In short: My first Ashby 20 and it turned out to be a lovely run through the countryside on a pleasant spring day. The hoodie and complete lunch in the goody bag were great. Will definitely do it again. In full: The map on the website didn't make parking areas clear but as soon as I got to Ashby there were plenty of people pointing the way. The baggage arrangements were also very straightforward. The whole different start from finish thing worried me when I looked it up in advance but in fact it was really clear on the day. The race itself was great despite being fairly undulating and quite windy in place. There weren't that many spectators but those that were there were great - clapping for everyone not just their own friends and family. There were plenty of drinks stations and the SIS gels were great - tried them for the first time! Ashby being geographically where it is means the last few miles are more up than down and it does seem a long time from hearing the tannoy to actually crossing the finish line but these are minor compared to the whole feel-good factor of the event. The goody bag was great - a complete packed lunch and a fantastic hoodie. It's the first time I've done this event - I'm using it as preparation for London as were a lot of the runners - but I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: March 22, 2009
In short: Lovely scenery, definitely not flat. Must sort carparking out In full: The run through the leicestershire countryside on a glorious autumn day couldn't have been nicer. The course was a lot more undulating that I was expecting and I was really tired by the end so it was a tad depressing to find most of the last 2 miles uphill and the last 200m to the finish is a killer.
My only gripe is the carparking. I queued for about 3/4 hour to travel the last half mile to the carpark (billed as having plenty of space) only to watch it close in front of me and the marshall had no idea what to do or where I could park. As I don't know leicester at all and then had less than 20 mins to the start I ended up on a double yellow and had to hope for the best. Date of review: October 27, 2007
In short: Hot and mostly uphill but excellent organisation and facilities In full: I love the Mansfield half - there's just such a great atmosphere and the facilities are really good (showers, bag storage, plenty of toilets etc). On the downside it's almost always very hot - it was baking last sunday - so you need to wear sun block if you're fair-skinned like me and take plenty of fluids. Also, don't know how they manage it, but I swear 11 miles of the course are uphill! Even so I managed a pb this year - so I'm happy.
The only thing they could do better is make the start a little clearer. You rely on people in the know to work out where to line up!
I'd definitely recommend this race. Date of review: July 6, 2006
In short: Marathon: Worth doing and some things really well organised but definitely marred by thoughtlessness in places. In full: Good things: Drink stations - plenty of them and unlimited energy drink/gels available Marshalls - very supportive and encouraging Mile markers - easy to see and all present
Bad things CAR PARKING - Why do the organisers think anyone wants to walk over a mile back to their car when they've just run 26 miles??? Are these people mad. Marathoners should be allowed to park in the main site car park Route - quite a few double-backs in the 2nd half, presumably to get the distance. It would be better if the 2nd half was a single continuous loop. Date of review: September 12, 2005