In short: A lovely course and plenty of encouraging marshals makes for an excellent race. In full: It's a fairly small race but a lovely course and we had good weather. The start is steep up hill so gets off to a really tough start, but you do come back down it at the end, so not all bad. The rest of the route is quite flat mainly on quiet roads. There were plenty of encouraging marshals and a nice little goodie bag at the end! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Stunning views, challenging climbs! In full: A stunning setting for an awesome race. Hills, trails, cows, views and the nicest bunch of marshals. Well marshaled considering the ruralness of parts of this race, and I can say for sure that they knew what to do for a runner in need as did the first aid crew. Thank you Purbeck - see you next year! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: A step backwards from last year's inaugural event In full: Same course which is fine enough if not inspirational. It is a bit up and down but none of the climbs are outrageous (although the last one up Victoria Road/Lichfield Street definitely hurts a bit). Atmosphere seemed a wee bit better this year, a few more spectators dotted around the route.
On the downside the post-race formalities have taken a major backwards step since last year. A 10-15 minute queue for de-chipping, goody bag/tee-shirt pick up was disappointing. Last year I recall breezing straight through the finish making my way down more or less directly to deal with post race stuff.
Despite this I will be back next year as I did enjoy the entire experience up to the regrettable delays at the finish. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Not as flat as they make out, and organisation could be improved In full: This race was described as "flat and fast" on the website but turned out to be really quite hilly, which was annoying on a PB attempt but probably very painful for the many newbies, and the dual carriageway route didn't offer many distractions. The crowd was very supportive though. Organisation was a little lacking, but this was their first one. Bit annoying as a non-local having to pick up the race pack the day before, and I wasn't too impressed by having an e-cigarette company sponsoring a kids cancer charity race! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Fantastic race and excellent family day out, even if you are not a runner! In full: What a fantastic day ! An enjoyable event! Marshals were so friendly and helpful. The Pipers at the half way point were absolutely amazing, giving us the chance to display our well practised “Gig” . The steel band equally as enjoyable at the top of our big climb. Obviously we were lucky with the weather but that doesn’t take away how much detail was put into making this event truly the best in the UK. Best of both worlds, some of our group, who didn’t dress as cows, ran the course as a half marathon, claiming it to be the best half they had ever raced due to facilities and spectacular views and those of us who decided to enjoy the atmosphere, had the best day out probably since last years race! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: One of the best organized races I've ever done, and I've done a few! In full: Last minute entry as wanted a pb and chose due to flat course and the terrain. Arrived with ease with lots of car parking signs etc. There were various tents for registration, food, drink etc toilets and a dj. I knew it started on a business park but I chose the race for the flat course to get a pb not the scenery though I was pleasantly surprised when I ran around wooded pathways. The 10k was a 4 lap race and water being offered all the way around the course, marshalls friendly and helpful and marshalls and signs in abundance! Nice timing clock at the finish that you could clearly see and lovely little medal and certificate at the end as well as a pb! Could not fault this race at all and will be coming back every year. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: The toughest marathon, with the best views ever. In full: I said last year 'never again', so here I was back at the start for 2014. The main reason for returning was that this is such a well organised and friendly race. It is small enough to remain very laid back, whilst still being one of the toughest races you will ever do. Probably one of the only races where you are warned not to tray off the path or you could get blown up by an unexploded bomb ! The course is predominantly trail, some of it single track across the cliff tops. There are a lot of hills, but this gives you the most magnificent views for miles around. I could have quite happily stopped at Tyneham Village around mile 15, the remaining miles containing a couple of very long climbs. But I couldn't forfeit the medal and t-shirt, so struggled on to the finish. This year they had the finish line in a field next to the beach, which worked really well as everyone could relax on the grass recovering and cheering in the other runners. Although it was a hot and sunny day, there was just enough breeze on most of the course to make it bearable, and there were plenty of water stations along the way. The marshals did a superb job, encouraging us the whole way. Easy to see why this has been voted top UK marathon. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Best medal ever! In full: Pleasant low key countryside 10K, marked out by the very special handmade medals.
The course is through pleasant countryside, nothing particularly special, and about average for countryside runs, though it has its moments, such as passing Chillenden Windmill at 6K, and going through the village of Goodnestone. I wouldn't recommend it for the scenery, your own local countryside would likely match or better it, but it is pleasant.
The event is organised by SportingEventsUK, who do a decent enough job, but their promotional material needs to be toned down, as the course does not pass through the prettiest villages in Kent, nor is it likely to produce a PB, unless all your previous 10Ks were very hilly. The course undulates most of the time, so you're either going up or coming down. The inclines vary from mild to reasonably stiff - certainly stiff enough in several places for most of the 60 - 70 minute runners to walk up rather than run. I found the undulations interesting, and not too demanding, but they will add around 6 - 10% to your time for a flat 10K.
There is a pleasant buzz at the HQ, and with a decent playground, and a race for the young ones, bringing the family is a possibility; though I dropped mine off at Canterbury, which they enjoyed - particularly the refurbished Beanies Museum.
The medal is handmade by a pottery in Canterbury. It is a cute sketch of a pig - because the race was originally organised by the Wingham Trotters. Very desirable, and the race is doing just for the medal.
Races like this are the backbone of the race scene. It was well organised with good parking facilities. The road on which the course starts and finishes is closed off. The rest of the roads remain open, with no pavement, but traffic is very light, and drivers are careful. There was one section where all runners were on the right, and one lone runner was on the left. The roads are very narrow, and this caused a problem for passing cars who couldn't manoeuvre easily and I noted one swerved widely endangering those runners on the right. It might help if marshals gave runners guidance on which side of the road to run, and to urge runners to stay on that side. Other than that, the run was well organised with an apple and a bottle of water at the end. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Star Wars In The Surrey Hills In full: I was overtaken by a Star Trooper, but I then passed him again and then later on I passed Darth Vader, not quite what you expect on the Surrey Hills. This was the biggest Bacchus event yet and done with aplomb. The organisation was amazing, and the marshals fantastic with a special nod to the pirate marshals at the drinks station just after mile 5. To all at ETL and their band of merry helpers, I say thank you it was a great day out even if I was pipped at the post by a chicken - squwark! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Do it, you won't regret it!!! In full: All in all one of the best marathons there is. I absolutely loved it, the marshalls, support, we were looked after from start to finish. My highlight of the day was the enjoyment of running in the most stunning countryside in uk. Thank you Purbeck. I will be back next year. Loved it!! Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: At the top of one hill I looked up and thought 'that is the best view in the world' In full: I was wrong, the view from the next hill was even better! Fantastic run, wonderful scenery and a great time spent with 1000 chilled out runners, some more chilled out and relaxed as time ( and the wine stations )passed by. This is a half marathon to savour and take your time over, plenty of water/food/wine stations to pause at before heading along the next trail. Hilly but don't let that put you off the atmosphere is so relaxed and you have plenty of time to make your way around the course. Some spectacular fancy dress, particularly those groups who themed their costumes - herds of cows, cowgirls and squaws, several sheep and a huge wedding party. Being a non-drinking, veggie I did not partake in the added wine stops and post run BBQ but the spread put on by the Denbies Estate looked fantasic and there was plenty of other goodies along the route to top up the energy levels not to mention the entire fruit department of a local supermarket at the finish. Medal to cherish and a good tech t-shirt added to the haul of goodies but the real star of the day was the wonderful atmosphere created by runners, supporters and the sound of bagpipes drifting across the Surrey hills. A very well organised, family friendly event. Thanks Alan, Nick, ETL, Guides, Denbies Estate and all the fantastic marshals. Did I mention the cakes? Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: If you only do one marathon, make it this one In full: It was when we got to a high point onthe coast at about twelve miles when the runner ahead of me paused, turned, and said "wow, that's just fantastic". The views are unbelievable. But at a cost. 3000 ft of ascent takes it out of you, and the steady three mile climb from Corfe Castle is a killer. Still,this is a brilliant event; support all the way around is fantastic, the organisers and volunteers are all first class and the camaraderie amongst the runners is great. So many came in at the end in groups of two or three holding hands to cross the line together. Carlsberg don't make marathons, but if they did..... Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: 3rd time...and getting slower each time In full: Love this race. Every year we just get slower but that's what it's all about. Over 5 hours for the half this year, but when in a horse costume there is no way we would race it. There are hundreds of half marathons every year to take seriously...but very few to have such fun. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Fully deserves its rating as best in UK In full: Very well organised and very friendly. Faultless in fact. The ice cream recovery on arrival at the finish just shows the attention to detail. There are views that literally take your breath away. In summary nothing in the UK compares. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Fantastic scenery, excellent organisation, very friendly. In full: A tough but very rewarding race. I was expecting great views, and it did not disappoint. Very well organised, excellent goodie bag, tee shirt and medal. If you're up for a challenge, you'll love this race. One of my favourite races of all time. Date of review: September 14, 2014
In short: Oh so pretty In full: I cannot praise this enough. Starting with the scenery, I don't usually notice the surroundings to a race that much, but this is a special one. It is so pretty that it probably is shown on a calendar somewhere. A challenging course too, made easier in the dry than with mud so the September date makes a lot of sense. Very welcoming feel to this event. I certainly prefer it to the Whitchurch 10k which isn't far away geographically but a much harder run in my opinion. My time today backed that up. Date of review: September 14, 2014