Though if I’m honest, the fact that it starts and finishes within walking distance of Jelly Baby Towers was also a bit of an attraction…
First impressions were pretty good, I have to say, as everything from the event organiser’s pre-race emails to my pre-chipped running number were excellent. And on the day itself, there was plenty of car parking for the non-locals, not to mention smooth arrangements for changing, bag drop-off , pre-race t-shirt collection and even pre-race massages.
But what about the race?
Well, while the starting area is a bit narrower than it would be in an ideal world, after a brief pre-race Mad Dog howl, we got off pretty sharpish on what must be one of the fastest and prettiest 10K courses in the country.
The first 3 miles or so allow you to run down the middle of the Marine Drive, which runs alongside the beach, before cutting inland for a few bends around the Marine Lake and then a 2 mile paved section back to the start/finish area.
Aside from a brief queue for the goody bags, the whole race couldn’t have been slicker or friendlier. And when you factor in the medal, technical t-shirt and excellent goody bag, all for a measly £20 this simply has to be the best value race in the UK calendar.
Huge congratulations to those Mad Dogs at Southport Hesketh Rotary Club for showing others how races like this should be organised – and raising a good bit for worthy causes in the process. So for those of you who haven’t done Mad Dog yet, I have to say, you’d be barking not to give it a go in 2013…
And despite knowing that Adrian and the Crew would prefer some doggy chocs, I also have no choice but to eschew even a 5 Jelly Baby Rating and award the Mad Dog 10K the rare accolade of The Whole Damn Bag. Well done guys!