In short: Bad organisation, poorly run, expensive - but the wind wasn't their fault! In full: I signed up to do this race as I wanted to nail my London good for age, and I knew it was quite flat. It is indeed fairly flat - but this year the headwind over the final 7 miles was criminal. That wasn't their fault. The rest of it was.
1. the shuttle buses. Firstly, it isn't the runners fault that the race finishes no where near Edinburgh. We didn't chose this. So, whey the charge £5 on top of an already inflated entry fee for a bus back to where you started, and that bus turns out to be a 2 mile walk up a hill, I'm not very happy. Especially when there were other buses charging £1 lurking just outside the finish area. Not impressed.
2. T-shirts, goody bags etc. The shirts were awful. Despite the already mentioned high entry price, they couldn't be bothered to buy specific shirts that differentiated between Half marathon, marathon and 10k. So we all got the same. They also didn't bother with women's sizes. So they didn't fit. The goody bag contained nothing of use for recovering from a marathon. Considering we finished in the middle of no where with a long trek back into town, something would have been welcome.
3. water/aid stations. Little water bottles with the lids taken off, handed out by kids. Ok, but I had three poured over me and managed maybe four gulps in all. Too cheap for sports caps? They were handing out gels at two places and apparently two days after the race the gel wrappers had not yet been cleaned up. Not acceptable.
4. the course. Yes, it is flat (ish). But it is a gruelling out and back along the coast, with not much support, and a great risk of encountering a headwind (as we did) as there is no cover at all. It is tougher than it seems, with not a lot to look at, and sparse support for many miles. I didn't mind the start (I was in the London road start which seemed to work ok, the Regent road start was apparently quite chaotic). The finish was fine if not very inspiring.
Oh, and it took them well over a week to process the results, with many club details still missing. Not good enough. Date of review: June 12, 2015
In short: flat and fast In full: They needed an extra marshal for the little "out and back" turn as some runners missed it on the first lap.a great race if your looking for a PB. I smashed mine. Date of review: June 12, 2015
In short: hard graft In full: The tea towel was an interesting race memento. I was a little disappointed that they ran out of curry. Malvern Joggers are always a friendly bunch.I would recommend this race to others. It might be tough, but the scenery is something special. Date of review: June 12, 2015
In short: Undulating, Stunning and Challenging In full: This is a real challenge- a tough cross country with some stunning scenery. Plenty of support along the way and very friendly marshals. You'll only manage a PB if this is your first half marathon ;-) Highly recommended- will return next year without a hangover Date of review: June 11, 2015
In short: Flat, fast and fun - my new favourite 10k In full: First year of the Run Bedford 10k and only stumbled across it last minute. Was blown away by the course. Starts on the scenic Embankment on the river and is a very fast, flat course over one loop and a lovely even faster last couple of kilometres through the tree-lined avenues. Loads of space as roads were either closed or half closed. The only issue was there could have been a few more registration desks as it took a while to pick up the number - but I'm sure this will be sorted next year. Well done Galeforce Events - my new favourite 10k and will be back next year! Date of review: June 11, 2015
In short: A mid week treat In full: Very low priced race considering there was curry at the end. A challenge for grip on some of the hills but superb fast downhill sections. A bit of everything on this one. The tea towel has to rank as the oddest thing I've ever had at the end of a race. Great marshalls. Some wonderful views. Date of review: June 11, 2015
In short: Mixed rout, enjoyable scenery. In full: held every other year, this is a pleaseant10k run. Starts / finishes in the village of Henham and takes in a variety off isles, woods and farmland In the surrounding area. Plenty of water stations And Marshals although the later could do with a being s bit more lively. Long climb hill over fields between 5-6k. wish I had clocked the length as it seemed to go on a long while! If you are a youngster (even as young as 8) entering you can do the10k or there's a 3k loop that is run whilst the 10k occurs. BBQ and a few other bits post run go on so you can ahng around and soak up the atmosphere post run too. Date of review: June 10, 2015
In short: Beautiful countryside, and a challenging but satisfying race In full: Great race and I will definitely be back next year. I had no idea the Chilterns are so beautiful. And no idea that I was going to come across a huge hill (Ivinghoe Beacon) at about 7 miles :-) This was *not* a PB race but fantastically friendly, enjoyable and picturesque. The varied terrain made it even more interesting. Great friendly marshals and good organisation all round Date of review: June 10, 2015
In short: Badly Organised In full: Not what I expected...
Cracking location for a race although little attention to detail from organisers - not sure where the £16 entry fee was spent.
Main issues: Race advertises UKA Affiliation but does not have it. Name on trophy spelt incorrectly "PLTSFORD"! Although available there was no-one handing out water at the finish line, it was on the path in large bottles you had to pour yourself - never had this before at even the smallest of races.
..And still awaiting results to be published 3 days after the race.
In short: My first trail half, hard work but very rewarding! In full: Having completed a few road-based half marathons I thought that I'd take the plunge and give a trail a go, and I'm delighted with the results!
The route is very varied, going through forests, over hills, through fields and along paths, a real pleasure to follow. To say that the course was challenging in many places would be an underestimate. There are a number of very long, steep climbs, but at the top of most of them you are rewarded by some magnificent vistas, with Ivinghoe Beacon being a genuine highlight. I must make special mention of the 120+ stairs climb at around mile 10, which gave a sense of satisfaction!
As well as the hills' contribution, this is not going to be fast race since there are a number of gates and even one stile to navigate (the latter causing a traffic jam/break early on). Having said this most people were along for the atmosphere rather than to get a PB, so there wasn't any impatience on show.
All the marshals were really welcoming and cheerful and it was a pleasure to have them around.
There weren't too many water stations, just about enough. Onsite registration worked fine. Nice warm-up session at the start plus ample parking at the start was a bonus. Personal welcome at the finish from the lady with the megaphone was sweet. No medal this year but a technical t-shirt, albeit with a slightly unimaginative design.
Since the initial path was quite narrow everyone was forced to run at the same pace, some perhaps in the future they can split the start into more waves.
After having taken the dip into trail runs, I'll definitely be back again next year and will be looking for some more trails too, but I doubt that many can match the stunning scenery on this route! Well done and many thanks to the organisers!!! Date of review: June 10, 2015
In short: A great motivating race, extremely well organised by a great club In full: As this was my first race, found everyone involved so encouraging and helpful. It was extremley well organised with great marshals cheering you along. A very picturesque run with varied terrain. Well done to a great race club full of character. Date of review: June 9, 2015