In short: Would have been very quick without the wind In full: Fast, flat course but the weather was challenging this year. Fancy trying it again in more benign conditions. Great marshalling. Very friendly. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Great Local Event In full: Fantastic organisers and brilliant marshals. Nice medal. Low key cross country event with mud, nice scenery and a friendly atmosphere. Really recommend this race. Have done the five and ten miles versions and both great. The ten mile is more competitive. The five, a great first cross country race. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Pleasant local race with interesting features. In full: Handing over and collecting your bag took a bit long, but no major problems. Maybe too many runners? The paths were rather congested. Enough water for me, but I would have preferred the option of cups. A bottle is too big for me. I'm glad the weather was not very wet as forecast! Pleasant to run in the gardens. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Wonderful bunch of marshals and organisers! In full: What a windy (and at times, wet) day! The marshals remained cheerful and they were very good at keeping the runners informed and under control (keeping left, especially round blind corners). The race was as good as I remembered it was last time I'd run it in 2005! Hope it's not another 10 years til I do this one again. PB potential is hampered slightly by the wind, even when it's not as windy as it was today. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Already entered next year's In full: this Race is part of a charming, low key beautifully organised weekend of running in the New Forest. something for everyone but plumped for the ladies only half as it fitted best with weekend plans. course was challenging but plenty of flat bits to make up for the bumps. stunning scenery, ponies donkeys and cattle outnumbered humans on the course! small select group of 26 girlies for this one but other races had larger fields. Timing spot on, free photos, great goodie bags and lovely family feel. Goodies were plentiful and some of the best banana cake ever, thanks Nikki's Mum!! Am never likely to get a 4th overall or first old lady place again- loved every minute of it. entries open for next year, highly recommended. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Brilliant marshals In full: Wet, windy, hilly, but so well organised with fabulous marshals cheering everyone on, I very much enjoyed my first Croydon Half and aim to come back next year to improve on my time. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Not one that I would do again - if you do, carry your own water & nutrition, and leave early to get parking In full: Whilst the start was in the iconic entrance area of Hampton Court Palace and the medal of Henry VIII doing a Mobot was fun, this was not a race that I would do again. Although the 2 laps are mainly in the Palace grounds, there are very few views of the Palace. And the terrain includes a mile of running on slippery gravel, and a lot of off-road paths with only a few stretches on an even surface. Also it is narrow for most of the course, especially the beginning - so you need to start in the right place for your time and not be shy about getting ahead of the many charity runners if needed. The course is also very exposed, so the windy and rainy weather made a number of sections very hard work. It was windy enough to lose hats and at times to be blown off course.
This was the first running of this event - and they need to: 1) add an extra water station (the gap between 4.5 miles and 10.5 miles is too long and would be dangerous on a hot day - people were already begging passers-by for water on this cold & windy day) 2) get more marshals at the water stations (we had to unpack our own water bottles as they were over-run) 3) have a more systematic approach (they gave up on finding our labelled kitbags at the end and let 10 people in at a time to search for their kit because it had not been placed in order) 4) manage the numbers and logistics (eg they ran out of water at the finish at a couple of points and the flapjacks etc ran out completely half way through the field) 5) get the start signage and announcements clear - there were spectators with umbrellas mixed with runners at the start and the announcements could not be heard at all beyond the first few rows of people. There need to be signs of where the start is, and the approximate run times that people are aiming for 6) more marshals around the course - they were really only at the major turns and this meant that there were long sections with no-one: an issue in the case of an emergency 7) a changing tent/area would really help (especially when people were completely soaked through and had long walks back to their cars, as parking was difficult).
For me the lack of water was a real issue, and I have to say that just a normal T-shirt, a medal, a banana flapjack and water for a £31 entry fee feels steep, especially when you also need to pay £5 for parking since there are no trains early enough to come via public transport. That said, there were loads of charity runners and I hope that they raised a lot of money for good causes. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Fantastic! In full: Organisation was brilliant. Other organisers please take note of the timing chip on shoelaces thing (these chaps gave us the plastic coated twist ties to attach them, then had 4 people with wire cutters cutting them off at the end, much much easier than tying them to shoelaces and having to persuade tired fingers to get them off again). Plenty of emails with info, plenty of signs to get us there, plenty of marshals telling us where to park/toilets/start etc, route well signed and marshaled, jelly babies in abundance. And the bling!!!
The only niggle (and I'm showing how 'spoilt' I am here) was the promised chocolate bar at the end. I was envisaging a commemorative choccy bar (you can get them with custom printed labels these days) but it was just a normal one (which I'll need to keep away from the kids). Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: As good as ever - highly recommended In full: I just got home from running the Oakley 20 and it says it all that I feel more inclined to express my appreciation to Ivanhoe Runners for their fantastic, superbly organised event, the Ashby 20, than to rate Bedford Harriers' once again, woefully chaotic equivalent - although I will because they really need to act on the negative feedback. Ivanhoe Runners, you rock. The Ashby 20 is perfect. Give Bedford Harriers a masterclass in how it's done :) Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Stonking race as always! In full: Have done the 10 twice and the 20 twice - no mara this year so time for another tempest 10. Weather bleak with wind rain and grey skies but nothing could dampen the spirits of the excellent turnout and brilliant as always marshals. Love the airplane medal, thanks guys for yet another successful ETL event. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Stunning scenery. hills, mud, hills and hills In full: Beautiful hilly and muddy run through Epping Forest. Fantastic views to the City from the high points if you had the energy to look. Very friendly marshals and field of runners - especially near the back where I was. Great run, really recommend but be prepared as in toughness I would say it's the equivalent of a 20mile road race! Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: An enjoyable race, despite the weather! In full: Even the dreadful weather failed to put a dampener on this fun race. The course was undulating country lanes (not closed to traffic), and the scenery would have been spectacular but for the torrential rain! A fairly small field made it a bit lonely at times, but the marshalls were supportive as well as the few spectators who braved the elements. T-shirt was ok (not tech) & no goody bag/medal/chip timing etc, but that's reflected in the low entry price. Organisation was good, although the walk to the start line in the sideways rain wasn't much fun. Overall, an enjoyable race with a good friendly mix of competitors, and just enough hills to make it a challenge. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: A superb Ultra In full: My first ultra and a great introduction to the distance. Pretty much flat (My GPS has it as 406m ascent)well organised and mostly scenic run along the Rochdale Canal from Ancoats, Manchester to Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. Great atmosphere, well stocked feed stations (3) and good medal, T-shirt and post run meal. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Good 10k in some diificult weather In full: This is my kind of race, not too fussy but well run and a good quick course. It's well marshalled and the sort of local race which makes you feel proud of the running community. You can rock up, knock out a race and then get away quite quickly afterwards, just perfect for a dismal Sunday morning like this one was. Well done to everyone involved. Date of review: March 29, 2015
In short: Views to die for... In full: And some hills that make it distinct possibility..! No it's a lovely race run by a great group in a special place . Sea, trails , cliffs and all that the island has to offer. Stay a few days ! Get in quick as they keep the field to a manageable number. Date of review: March 29, 2015