In short: Fun and flat - helped by the glorious weather In full: This was a great event. There was a bit of a scrum at the start, which would have been helped by organising runners/walkers into separated groups at the very least. Long queues for the loos at the start meant I missed the group warm up - a shame because it looked like fun! Otherwise though, it was great. The scenery is beautiful (and helped out by the sunshine!) Plentiful water stations, lots of support on the course, pretty much flat all the way round (apart from a couple of small bridges) and nice goody-bag with snacks in. I really enjoyed this race. Date of review: October 2, 2011
In short: hot and hilly but great scenery and support In full: Negative points: the heat and the hills. I wasn't expecting such an 'undulating' course, and as I train in a very flat part of SW London, this was a bit of a shock!
The plus points far outweighed this though - frequent water stations were a must in the heat, though as others have commented, they were sometimes not well-managed. The support from the marshalls was *fantastic* especially out in the country lanes, which really helped keep me going! Same for the cadets in town. I loved the commentary as we set off - "forget the great north run, and the great south run, this is the one they all want to do...etc." Nice t-shirt at the end, superb medal (with running Roman centurion) and appreciated the ice lolly!
One thing that would make a big difference would be a feeding station at the half-way point. I'd happily pay extra for that! Date of review: June 11, 2007
In short: fantastic race - best of the year so far In full: This was a great race - really fun to run past all the animals. Excellent PB potential due to flat course, well-marshalled start and relatively small field. I was particularly spurred on by the onegar running in its field alongside the runner (with the sign saying it can run up to 40mph) and the cheering flamingoes! (At least that's what it sounded like!) Free zoo entry included, so we spent the rest of the day there. Excellent race - I'll definitely be back! Date of review: June 4, 2007
In short: It's a shame the chip timing wasn't what was promised, but overall this is a great race - I'll be back next year, for sure! In full: I agree with the comments so far regarding the timing. I wouldn't mind so much, except the website specifically says that it is start line to finish line timing. Particularly annoying as I had forgotten my watch and was relying on the chip timing (as I was at the back of the pack to start, and it took me some time to get over the start line.
But griping aside, there are so many good points to this race:
-- it goes through some lovely parts of my home city, and I really enjoying coming back for the day -- marshalls were very supportive all the way through -- the wide start with the closed road is very good for sorting out those runners who have started too far forward or back - I found it very easy to get past slower people, and there were plenty of people easily getting past me in the first mile. -- well-organised drinks stations. Appreciate the choice of lucozade/water - and also the fact that the marshalls handing out lucozade told us there was water further up -- nice medal
Looking forward to next year already! Date of review: March 12, 2007
In short: mud splashed up to my waist - but I was left smiling all day! In full: I did this race last year, and was very encouraged that this time the infamous hill did not seem half so bad! The race is very well organised with efficient entries on the day. My only complaint was that the start happened very suddenly. There was no announcement to say that it was about to happen - we were standing in the field for 5 minutes, then the buzzer suddenly went off. But I would recommend this race highly, though not if you're chasing a PB as the mud really slows you down in places. It is worth bearing in mind that the final kilometre is round a VERY muddy field, so don't bother saving anything for the end - put on an extra burst before that as you will be almost walking on the slippy parts till you get to the last 100m or so. Date of review: February 13, 2007
In short: very enjoyable - great support on the way round! In full: This is the biggest half marathon I have taken part in, and a totally different atmosphere to smaller races. I really enjoyed the support on the way round, and the face that I was always running with so many other people - it really kept me going.
I had read many negative comments about the organisation last year but everything went very smoothly - the start was on time, marshalling was very efficient and the drinks stations well-run.
The ending in the stadium was superb! Despite the large numbers of finishers everything seemed to flow through well in the channels outside the stadium, although there was potential for confusion if you weren't paying attention. Date of review: April 10, 2006
In short: Flat & friendly - excellent PB potential :-) In full: Good course and a friendly atmosphere. Disappointed though that they had run out of t-shirts by the time I finished... Otherwise well-organised though, and I would recommend this one for beginners. Good support at the finish! Date of review: February 12, 2006