I think everyone has a fair point - it was a really well organised event, but the car parking was the one fatal flaw that ruined the experience for many. As such I can understand the criticism and frustration from those who missed out as a result.
We arrived at the Castle roundabout just after 8am, so almost made it round to the Lord Leycester on Jury Street before hitting a standstill. We moved one car length in 10 minutes after that. At 8:15am, and with a little bit of local knowledge having visited a friend in Warwick before, I did a u-turn and parked up in St Nicholas Park. I think it cost £3-4 for 4-6 hours parking. Had I not done so, we'd have probably been two of the hundreds who were turned away, seeing as we only just made it to the start with 5-10 mins to spare as it was.
The t-shirts were to be collected before the race because (as it said in the information pack) they wanted as many people as possible to wear them, so that there would be a 'sea of red' running through Warwick. They did say many many times that they could be collected afterwards though if you'd prefer, so I can't see the grounds for complaint there. They could have been technical t-shirts, but as they were optional I don't think it's that big a deal.
They need to learn from this year and encourage more people to park away from the castle and arrive on foot. They were unfortunate with the weather, but even without the mud it would have been difficult to get 3,000 people into one car park with a single entrance and exit when everyone is arriving between 7:30 and 8:30am. A 10am start might help a little too.
On the positive side, once on foot I thought the organisation was fantastic. Lots of marshalls to guide you in the right direction. Lots of people out supporting the event along the route. Well organised route on closed roads with mile markers and water stops at the appropriate places. The course was challenging and hilly in places, but not too tough, and it was nice to be running out on country roads rather than through the built-up suburbs of a town or city. It looked good for family/supporters in the castle grounds too, and it was easy to meet up afterwards. I enjoyed it and would definitely come back and run it again.
No SOC this morning due to a poorly little boy keeping us awake all night with his coughing. Back on it tomorrow though. Well done those who've made it out if the weather where you are is anything like it was here - cold, windy and chucking it down with rain. May go out for an afternoon run if the weather improves and I can summon the energy...
Morning all! Well done everyone who's already been out. Two in two days for me, this is almost starting to be habit forming! 3.5 miles again at 6:30am on a wet but surprisingly warm-ish morning. Nature watch - slugs and snails and (1 - attached to its alive and well body) puppy dog tails, everything else had more sense to stay out of the wet.
Does 6:40am count as silly o'clock? If so I did my first SOC run this morning! 3.4 miles, nothing more exciting than cats dogs and birds on the nature front. Felt great running as the sun came up though. Hope to make it a regular thing over winter...