For what it's worth, I spoke to Anglian Water. Whilst they wouldn't disclose the amount they charged Fat Feet for obvious commercial reasons, they did say it shouldn't have affected FF's ability to put on a quality event. In any case, they said they were happy to raise the concerns of people here (I drew their attention to this site) in their debrief they will be doing with the race organisers, and will be asking the organisers to use the comments constructively to improve their future events.
I'll let people know once I hear some more feedback from Anglian.
And in any case, there were good points to the event, but the frustrating thing is that it could have been so much better, and it's only by highlighting these issues does the organiser get feedback and either change future events for the better, or ignore feedback and carry on regardless with a dwindling entry list!
Billo/EKGO - most people sought a challenge and got it, in terms of the course and the weather.
I defy anyone to say that if the weather had been lovely, nobody would have complained about the below-par organisation and pretty shoddy mementoes.
The weather and the route have nothing to do with the complaints that most here have. I'm happy to rise to a challenge set by a reasonably hard course and the chance of some bad weather - what I'm not happy to do is pay an above-average race fee then come away with the feeling I'm being fleeced.
If you want some more positive comments, I suggest you go and find some people who are happy to post positive comments. The comments here are representative of everyone who's bothered to post so far, if the majority are harsh then maybe there's a lesson for the organisers. Or maybe the only people who bother to write on forums after a race are negative whingers. I doubt it - if I have a good race experience I'm normally one of the first to go online and tell everyone what a great day it was, and I suggest lots of others feel that way too.
I guess it would help if the organisers responded to emails, then people might not find the need to make their issues so public.
I was looking for an example of a similar type of race at a cheaper price, and have found one. The Giants Hill marathon, in June next year. Costs £25 to £27 (affiliated and unaffiliated), and includes "specially minted race medal and tech tshirt and enhanced goody bag with special gifts from our sponsors, Lush Cosmetics and Dorset Brewing Company and many more to be announced." They'll also have beer, hog roasts, and WI teas, coffees and cakes at the finish line. Obviously it remains to be seen whether the day stands up to the advertising, but it's worth a look.