In short: Whilst the route is flatter than years ago its not so pretty and I think there are parts of the course that are poorly organised/ thought out leading to bottle necks and confusion In full: Toilet queues were hideous - need more mens urinals so the toilets can be used by women mainly.
Start line - I was to start in the green area but couldn't see how to get through to the green area so had to go right to the back of the orange and muscle my way through - never made it to the 1.50 pace which I wanted!
The new route is very dull to run in terms of scenery. Also, I never felt I had the space around me to push through at a pace I wanted t run at! Was constantly held back by slower runners - even in the last mile! Through the University was particularly bad and also the last 1.5 miles (a narrow track alongside the river as spectators were allowed right to the edge of the grass!)Crazy!
Despite best efforts by race organisers to ensure people start in their correct area according to their predicted speed I really feel some people are clueless as to what they can realistically achieve! They either have never paced themselves in training or they have not done anywhere near enough training so end up walking or running very slowly getting in the way of us that have put the effort in!
Water stations were fine for the half marathon. I always take my own bottle with me so just top up whilst going round.
I did the half marathon but I have to say the end stretch over the suspensin bridge for the marathon runners was terrible! Pedestrians were allowed to walk and marshalls never really kept a strict enough eye on them. The last thing you want as a runner is to be worrying whether someone will move out of your way as you run towards them. Some poor runners race could be ruined potentially by being tripped up r having to dive around them!
The stretch on the embankment where runners filter off to do the marathon or half marathon was a joke. I didn't see any signs we just had a tannoy saying to keep right fr the half and left for the full. I am damned sure they got the instructions wrong at some point too!
Atmosphere was good generally especially longside the race village, through Boots (Gem am)etc. But overall I wouldn't say I enjoyed the race itself!
In short: I really enjoyed the race and would definitely do it again. In full: Lovely country roads that undulated slightly to make it interesting. Little groups of people by the roadside cheering people on. I came on my own and ran on my own and felt they were there to support me too. Also I would like to say a BIG thank you to the Marshalls who did a fantastic job and gave up their Sunday for us runners! Date of review: September 8, 2013