In short: Very well organised race with nice marshalls, a scenic course and a good amount of supporters around the course. Very enjoyable I will definitely do again. In full: Well organised Friendly marshalls Decent amount of supporters along the whole course Started right on time (9 am on the dot) Friendly runners Large amount of water stations (one about every 5k) Some water stations also had Coke and snacks Scenic course especially out in the countryside Easy to park in the town centre very near both start and finish Large race village A good course/event for beginners (this was my own first marathon) Some inclines up and down around the course - not pancake flat and not "hilly" An amazing race - good size field (c.600) so felt like a biggish event but had all the personality, friendliness and atmosphere of a smaller event Really pleased I chose this one. I'll do it again. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Good pre-race admin; great marshals; well run. Thank you. In full: What do runners want? Good pre-race admin; friendly & efficient marshals; mile markers and a good routine at the finish. All of these were in place yesterday so thank you to all concerned. Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: Very fast marathon course - good for potential PB In full: This is a great race if you're looking for a PB. The profile is flat, with no hills to speak of. The surface is mainly road although there are some sections along rougher path which have the potential to slow you down. The roads are mainly open to traffic so you take your chances as to whether you want to risk running on road or pavement. The marshals were all very good and knew what they were doing. When you run through Abingdon at the start of the marathon the support is great and there's a lot of cheering. However, when you come back through towards the end you feel like you're picking your way through people out doing their Sunday morning shop, which is a bit weird. The finish around the running track is great. Altogether I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a PB. It lacks the atmosphere of London, or the scenery of a trail marathon, but if it's a 26.2 time-trial you're after then you won't go far wrong.
In short: Scenery, organisation, marshalling and weather all perfect! In full: I admit I've done this course before and I'll be back as it's one of the most scenic routes along the Thames you'll find. It has a mixture of a very short road section, towpath, woodland, fields and only slight hills that only add to the view. Purple Patch (as always) offer great value for money, slick organisation leading right up to race day and, as others continue to point out, their marshals are some of the best around.
Keep it up and see you at the next one! Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: Well organised,friendly "family feel" event In full: The ratio of volunteers to runners is amazing; there is so much support on the course and after the race. I loved people at the baggage store who went round the area bringing bags to runners, very nice. The hills are many and they hurt you at the end so it is probably not ideal for PBs. Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: Enjoyable with trully wonderful marshalls! In full: This was my first ever marathon. The route itself is very flat and parts of it are extremely scenic. The marshalls were wonderful and the start and finish on the race track was a nice touch. My only gripes were the fact that the roads aren't closed and for some periods (especially around the industrial estate) spectators are few and far between which make things a lonely experience especially when you hit the wall. I probably won't do this again purely because I'd love to experience the emotions of a big city marathon next. However for my first marathon I'm really glad I did this. Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: PB potential In full: Travelled across from Folkestone to run in this event for the first time, along with a friend competing in his first 10k. Quick and easy collection of race number with timing chip attached. Course went out through the countryside and wasn't too hilly. Definately PB potential course and has a long downhill slope to the finish :) Date of review: October 23, 2016
In short: Friendly, well organised and beautiful In full: A really well run event - loads of marshals, who were, without exception, excellent - a rare occurrence! They were positive and encouraging, but also had an eye on safety, and the running of the race.
The run itself is very pleasant, a little bit of city centre, a fair amount of park and path, and a load of countryside. Slightly undulating, nothing too challenging, but even small hills are notable at 20 miles!
Very well supported, especially for a rural marathon - pockets of quiet, but good support from the marshals, locals and other runners. This is a very friendly marathon.
Medical support (which we all hope no-one needs) was plentiful - a few stations round the course.
Overall - a very good rural marathon. Date of review: October 23, 2016
In short: Wonderful scenic race. Well organised. Multi-terrain limits PB potential. In full: I ran this feeling absolutely god awful. It may be because of this that i was even more blown away by the unbelievably magnificent route this race takes. Nice sized field, well organised, friendly, good parking, and a beautiful race alongside, over and around the Thames. Thumbs up from me. Date of review: October 23, 2016
In short: Too much traffic In full: I was looking forward to running this race as it's only an hours drive from home. On arrival in Stroud there were a few signs indicating parking, great. Parked up and friendly marshals showed us the way to start line. Easy bag drop, plenty of portable loos. Announcement to start was clear. Race start area, then off we go. Pretty much the entire race was run on roads that were open to traffic, busy A roads, so some sections ran in single file we no chance of overtaking. A mile or so loop through industrial estate was dull. As some of the cars were stuck in traffic the fumes built up and made for uncomfortable and unpleasant running. How on earth they can be allowed to run a race with so much traffic is a mystery, never again! Date of review: October 23, 2016
In short: Stunning scenery & magnificent marshals In full: What a superb race. The venue is glorious set on the magnificent grounds of Bisham Abbey. The mist was rising off the Thames as the race began and when the sun came out, it lit up the beautiful surrounding countryside. The course was very well marked with arrows and mile markers and the marshals were enthusiastic and encouraging. There was a great atmosphere at the finish line and it was nice to hear names called out as you passed the line. Looking forward to my iTab! Thanks Purple Patch. See you next year.
In short: The location makes up for the other aspects In full: The beautiful Burnham Beeches in autumn is a fabulous setting for an off-road race and this 2 lap course os challenging (although nice and dry this year!). The race organisation is rather haphazard. The race email came in the night before and did not include key information. And the cost is high (admittedly it all goes to charity) when the only giveaway is a mug and a small bottle of water. Plus they charged an extra £3 to park and then you got locked in, as very few people stayed around to cheer the last runners in or have a cup of coffee at the lovely coffee shop afterwards. Friends who were beginners rather regretted taking on such a hard course, but hopefully we cheered them loudly enough that the memory of the pain will pass! Date of review: October 22, 2016
In short: 2016 review (but 2016) wasn't available on the drop down menu In full: I have done this race for a few years, always been cheap and cheerful, no left luggage, portaloos or closed road, so was surprised this year at the hike in price to 26:50-28:50 with no improvements to organisation. Can get closed road half marathons for not much more with proper facilities, a pity as the course is really fabulousbecause the with proper left luggage Date of review: October 21, 2016
In short: Fantastic but challenging race, great organisation. In full: This was my second year of doing the race, having done it last year (2015) and I've enjoyed it both times. It's a lovely but challenging route around the scenic countryside of Sittingbourne. It's well organised, friendly and very efficient. The bag drop is brilliant, marshals are friendly and encouraging and it's a great atmosphere. It's a very undulating course, however the last three miles are mainly downhill which provides a great finish to the race, even better was that I got a PB by nearly two minutes :-) The cakes at the end were amazing and I'd highly recommend it. 10/10 Date of review: October 21, 2016