I ran this yesterday as a training run for Abingdon in a couple of months.
It's pancake flat and for most of the route it was nice scenery. I didn't find the crowds too annoying but I wasn't racing all out which made it easier to dodge and weave! The organisation was generally good and all who were involved were very friendly indeed with all marshalls being very encouraging.
My only minor gripe was the finish - it got pretty hot from Midday on and there was no water available at the finish line. There was a water station about 50yds from the finish but you had to cross back over the marathon route which resulted in a few very thirsty finishers narrowly avoiding very tired people still running. There was a lady trying to direct traffic but she was also trying to direct the people coming the other way at about mile 24 so had a lot on her plate. The station itself was struggling to keep up as their primary concern was giving water to the runners still going at mile 24. I think that an August marathon probably needs water available right at the finish.
It didn't detract from a good, well organised race but is maybe something to think about for next time
Have been off the interweb in general recently so not posting at all. I intend to read back fully when I can.
I was at Kent with Jimbob on Saturday and had an ok day. Because London had gone so well, I was finding it difficult to get motivated but come race day I was definitely in the right frame of mind to try and win the thing. I'd planned to run 9:50 laps for the first half (giving a 1:23 split) and then accelerate at halfway. Given the heat and hills, I quickly adjusted that to 10:00 laps and play it by ear. I stuck to it for around 5 lap then a 9:30 lap happened by accident, but I felt good so went with it. All was well until lap 13 when my head started feeling very hot and prickly and nausea was setting in. Pace was ok (around 10mins/lap) but I was worried about properly overheating so stopped at the drinks station each lap to dunk 2/3 cups of water over my head but never really felt good again. Legs started wobbling around lap 15 and the last two laps were just survival. Finished 5th in 2:50 - I think 2:47 was probably the best I was capable of on the day if the pacing was right. I ended up running 1:23.xx and 1:26.xx
The event was flawlessly organised with a great atmosphere. It was awesome to meet Jimbob at the start and shout encouragement at each other during the race. I think that it could be a relatively quick course on a cool day, but the heat made fast times difficult(for me anyway!). I would guess that conditions and course were 2/3mins slower than that at London this year but difficult to compare due to my pacing discrepancies.
At least a week off now and then start thinking about Abingdon in October
HR - Really pleased you're doing another and also think that you're still peaking. Your recovery has been very quick and suggests that there's at least 8 seconds in there, and hopefully a whole lot more.