In short: A tough Marathon In full: This was one of the best organised and marshalled race. There were plenty of marshalls and water stops along the way. I found this marathon very tough as it is very hilly and sandy. There are a lot of narrow paths with nettles and thorns on both sides. There are some very steep down routes and having personally fallen, care is needed. Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Turn up and run till you drop! In full: Well organised and friendly race. Great support whether running one lap or the full eight to complete the marathon. The format allows runners of all abilities to run in the same race. We had 15 club runners doing a mix of 10k, 10 miles, half marathon and full marathon. Well done! Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: A really well organised event. In full: A fabulous course - challenging in places but you forget this once you enter the track for a classic stadium finish. Once across the line you were rewarded with a fantastic teccy T shirt and a well stocked goodie bag. You might also be lucky to get a beer as a spot prize as well. Well done Grantham AC Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Great views, tough hills, suggestions for sponsor BHF In full: This race popular with locals and people with local connections, 950 finishers for the half marathon. I'm used to hills, but these ones were tough, with a cumulative effect, so the final smallish hill nearly did for me. The route is lovely and includes the Ridgeway, the oldest road in England. Apparently the British Heart Foundation took over as lead sponsor last year, and I was a bit a) irritated by their assumption that we were all running this to support them and b) the rubbish medal, which was a generic BHF medal and did not even have "Swindon" "Half Marathon" or "2014". Basically if I had been minded to support BHF, and their cause is a good one, this experience would put me right off. So come on BHF, I know you need to maximise income for your charitable activities, but please ease off, and give finishers a decent medal and an energy drink. A tech instead of cotton t-shirt would be nice, because runners wear them, and you'd get your promo messages across for years to come. Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Very enjoyable if not as flat as it's made out to be In full: Really good atmosphere, good organisation, scenery looked excellent however it was foggy, not quite as flat as it's made out to be (my Garmin said over 100m of climb). Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Lovely countryside fun run with full village support In full: Well organised event. Course is a bit hilly but goes through nice countryside. Medal and t-shirt for finishers. Nice touch that the pub at the finish were cooking burgers etc. Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Brilliant event - superb organisation and atmosphere - great fun! In full: This is a must for all half marathoners. Enough hills to be a tad challenging but the support from locals and marshals completely takes your mind off it. The roads are closed too so the whole run is completely hassle free - well done Basingstoke!! Date of review: October 14, 2014
In short: Nice race bling In full: Course was very congested in parts, with a few pinch points. First part of the course was pretty uninspiring, but the second half and last few miles were much nicer and much better supported! Some of the water stations were poorly marshalled for such a warm day. You do get an incredibly nice medal for this race though! Date of review: October 13, 2014
In short: Fast 10k through the streets of Ashford In full: Personally I didn't have any problems and found the organisation of the race was pretty smooth in terms of parking and picking up the race pack but perhaps this was because I arrived quite early and avoided the rush.
I hope the issues that some of the slower runners had to endure will be resolved for next year's event and they will be given as good an experience as the people towards the front of the race.
Overall though I thoroughly enjoyed the race. The conditions on the day were perfect to run a fast time and I am looking forward hopefully to return next year. Many thanks to the organisers, marshals and also the people of Ashford who cheered on the runners. Date of review: October 13, 2014
In short: Super race In full: I really enjoyed the 'Chi half'. Great organisation and good atmosphere at the start/finish zone. Great to run through the town centre. Excellent mix of road, path, trail, grass and woodlands. Hard work getting up the Trundle, but you are rewarded with brilliant views from the top. It was nice to briefly pass slower/faster runners at the top.
Fast finish along the cycle path and great support. Really recommend this race for clubby types and beginners alike. Date of review: October 13, 2014
In short: Highly recommended! In full: I did this last year and was very impressed by the organisation, considering it was the first time the race was run. The organisers didn't have to change much, so didn't. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! It's a fast course, but not as flat as Manchester (where I ran a PB) What makes the race is the atmosphere. The route isn't lined with spectators, but those in the villages and those travelling supporters on the roads (there are a couple of out and back sections which are good for spectating) make a lot of noise and are really encouraging. The first 20 plus miles this year were run in fog, which suited me as there's an awkward gradual climb about 15/16 miles that I didn't notice as I couldn't see an incline! From having run the route last year I wouldn't describe it as particularly scenic after the first couple of miles through York, but it's nearly all open country side. The only real climb comes after 25 miles, and it's not that long anyway. Besides, the last few hundred yards are definitely downhill so you can have a flying finish! There were ample drinks stations, and loads of sweets on offer from the locals. I really enjoyed the race and plan to run it again next year. Thanks to all who helped organise, volunteered and supported. Date of review: October 13, 2014