Wicksteed Recovery Run Half-Marathon



  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Be interesting Phil if you do get a reply!

    Those reviews almost seem funny given Saturday's shenanigans!  Tea, biccies and a banana would have been so nice!  Was there any water at the end or had they just packed up by the time I got there?

  • Just a point for whoever said back there that those at the back could gain from this? err... gain what, please?! I was 3rd from last, just legging past one bloke I'd run with on/off for a while, and 3 mins or so ahead of the last guy. I don't think we gained anything!

    It was my 29th half in about 18 years, and I'm not sure there was a single positive I could find. My time was 1/2 hour off my target (though that's due to the chest infection rather than the route or organisation) and it was just an extra 1/2 hour of boredom, drudgery and misadventure.

    Since when does a runner with a mile to go have to queue at the water station, standing still, so a finisher can top up a water bottle? why should I have to shout "where's the finish line?"?! or even on the first lap "which way?"?!!!

    Please someone from UM write a comment. We don't hate you, we just wish you had organised a race and given us something worth paying for. I travelled 160 miles round trip, paying as much in petrol as for the entry fee. I got a cheap medal, nothing else. I could have run with clubmates on a well organised 10k locally, but wanted to run a half. According to my Garmin, it wasn't even that, but 340 yards short... quite alot, really!

    I actually would like to do this run again; the novelty idea was great, a half on NYD is a great start to the year, but a rip off that seemed like it was planned at the New Year's Eve party 12 hours before? Sorry, no.

  • The only water that I believe was available was from the water station - someone commented that they were still running when a finisher was getting a drink, and he had to wait before carrying on running!!

    No bottled water, which you can get for around 15p a bottle (I work for a cash & carry - there is one in Kettering) so no excuse there about cost in my opinion, and poor in not having any at the finish 'area'. I dont recall any first aid arrangements at the end either - surely thats the place where most people are going to need medical assistance, not at the back of the housing estate after a nice downhill where the ambulance was parked?!?!

  • Iccle Jim - I'm sorry I was just trying to find *something* positive for newbies who might have been on their first Half or those struggling with training perhaps for VLM. Obviously for an experienced runner like yourself , like me , you couldn't really gain anything - personally it was the mental torture I needed to set in place the need for more training for Stratford Marathon.

    I was the bloke in the Campervan(yellow and white) cheering on people whilst trying to warm up.

    The whole thing was a bit of a balls up and no mistake.

    As to the water it was two little lads who'd been roped in , their mother told me! So if they'd said no then what?

    Kaybee - great to hear from you, I was seeing many 10K runners doing the various laps , many looked like they were all done in.
  • Thanks Mike - it was a bit of a slog.  I was originally entered in the Half but bounced myself into the 10k following an injury before Christmas.  Needless to say I was extremely relieved about that decision on the day!  I really felt for the people slogging round the half.

    At first the organisers said I'd need a new number but when I got there they said no just run with your original number - it goes without saying that the poor marshals then kept trying to direct me round the half route - like we weren't all confused enough already....

    Oh and you couldn't miss me, I was the one dressed as superwoman.  I can only hope my sorry bedraggled less-than-superhuman state gave someone a smile!

     Phil - yes, do please let us know if you hear anything back from the organisers.

  • I remember the Superman outfit! At least you were in the right mood - I felt that many thought there would be more atmosphere, more like a big summer half or 10K , this was like a dreary training run.

    All things considered I feel great today - went for a great walk this morning and gym with my wife this afternoon. Work tomorrow image
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    I saw you KB image  I ran London in 2005 as Superwoman!

    My legs aren't happy today, they are objecting!

  • Didn't race this one, thank goodness, by the sound of it.

    Did someone who had already finished really have the arrogance to continue filling their own bottle up, when someone who was still out running the course wanted a drink?

    That deserves a slap.

  • Stevie G,

     In a little fairness, it wasnt easy to tell who was running, who wasnt, and who had finished, and as Mike pointed out earlier, there were two young lads (looked about 10?) manning the water station. There was absolutely no control over any of the event in the park, and the 'organiser' was sat in his car facing the other way to the course writing down times of finishers - I hope that the person getting the drink wasnt fully aware that he was depriving another runner who was still running, and the next closest source of water (other than the lake) was a shop 1/2 mile away! The organisers provided nothing other than the one water station, which was in a pretty poor location.

    There were pedestrians all over the paths that we were running along, seemingly oblivious to us at times...really had to have your wits about you in the park - sounded like 1 runner did collide with someone else, which given the size of the field, tells you how chaotic it was.

    You really had to be there to believe it!!!

  • Kaybee,

    Saw the outfit, it was more than appropriate for the occassion. I had a fleeting thought the day before that I would run in my Gorilla outfit (Great Gorilla Run in London - awesome!) but having sweated around an 8km course in it, a half may just have been a bit much!!

    Did I see you running with a fairy??

  • I did consider this (the 10k, not the half) but have heard negative things about the organisation and so decided against. The organisers have been on here before, and have comented on more popular events (here, for example)

    If the event was that bad, someone might want to let Wickstead Park itself know, there are quite a few UM events here, and if they're all as bad as this one sounded, then the park might want to know and reconsider their relationship.

    It's a shame, they organise a lot of events that would be local. I'd like to support the venues, but don't feel it's worth it.

  • I was indeed running with a fairy, that was one of my running friends who I had persuaded to dress up on the grounds that it was New Year's Day and there would probably be a bit of atmosphere and crowd support and it would generally go down well.

    Probably best if I DON'T repeat what she said to me after the race... image

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Aw go on KB, let us know what she said!
  • Helen Liz,

    Thats interesting - did you contact Lloyd so that he could clear up what you were insinuating - he got a bit defensive there! But you're right, the website is very vague, and I hadnt noticed the 'support Llyod and Shirley as they run around the world' tag.

    Interesting to note also, hes quick enough to promote the event, and engage in one on one conversation to get people into the races, and to take some adulation (he had 3 positive replies, and replied to each) yet has been absent on here?

  • Kaybee - I saw the fairy too, gamely pressing on in the rain up the hills. Well done on finishing either way. It was all a bit dreary wasn't it, a shame. But *do* tell us what she said!

    Helen Liz - I've read the link you put there, seems the organiser is somewhat *defensive* , almost hostile to criticism. Not a good trait. I'm hoping the whole *but it's for Charridee* card isn't used.
  • I don't see the Lloyd and shirley run the world thing on the site anymore, perhaps they aren't doing it anymore. The charities mentioned are wholly worthwhile but they need to deliver a race first.
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Found this on that other thread .................. 

    That is something we are working on!  At Wicksteed we have managed to negotiate a 50% reduction in entry fee to the car park but Stanwick are resistent to doing similar.  The main difference between Wicksteed and Stanwick being the auto barrier at the latter; it's far easier to get a 50% reduction/free parking if the entry/exit is managed by a man in a box

    Does this mean they do other runs around Wicksteed?  If so why haven't they learned some lessons!

  • Note the single review from Michael Mayes saying we shouldn't call ourselves runners as this race ticked all the boxes!! Note the lack of posts or anything - the organisers trolling their own race??

    Mind you there was a bloke doing this on the EDF Birmingham half thread, another race that went very pear shaped but that time for thousands of runners!.
  • Maybe they have run other races there, but have changed the name so that entrants dont look at the previous forum threads/ratings about them!? I cant find any.......
  • Phil, no I didn't contact him directly. I'd said it didn't look good to me, and how long a discussion can you have about something as subjective as that?

    Cinders, in 2010 there was a 10k held in both Summer and Autumn. Although I do believe this was the first half there. Like I said, being local it'd be brilliant if the races were up to scratch, but the reports from this one, and other comments I've heard, suggest they're not.

  • Interesting you should notice that Mike - I was very suspicious too, especially when I cant find him on the results pages!!!!

    I was told that a guy doing the half ran the first lap, and when in the park second time round, stopped by his wife/girlfriend, handed his number to the marshall, and buggered off saying something like "sod this for a laugh"!! I know this to be true, as she was stood chatting to my friend at the time it happened!!

  • I did this run on Saturday and it was my first half marathon since Silverstone in March 2009.

     I was pleased with my time (2hrs 35) finishing a second behind Ickle Jim and pleased to complete the distance on what was a tough course for someone getting back in the 13.1 mile distance.

     With regards to the organisation, I was very disappointed with the medal as I thought this was going to be engraved 1/1/11 11:11 etc, but it wasn't. With regards to the directions etc., it was hard not knowing which way to go and simply not worth the money.

    Wicksteed Park also missed a trick as I had told my friends and family that the cafe would be open, but there was nothing and the biscuits were a little stale in the tin at the end, but overall, I enjoyed it.

    Feeling it a bit today, but back to the gym tomorrow to prepare for Silverstone.

    Ickle Jim - thank you for pacing me at times. I was struggling at times, but you helped get me through and I finished a second behind you. Just didn't have the legs to catch you!!!

     Mike - thanks for your shout of "Keep going, not far" on the final bend - much appreciated!

     Would be interested to see the response from UM (if any), but I was warned this wouldn't be particularly well organised.

  • Oh Dear I see the ranting and raving still goes on...

    Would be interested to know what the organisers have to say.

    I too saw superwoman and fairy - it cheared me up and made me continue. Thank you - shame there weren't more in fancy dress.

    Well done to the 5 and 10km runners who had to deal with steep hills and others overtaking.

  • I saw the fancy dress runners as well - well done! good effort!
  • cheers for your support and pacing too, Simon image
  • Oooh just read all your comments above.

    Guess I must have been at a different Wicksteed Park HM event or was I the only one sober??? Or not sober???

    Saw Superwoman and Fairy - you both looked fab and I know you were much admired by all your fellow runners.

    The HM event was absolutely BRILL! I thoroughly enjoyed it but had to go slow as I mistakenly wore trail shoes instead of ordinary  running shoes and came in 4th from bottom - well that's my excuse!

    The event was brilliant for the reasons below

    - the event with its loops allowed runners doing different distances and at all level of fitness to run together. Stronger / quicker runners had the opportunity to encourage slower pace runners in the HM and 10k. I love that comradarie amongst runners. So thank you all for overtaking me many times and encouraging me throughout the run. Much appreciated.

    - it's a local HM on NYD - yaye! A great way to start the year. Last year I went all the way to Preston for the Central Lancashire HM in January and it was cancelled due to the snow. Not good for my goal to complete a HM race every month. The few other HMs that exist in January (not local) gets booked up so far in advance, suffered the same fate last year so I am just very pleased about this local HM. I have  accomplish my personal goal of a HM every month for the last 2 years. I know small beer to some of you experienced runners but thanks to UM its done and dusted now for the first month of this year.

    - its a timed and published HM. Got a time, Actioned my goal for this month!

    - 11 am start time...so refreshing to have a HM that has a much later start time.

    - wonderful friendly and encouraging marshals. Those at road junction handled the traffice so well. The weather was so miserable but you were all so wonderful and kept us going.

    - almost free of traffic

    - good facilities (toilets, car park) and it was easy to find. Yes, it was a shame that Wicksteed Park did not have the cafe opened.

    - the medal was a nice memento especially if you are new to running and it's a decent one. I have got loads of tatty medals (still grateful for, and find highly amusing)  and the one from this event is well made with a comical design. Some of my tatty medals have been given to my 7 year old nephew after lots of begging, but this one sorry I'm keeping! 

    - the central water station was brill. It meant you could get water as you finished a loop and also a little later just after the start of the new loop.

    -  biscuits at the end was an unexpected nice treat, none of the ones I had were stale

    So as you can see the HM did tick many boxes for me. Many years ago, I did do a local HM on NYD at Pitsford Resevoir organised by someone that worked for the Post Office I think.  That was fabulous. Its a great venue and is trail, flat - just 2 laps round the resevoir. Organisers any chance of going there?

    Only 1 disppointment for me - my car was muddier than I was at the end of the event. Won't say where I parked!

    Cheers from a very sober


  • Now that I've got some pictures from the event, I am pleased to announce my sponsors and I managed to raise £405 (and still counting) for a young lad - Jay Brewer.

     Further details can be found on the website www.runforjay.co.uk

    Still buzzing from the run!

  • MK Lakeside - I don't drink actually. I race most weekend - I did four marathons and four Ultras in 2009 , I do a 10K, 10 mile or half most weekends.

    You can put whatever spin you like on this - yes it was a half and thats about it. I cracked round it and thats that.

    Lets look at it - parking charges on the gate, no mention of that . No proper race HQ - had there been more than the 180 that turned it would have been total chaos. No bag storage - I was one of the few who got my bag put in the back of the BMW parked at the start. No start line. No clear finish line - I saw several run into the area and go *where now*

    The course - lets be honest, 3 - 4 laps aren't a good idea for a half marathon are they? 2 laps is pushing it for a half , this course should have been left as a 10K - just because they *can* doesn't mean they *should*. No signs at all , no route markers , no **Caution runners** , I had to call out to frozen marshals *which way* - some had confusion even when they did ask. Not car /traffic free by any stretch of the imagination - couple of road junctions covered a couple not but there was a point on a bend where folk where changing from right to left side of the road , no marshals at all there throughout the race. I dodged cars on the course, on the carpark (as 10K people left) , no taping off the course in the park , I dodged pedestrians in big groups and one time as I got back to the race *hub* there was such a crowd I had to shout to them to get out of the way.

    The water stops - the two little lads and their mother were spectators roped in on the day, the mother told me. They didn't know what to do and it wasn't their fault, people were milling about and once I had to push past finished runners to get a quarter cup.

    The medal - well many seemed to think it was poor and didn't say if it was for 5/10K or half and not engraved. I don't collect them anyway - a goody bag would be better with an energy drink or bar.

    The lack of facilities in the park given the awful weather was a big minus point - many bring along relatives , if they'd said NO facilities then they might have brought flasks etc. The toilets however were superb, if you could find them.

    So there we have it - the thing is what was the £20 for? and who would give them money again? In the summer there are plenty of races - they only got me because no half was available but I could have run a much nicer 13mile training run and avoided the cost, I thought this might be a good half , it wasn't and a big disappointment given the cost.

    Oh and one more point - by not having a race HQ where I could fill in late entry I didn't sign any kind of disclaimer, had I got injured then they could be liable. Just a point but a good one.
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Glad you enjoyed it MKLR, I too was also sober as I suspect most of the runners were!  Not sure how I'd run a half if not sober! image

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    BTW.  Lloyd has posted his own review of his race and commented also.
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