When I started running, I had problems with my breathing. No matter what I did, it felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen - I felt like I was suffocating. And listening to my breathing made it worse. Yoga or breathing exercises didn't help - anything where I had to concentrate on my breathing made it worse not better. I have exercise induced asthma.
I found that using an mp3 player to listen to music was a great help - I couldn't hear how awful my breathing sounded, the music distracted me, and I made sure I chose slower music, which helped me not to run too fast for my level of fitness.
I ran it last year as my first half marathon (when it was still organised by the Firefighters charity). The route this year and last year was identical.
Last year, they mailed out the numbers, but you collected the chips on the day. I seem to remember that you could look up entrants on the website so you could see who else had entered. There was no goody bag, but there was a good medal and water plus mars bars on a table at the end - much more sensible.
This year, with Total Buzz events/Fullonsports orgainising it, they did not mail out anything (cost cutting, but I have no problem with it), and there was very little information on their website. Now the event is over, I can't even find out how to access the pre-race information with the course details.
And the event listing on Runners World said there would be finishers medals plus spot prizes. On the day there were no medals, and I can't find out any details of what prizes were awarded or who won them.
Last year there were over 400 runners on the day, this year there were just over 230 runners.
It's a nice course, but next year I will be doing the more challenging Basingstoke Half Marathon instead (which is run the weekend before Salisbury).