In short: Really impressed and will be back next year In full: I really enjoyed this race from start to finish and thought the organisation was excellent compared to the various 10k races I have entered before. Great crowd support and uplifting music all the way really helped and I was very happy with the finishers technical shirt, medal and the goody bag. I got a PB over both the 5k and 10k distance so absolutely thrilled and personally I didn't suffer too much from slow runners in my way although I was aware of them - I was at the front of the green wave and by 1km I was passing people who had put themselves in the faster waves walking along. As irritating as it absolutely is, the organisers can't legislate for people who are going to put down an unrealistic time. It wasn't as bad as the Winter Run where you keep coming up behind strings of people walking four abreast with linked arms from the off! Overall it was a good race for me and I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: First timer and will be back In full: Excellent organisation at the start. I was in the second wave and was over the start line within four minutes of the official start (unlike the 30 minutes it took me to get over the line at the Reading half in April which had fewer runners). I think it is unfair to blame the organisers for slow runners in the blue wave. It is up to the individual entering to have a realistic idea of their ability but if they have not done the distance before then they may not know.
The crowd support and bands along the route were great, along with an excellent tech shirt (Reading, take note again). My race of the year so far. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Two main failings could have easily been avoided In full: 1. There were a large number of toilets but none of the urinal style ones which let to enormous queues. I have no idea why they did not offer these at such a large event, like every other race does. 2. The starting pens were far too big which mixed slow and fast runners together. Combined with the unavoidably narrow first few kilometres, it was extremely difficult to get past the slower runners in front. This was very frustrating and I'm sure ruined the chance of a PB for many people (fortunately not me). As well as making the pens smaller, they should have predicted finish time signs to group together runners of similar ability. Again, a no-brainer for a big event like this, even one that's only 10km.
The goody-bag was full of food and the tshirt is of good quality.
Would I pay to do this race again? Unless they addressed these two problems - no way! Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS EVENT In full: this was my second time and have already sugned up for next year.. From choosing your own number yo setting up your personal aid station, massive medal, beer and wonderful support this is a great marathon to do.. no crowds to weave through, wide flat obstruction free and no cars, kerbs, people crossing in front etc etc... excellent facilities.. Thanks!!! Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: A challenging run, with enthusiastic and friendly organisation In full: Being a local, I wasn't keen on the route on paper, with what looked like a lot of doubling back and repetition of trails. However on the run, this was logical, and flowed reasonably well, with a mix of trail and tarmac and enough inclines to make this a challenge. What made the event for me was the 'community' feel of the event, with enthusiastic marshals, good organisation, but not too professional. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Excellent big race although more undulating than flat In full: Great race and atmosphere - well organised. The course is harder than you expect though - being undulating on the dual carriageway. Great atmosphere at the end and excellent medal, t-shirt and goody bag. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Fantatstic event, superbly organised. Highly recommend. In full: Always enjoy this race (rain or shine). The organisers are first class and the event gets better each year, which is a hard thing to do but it does it! The course is a little challenging due to the laps and can be tough mentally if this is your first time running, just think of the medal :). The onsite facilities are excellent too (a post race shower is always welcome). I definitely recommend you do this race. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Hardly any flat running for ten miles In full: Beautiful Sussex scenery, lovely late spring day, brilliantly organised, but hardly anywhere for the ten miles is flat! Endless undulations and corners, so you never know what's next, certainly a challenge!! Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Bring back the Embankment route In full: I have run this race since it started and have always loved it as well organised, fantastic scenery, great volunteers and excellent goodie bag. The tee shirt itself this year was a vast improvement on the previous two (we are back to a tech). I agree with other reviewers that the groups needed to be better sorted according to time, am sure i probably ran 11k (ok slight exaggeration!) what with all the dodging and diving around people. Previous years had groups within the waves that seemed to spread this out a bit. Bands around the course were fab as usual. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Yes, it is really is as great as everyone says In full: I hadn't done a marathon for 6 years and was looking at various events trying to pick one. Let's be honest 20 laps of a cycle track sounds like hell but I was persuaded by reviews and friends to do this and I was so glad I did. Can't really add anything to the other reviews - so well organised and everything you could possibly want. Just one negative for me though (and I accept I am almost certainly in a minority of one), personally I would have been happier with a smaller medal that was more in keeping with my ones from other races. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Amazingly organised,well executed with gurt big medal In full: 20 laps might not be for everyone, but you know exactly where any challenging parts are after a lap or two and unlike point-to-points you don't see a dot on the horizon knowing you have to run there! The race itself is very friendly with some of the best marshals and supporters I've experienced. With names on the bibs getting shout outs by people who don't know you was very encouraging - especially numerous times from the same people. Feed stations were well stocked/located ;) - facilities on-site great and did I mention the great big medal? Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Lovely scenery, wonderfully organised, best marshals ever In full: Super stoked for this to be my first half marathon. The course was very well designed and really well signposted and marshalled. Considering the park was quite small it made the most of the scenery. There were times you were surrounded completely by trees or running through lovely villages spots and others you would be running alongside a road. The balance was great considering the location. Participants and marshals were just amazingly friendly. Definitely the most enthusiastic and encouraging marshals ever! As I live in NZ I found it quite flat, but many people were saying the undulations made it a tough race. Would not hesitate to do it again, especially as proceeds went to the Maypole Project. Really proud of my medal. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Best MOK ever In full: The sun was shining this year and the locals were out in force to support the runners. Some even supplied ad hoc showers from garden hoses! Brilliant event. Great goodies. Amazing ceilidh. This is what running is all about!!! Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Varied course, shame about the crowd control into the finish In full: With a steady climb out of Newbury to get you heavy breathing to start with, a swift descent cross country to get your breath back and then incredibly narrow winding tracks before getting back to the town centre this has everything. Everything it seems apart from sufficient marshals on the final bend into the finish, where despite seeing runners coming at speed people were still crossing the road. Unfortunately I collided with a lady who didn't complete her crossing in time as it turns out too many people were trying to get through a too narrow opening. I was sprinting at around 17-20 km/h at the time and so if I was heavier I could have sent her flying. As a volunteer at other events I am very familiar with needing to watch out for spectators on course, but in a fully barriered-off area where marshals are operating to keep runners and crowds apart, to ensure its safe to cross etc that's poor. Runners beware. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Very good but a few tweaks needed In full: The run itself was great. Great scenery. The route was great and everything well organized. They called out over the tannoy to let people know when to put their baggage away. The only criticism I have was the placing of slower runners in front pens. By the 1st Km there were pepoeople walking. There were obvious slow runners at the front and because of the slow running and walking, it became very congested and slowed faster runners down. This needs to be sorted really as it was very off putting. Many were obviously novices as their etiquette was very bad. Walking should be done to the side, not all over the road.This spoiled the event for me a little.
In short: Excellent In full: My third year of doing this. As always, the organisation was first class. Caters for all ages and abilities, and the atmosphere is superb. Hope to return next year. Date of review: May 31, 2016
In short: Fantastic - Event of the running year. Uplifting and inclusive In full: Second time and have just spent an enjoyable few mintues reading all the reviews. I have to agree with all that's already been said. I just missed out on my hoped for sub 5 and last few laps for me were dreadful BUT the support was so uplifting. I would also like to mention the unknown curly haired girl on the bridge. She was a highlight of every lap, dancing, cheering out your name, she must have expended as much energy as those of us running. The spectators all around the course were wonderful. The medal in its own little bling bag, a cool buff, free beer, free official race photos, showboating people along the way having their pics taken. There was never a dull moment. Even 2 days later I am still buzzing from it. If you only ever want to do one marathon in your life then this is the one. Date of review: May 31, 2016