In short: Some fun hills and a great atmosphere! In full: This was my first time on the Hogs Back, and I'll certainly be back for more!
On arrival I was surprised by the size of the queue for registration and they had to delay the start by 5 minutes. I was registered with 20 minutes to go and had to join an equally long queue for the 8 portaloos, really needed more. By the time I exited it was a quick jog to the start (via the ?unmanned bag dop), literally 30 seconds and we were off! Still a fair few at the toilets when I left. That's the last of my negative comments.
This is a really enjoyable race, the uphills all during the first half so negative splits almost guaranteed. Great atmosphere with friendly crowd and brilliant marshals.
If I have one tip... when the finish comes into sight, it's further than it looks!
Great medal which matches the course route, very clever. Apparently the last couple of years it was a mug, stick with the medals guys! Date of review: December 9, 2014
In short: Great mix of off road terrain and plenty of mud In full: Lovely course with some challenging hills , boggy fields and shoe sucking mud. Well organised and plenty of encouragement from the marshals. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Well-organised, scenic and atmospheric In full: Loved this race. The organisation and marshalling was brilliant (you could tell it was organised by runners for runners), the route was suitably challenging but not murderous and the countryside village scenery was wonderful. The foggy yet muggy weather helped make it atmospheric as well. As has been said the marshals went the extra mile by calling out your name as you ran past. Good value, good medal and I got a pb. Need I say more! A good end to the half marathon calendar year. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: A hilly classic In full: My first time for this event but have done a few of AAT's events before so felt confident that all would be well. The race is good, gun time start with chip finish so up to the front for the start. Marshals were great as usual and course was well marked. Some challenging hills but you are rewarded with glorious views. Compared to other AAT events I have done registration was a bit chaotic and the lack of toilets meant it was a find the nearest tree moment 2 minutes before start time. Great Medal! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Best race best Marshalls best atmosphere this is a must do mudfest In full: I had never done a muddy race before and was nervous but I literally did not stop smiling all the way around this race. It is so much fun and the obstacles are clearly a labour of love! Don't go for speed have a laugh and mess around! Amazing spectator support from the good people of Chipping Sodbury who cheered us on in their droves. Best Marshalls ever they all cheered on the runners joked and even sang. Great camaraderie and atmosphere. My only quibble is that there weren't enough loos at Hq and we almost missed the last post as we were stuck queuing. But overall well done on a great experience of a race.look at the you tube videos to see the fun! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: I shouldn't like it so much - but I do. In full: Why do I like this race so much? I'm slow so am going to be in the last few runners; there are some big hills; it is long; the weather is usually dreadful; the scenary is nothing special a lot of the way; there's cars on the course etc etc. It should all make for a race I don't like.
But the atmosphere of this race makes it all worthwhile. The marshalls are great, the organisation generally good, the comedy commentary is great and the atmosphere welcoming.
My only complaint was this year they took down the baggage store tent before I had finished, so my bag was sitting in the hail getting wet. They could have a tarpaulin or similar for the last bags if there is a need to dismantle tents before everyone has finished. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Still (probably) one of the best in the UK In full: Love it....every year I love it that's why I keep going back. Organisation gets better and I can only give praise for every aspect of this race. It would be easier for me to pick out the minor gripes as they are few and hopefully something you can improve on...the exit out of the stadium into the park is always at a standstill (as I said a very minor gripe as it takes a few seconds off your time only), some XS tee shirts for women would be superb. Cant think of anything else really as it really is a brilliant race and I will definitely be back yet again next year. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: The inimitable Stockport 10.... In full: Killer hills? Check. Trackside commentary from John Motson soundalike "Tom Potson"? Check. A surreal goody bag? Check. Unbelievably horrible weather? Check.
Why, it must be the Stockport 10!
Still one of the very best organised and best value races there is. Not the kindest course, and the weather was brutal as ever, but the atmosphere is second to none. You will not find a better race for the money. See you all next year. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Lovely local morning out in the sun In full: 1st time in this race. Nice friendly atmosphere and a great route. Only suggestion I'd make would be to go up Bunkers Hill as opposed to Otterspool, just to avoid the traffic and any potential incidents. Great morning and I'll be back next year. Cheers!! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: A special event. In full: Excellent overall. My only regret is that it the chip does not time your start to the finish, but the starting gun to your finish. This wasn't clear to me, and it mattered because I was trying to improve on last year's time, and was separately also aiming to do it within a certain time, with an intention for this to be evidenced in the published results. I lost a minute by not elbowing my way to the front for the starting gun.
If that aspect were widely known, maybe there'd be a punch up to be at the front for the start. Is it such a big technological deal for the chips to time us according to our personal start time, as happens in other races I have been in?
Other than that, I can see myself doing this event every year. Those not used to running hills had better include some commensurate ups and downs in their training though; these can tire unprepared muscles in a way that level distance does not. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: The hills get steeper every year. In full: I have run this race every year for the past few years and I just love it. My only tiny gripe is that there seem to be increasingly fewer old joggers like me in relation to the speedy club runners. It used to be full of Santa hats and elves but not any more. Makes me feel a tiny bit dispirited about my slow speed. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: this is as good as it gets In full: Everything is right about this event but what really makes it stand out is the sheer effort put in by all involved into making it a positive experience for the runners. I'll be back. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Hogs Back Hill - I travel 80 miles to do this race every year! In full: It's one of my favourite races and since I run a March marathon every year in Jerusalem (very hilly) this race signals the beginning of my serious marathon training.
The organisers are excellent and the addition of the course shaped medal this year is a welcome addition. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Well organised, great value! In full: My 2nd 10-mile event and a very enjoyable one, despite the wind and rain (although not as bad as the forecast predicted). Thanet Roadrunners do a great job of organising this event, from registration to the finish line. Nice medal and T-Shirt as you cross the finish line. Not a bad route, following the promenades to Margate. I smashed my PB (novice level) which I was delighted with, even with the grassy uphill finish. I definitely intend to turn out for the 2015 race. One of my favourites so far, akthough I've only run a couple of events! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Not as hilly as expected! In full: Having read reviews and spoken to others who had previously run this, I thought it was going to be really tough but was pleasantly surprised - it's definitely not hilly, just a few undulations - nothing too bad at all! thought the course was pretty dull (roads, pylons, scrubby trees & fields) but seen a lot worse! Great organisation at the start & finish - really well organised! Also loved the speedy results up and the text a few hours later. Great value for money & really well done. I also managed a pb of 1.34 which I wasnt expecting at all, so it's now one of my favourite races ever, haha! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Very tough race not for the faint hearted... In full: I did this once before but in the last few years have just watched my wife race it. For some reason I chose to try it again - I must have forgotten just how hard it is. The route is a beast - at least 7 of the 10 hills are real slogs, with the lesser hills still noticable. Most of the way is off road, on mud, on footpaths, on fields, through woods. One stretch of mud tried very hard to take my shoes off, and I ended up helping a lady who had lost shoes to the mud and had run for a mile in just her socks, as her hands were too cold and muddy to get her laces undone... Did I mention the hills? The course is well laid out, although there are a couple of spots were you need to check for the tape if you are not following someone. As a slow runner I was quite lonely for much of the race as the small field (limited by the parking I guess) means that it gets pretty spread out. The marshalls were great as always and I thank them for staying out in the cold December air to wait for me to slog on by... Nice to get a christmas pudding at the end and the burger van was very welcome! All in all - have a go if you are tough enough, but be warned - it is brutal! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Great course, great medal, both in shape of pig In full: I believe that the reason this race is a slightly weird distance (11.7 km or 7.2 miles) is because it follows the shape of a pig. I didn't realise this until I downloaded my run and looked at the map on Garmin Connect. For those not local, it is called the Hog's Back due to the name of the hill outside Guildford.
The route is hilly but you'll definitely do a negative split as much of the uphill is in the first half and there is a glorious downhill section which goes on for at least a mile so you get your reward for the uphill, it's fantastic.
It was a cold morning and started to rain while I was in the toilet queue (more loos would be good, as ever). I was feeling miserable and was all for going home again! But the rain stopped and once I got going I felt much better. There was a slight delay due to the queue to collect race numbers, maybe people should arrive a little bit earlier. It's a 9am start, there are no closed roads so I wonder if the start could be made a bit later in future years so people can get out of bed at a slightly more civilised time, including the organisers and volunteers.
The only thing I would say is that I felt slightly misled by the "free refreshments at the end" on the website - I thought this meant tea and cake. What it actually meant was water and bananas. I don't like bananas, but I do like cake. Maybe the organisers could consider it for next year.
In the end it was a great race, I would definitely do it again and it's a good step-up from a 10k for newer runners. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: This race has grown! In full: It's 3 or 4 years since I did this one and it's really changed and now has the big race feel. The course had changed somewhat since I last did it - mainly for the better I think. I enjoyed the loop through the park instead of along Turncroft lane, and the tracks through the Goyt valley were a welcome change from the road. Not so keen on the funny little loop round the green at around 2 miles. Great organisation and encouraging marshalls. I thought having names on the number bibs was a great idea, and having a name check on the PA when entering the track was special. The only negative for me was waiting at the start while we had some speeches that I couldn't hear properly whilst getting soaked and frozen in the driving rain and hail when all we wanted to do was get on with the race. Other than that, faultless organisation and I loved the commentary, which you could actually hear going through the Goyt valley about 3 miles from the finish. I wish I'd remembered to bring some money for all the goodies on sale at the end - the food looked great. This race will be a priority for me from now on. Date of review: December 8, 2014