In short: Simply the best race on the calendar In full: Following the slightest of hiccups last year with the parking (which was beyond the control of the organisers anyway!), this year everything ran like clockwork. The wind was a bit fresh and probably reduced most PB attempts to rubble, but sometimes that's what you get in February! With pretty much a full school hall and sports centre to shelter in and hot showers, changing rooms and almost enough toilets for one each, the facilities are second to none.
Good idea this year to get the quick runners towards to front of the pack but unfortunately, still lots of runners far too near the front for their ability - if you need to walk in the first mile of a 10k, you probably need to be a bit further back. Again, not an organiser problem but if I know the Mad Dog team, there's likely to be mention of this in next year's race pack!
On to the race itself - one of the flattest courses you're likely to encounter, wide enough for 5 or 6 abreast on most of the course. Entertainment provided by local bands/people is enthusiastic and very good. It's so much easier to run with a big smile on your face!
Fabulous 'themed' Tshirts available for pickup before the race with the option to exchange sizes afterwards (subject to availability) and certainly one of the best 'Goody' Bags on the circuit (including superb bespoke medal).
All in all, I'll be running this one every year. Every race organiser could learn a lot from the Southport Round Table! Date of review: February 10, 2014
In short: Absolutely the best race of the year bar none In full: Once again, the Round Table put on an amazing specatacle. The Mad Dog series simply goes from strength to strength. There was a slight problem (completely beyong the control of the organisers) as the local authority sent one single person to collect the £1.50 car park charge with an expected 2000+ cars due to arrive. Brilliantly dealt with as the runners were given regular updates to the situation. (If anyone is marking down on that, please note that the weather wasn't perfect either!)
Once again, the Goodie bag was awesome and the sponsor's seriously generous in giving away drinks before the event too!
The tech shirts are one of the best designs I've seen and are high quality - you'd pay more than the entry fee to buy something similar in the high street.
And the Bling! Big, heavy, high quality medal. You need to come get one next year!
Mad Dog, I salute you! Date of review: February 12, 2013
In short: Tough hilly route - fantastic support and marshalling. In full: There really is no place to hide on this challenging course. The hills are serious! The first major climb is over 2 miles with only a very short 'flat' bit about half way up. As they say, if you run up them, you have to run down them too and if you enjoy the fast downhills, you'll love these. The views (if you have time to slow down and admire them) are fabulous - I would have said breathtaking but the next hill will be taking more than its fair share of breath! The route was very well marshalled and there was lots of local support all around the course. The 8 mile sign was about half a mile early but with around 100 or so signs along the route, I'm sure we can forgive one being slightly out! All-in-all this is a brilliant run if you like a challenge but if you don't like hills, you might not have quite so much fun! Date of review: October 22, 2012