In short: Fast flat 5k series, start could be improved In full: A flat and fast series which attracts a good field, mostly club runners. In general the race is well organised.
The start is on a narrow path which makes it very congested over the first 800m as people try to make their own space. This could be improved by moving the start line to one of the wider paths within a km of the start. Some expected finishing-time boards would also help people to line up in an appropriate position. Chip timig would also help a lot, especially for those chasing PBs who aren't starting right at the front, but I guess would increase the entry fee.
In short: Fast course, always a strong field. In full: A fast course with a good quality field, definitely PB potential if the wind along the shore isn't too strong. Improvements to this race for next year would be to sort out the mile markers (1 and 4 were inaccurate by about 300 metres), however the rest seemed about right. The start was also a little crowded with only 4 lanes of the track used. Date of review: September 19, 2012
In short: Superb organisation for inaugural race. In full: A very well organised race. Far from being boring, the 17 laps helped a lot with pacing, and the organisers allowed people to put out their own supplies tables which was a welcome novelty. The spread of runners around the course meant there was always someone to aim at without being too crowded. The course is never really flat but the slopes aren't too testing (until the last few laps!), so decent PB potential. Lots of runners using it for GFA times and 100 marathon club. Good for spectators too as you get to see the runners 17 times. Date of review: June 4, 2012
In short: Cancelled marathon and a quagmire for a half In full: I was signed up for the marathon. Standing near the front, I was fortunate enough to hear the announcement about the cancellation of the marathon, but it was apparent from the comments of the marshals on the way round that this hadn't been communicated to them - maybe someone on a bike ahead of the race could have passed it on.
Pretty gutted about it being cancelled as it had been my target event (and first marathon) for the last 6 months. On reflection I think the decision was the right one, but it could have been made earlier if not the day before (we knew the weather was coming and the local knowledge hinted at in other reviews suggests it was inevitable).
First half of the race was on roads, it was wet but runnable. The bit on the greenway was heavily flooded and is most definitely not a road - I can see why the course is no longer certified as a road race. The 20mph headwind, driving rain and the 50mph gusts bringing runners almost to a standstill were certainly an adventure though. To finish the day off it took 1hr 10mins to get out of the car park (rec ground).
On the plus side, the support from the army of people camped out at each water station in the driving rain was terrific and they should be applauded.
Last comment for next year - space blankets (or just bin bags) would be a big help for keeping warm at the finish.
Time to scour RW for another suitable marathon.... Date of review: April 29, 2012
In short: Organisation like clockwork, marshals and spectators very supportive. In full: + points: the organisation was excellent and the marshals did a great job out on the course. Closed roads were a bonus. Support down Fleet high street (twice) was great. Atmosphere at start and finish was very welcoming. - points: the route, whilst not hilly, is never actually flat which makes it tough to get a PB here. Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: Very well organised and a good atmosphere. In full: Quite a hilly coursed but managed a PB anyway. Roads are not closed but they are quiet at this time and the marshals did a great job. Lovely weather for it this year too. Date of review: February 26, 2012
In short: Flat fast course. Well organised. In full: Very fast flat course with a strong elite field leading the masses. Headwind on the last 2 miles was a killer though. Only negative was that the start could have been a bit better organised by having time boards advising people where to stand - there was a fair bit of pushing and shoving as faster runners tried to overtake slower ones due to people being in the wrong start position. Date of review: October 30, 2011
In short: A well-organised 10k. In full: The race was well organised with plenty of volunteers at the start/finish area and around the course. It's a low-key local event so the odd traffic avoidance and care whilst crossing roads is to be expected. Great atmosphere at the finish with the accompanying 3k race. A very hot day so the man with a hosepipe at the 2nd drinks station at the top of the hill was much appreciated! My only suggestion for improvement would be to review the positions of the km markers as some appeared to be incorrect. Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Better organised than previous years, Car parking at start/finish was a bad idea. In full: A well-organised race - the course was well-marshalled. The football ground circuit wasn't really wide enough to allow an initial lap with runners overtaking one another but it did make for a good finish. The 'mud' (a few puddles) at the start/finish wasn't worth worrying about. Date of review: February 25, 2007