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OMG! That was wet and cold! Around 9mins quicker than last year, suppose I'll have to have another go next year.
I was impressed by the way the cadets kept their attitude and gave positive encouragement throughout, despite the fact that they were spending their Sunday standing in the rain, so that a group of eccentrics could run a marathon!
Brrrrrr - only just warmed upon enough to type....
This is certainly a no frills event with a dubious goody bag.....however it is the most scenic and wonderfully varied surface and elevation event that I have entered in normal running shoes.
Personally I think £35 is great value for the priviledge to run this event and I'll certainly be back next year - it's all about the magnificent course and that's just fine by me.
A big thank-you to Fat Feet for organising and an even bigger thanks to the cadets and marshalls who endured such woeful weather.
Top tip for next year - nip into the Italian restaurant at the end of the car-park - Arriabata to die for....
New to this marathon, would like to have done it on a sunny day as it was heads downs and keep going in the rain! I like the undulating course and run alot of offroad events, so the cattle grids and gates did not worry me. Was parked in Normanton, so it worked out just fine for me at the finish. Nice to see gels being handed out but I always carry the ones I like. Thought the cadets were very good, lots of positive comments as they stood getting soaked.
Not impressed with the non event specific vest, sure I was given the choice of a shirt (which I would wear to train in). Glad I have done it but not sure I would return,
It appears I also had an issue with the timing matts although no one mentioned it at the time. I only know this as I don't feature in the results!
Perhaps those who loved the scenery, me included, but didn't love the organisation, can set up our own running of the distance. That way our enjoyment is entirely in our own hands!
I was less than impressed, and have made my feelings known to the organisers. I compare it to the South Downs marathon I ran last year, which had a big finish area, lots of hot food, and a great community spirit. Oh, and both a race-specific medal, proper big goodie bag, and a race-specific t-shirt (they promised a Salomon tech t-shirt but failed to deliver, but some things can be overlooked if everything else is good!).
Just had a look at the results - only 327 finishers - not too sure how many entered but likely to be very substantially fewer than the 1,000 limit and this may go some way toward explaining the lack of goodies at the end.
Which is certainly a theory, Matt, but it'd have been useful having someone explaining that to people, rather than the "not my job" approach I got at the start line when I asked one of the staff why there was no medal this year, for example.
It doesn't explain the pretty pointless vest and bit of card, though, which would have been there for all, no matter how many entered. Or the fact that by the time some of us late stragglers came through, all they had was small sizes. Makes me think that either all the faster ones took medium when they should have had small, or the organisers had too many small they'd over-ordered from another event. I know which my money is on!
Maybe time for an official reponse from the Fat Feet team?
Which is fine, Tim, if it had been a basic no-frills price, too. To be honest, I'm not sure any of the "gripes" as you call them were weather-related - if it had been a sunny day, a poor memento and goody bag would have been equally poor. An uninspiring finish line would have remained that.
The winning time is the winning time, I think it's pretty irrelevant. We all deal with the conditions in different ways.
Can't help but agree with other comments here. Had this been billed - and priced! - as a fat-ass/no-frills event, no cause for complaint. It wasn't. Looking at what you get in other similarly priced events, it is very poor value for money, which is a shame, as the course and surroundings are (or would be in better weather) spectacular. Very very disappointing, it really should be one of the 'must-do' events of the marathon calendar, but I can't see that happening unless the present organisers have a re-think of how it is managed.
On the vest front, I think the reason later finishers ended up with the wrong size could again be put down to poor organisation. I have a medium, which is far too big for me, not that I would ever wear it anyway. There was no obvious sorting of the bags into sizes, or none that my near-hypothermic brain could fathom. Why didn't the people manning the 'goody bag' stand ask what size you wanted? Also, the energy bars would have been appreciated on the course, rather than just at the end - I think this is the first marathon I have ever seen where no additional sustenance beyond water and the odd gel was provided. Great Yarmouth was equally wet, but they still managed to provide jelly babies etc. Coffee and tea at the end would have been fantastic too.
I am curious, too, about how much Anglian Water made out of this and will certainly email them to try and find out.
To finish on a positive note, the youngsters marshalling were exceptional. Cheerful and smiling despite the weather conditions, even at the end. I hope a generous donation is made to them.
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.
TimR wrote (see)
The winning time of 2:49 should say something about the race conditions.
What has that got to do with anything?
It was cold and wet, so what. My only gripe was that every mile marker was spot on with my garmin, apart from the overall distance being 26.5 miles. Having run newport marathon last weekend at 28 miles, why is this so difficult to get right.
Last year they gave out medals and race specific cotton t-shirts and everyone moaned about them not being technical t-shirts. So looks like they listened to that feed back.
Unfortunately I did not race last year, I couldn't even run 5k then so would have liked a medal. Will just have to write my name on the certificate and frame that instead.
I ordered a small top and I got a small top, bonus
Try this ..
I think the comments on this thread are very harsh. It reads like a load of grumpy people who just like to complain. With an ever decreasing marathon calendar accept the race for what it is. I would rather retain it in its current format than lose it.
Organising the race must be a logistical nightmare. To do it to the standard of a simple looped road course would require charging the 500 entrants significantly more.
I enjoyed my race. If you are up for a challenge then do not be put off.
I agree with Billo, and don't get the negative comments, you know what you're in for at this time of year, so if anything blame the weather. I enjoyed it despite the conditions, and if it had been run in the summer months we'd all be saying what a great day out we'd had. It wasn't, I knew that, and so expected the worst. It's a challenge and if that's what you're looking for, if you want less challenging there are plenty to be had.
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.
Despite everything I would have preferred to have been different about this event, I absolutely loved it.
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!
3rd time i have done the event and it is what it is. Its a challenge race in a great venue. I personally would like to see less of a goody bag/medal/tshirt etc and lower entry fee, perhaps a cup of tea at the end.
There are great events out there but compared to the Newport marathon last weekend, this was german efficiency.
I agree its not great value for money, but I would bin most of the crap i get at a race anyway.
My recommendations- Which i email to them will be:
Cheaper entry fee
An accurate course