will do this again, but a flat next (I hurt and am reviewing remembering every step and dreaming about the hills & views, IT IS WORTH IT, but train, train, train Date of review: May 21, 2013