In short: Good easy race but ran out of water In full: A good well marshaled race however no water at the end especially as I wasn't at the back and they knew how many runner had signed up. Poor effort from Southern Water who said they supplied it! Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Beautiful course, fantastically organised. In full: This tops my calendar of races. Such beautiful scenery and lovely rolling hills - the pleasant variety! Every marshal we spoke to at base wished us a good race. Plenty of water stations, 3 miles apart. And of course, the famous hoodie to take home at the end. Thanks again Bedford! :) Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Good race, slightly tricky course In full: Well-organised race with a good start village, decent number of toilets (always vital) and well-organised start with good division of waves, and a reasonable number of pacers.
The course itself is attractive, but often narrow with occasional very narrow areas either on pavements (as roads are not closed) or along the tow-path, which makes up much of the course. This wasn't a major problem for me as I was in the first wave but it may have been tricky for people in more crowded groups.
The course is pretty flat, and reasonably fast although the tow-path is slightly uneven and there were a couple of muddy and slippy areas, so probably not the fastest course in the world.
In my opinion, there weren't quite enough water stations, although I appreciate opinions will vary there. I think there were a total of four, which is not too bad on a half-marathon, but at each station all I got handed was about a third of a cup of water, so by the end was feeling a little under-hydrated. Also no en-route nutrition, but that's fair enough - it's really down to each runner to take the nutrition they need/want/like.
Finish area was good with reasonable goodies: the goody bag itself was mostly leaflets, plus a couple of random free samples. TBH all I want at the end of a race is a nice medal, a technical t-shirt and some food/drink to recover. I got that, so I was perfectly happy.
Surprisingly not a huge amount of support despite going through busy Richmond - I guess that may be down to the fact that most of the route was along tow-paths. Not really a big deal though.
Good race, and one I would do again as it's so easy for me to get to. Probably not one I'd travel miles for though. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: A low key, scenic and mostly flat race In full: I enjoyed this race a great deal. It is around Rother Valley (which is flat) and then away from the lakes for a couple of miles. There is a hill at the 6 and 11 mile marker that takes effort, but other than that it really is flat.
Organisation was fine and the marshalls were great. The field was around 100 runners, and it felt very friendly.
The mile markers were mostly absent ... but most have a Garmin these days.
Smashing race, and I would certainly enter it again. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Great scenecry, well organised in the main and relatively challenging course. In full: A good course, on good roads through beautiful countryside in my home area. Well organised overall with some small improvements needed to make it spot-on. At the start the increased number of runners now means that a wave start would help to keep things less busy and so time markers (as advertised, too. On the course, km markers are a must. Organisation at the water station could be improved. Stewards good and engaged and did a great job. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: pb is possible In full: this race is made for speed,i had no issues with the organization and marshalls were very supportive.with nearly 3000 runners expect it to be busy but a good race for those moving up from say a parkrun or race for life Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Great atmosphere, great run In full: Serious PB potential here, wiped 2:40 off my previous best. Steep but very short hill near the start, then a long but shallow incline until about 5 miles. Then pretty much flat and downhill. Great support all the way round, some sections reminded me of Tour de France with the crowd on the road! Nice horse brass medal, something different. Well organised. A few people have reported results issues. Welcome cup of tea at the finish. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Interesting and great venue In full: I liked the venue and the road route. Was mostly flat with the exception of 1 hill which was undulating but can see it would break some runners towards the end. I PB'ed in this race which I was happy with but and I enjoyed it but the lack of marshals on some of the junctions can be a bit discerning. Feel sorry for the slower runners if with all the car trying to leave the parking areas. Venue was good and a bit of a toilet queue for some. Can do with some time pens as it was free for all.
Overall, see you next year! Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Great race. In full: That wind killed me at the end! PB blown away. But a great day though as always from BTR. Fantastic route, well organized, good atmosphere. Just wish had x small t-shirts! Thanks to all involved. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Great pre marathon warm up In full: Good race! Good detailed instructions before the race, big bagged store, enough loos and chip timing all good. Nice hoodie at the end too! Course is one 12 mile lap and one 8, no flat bits, either gentle ups or downs, but nothing too bad. Nice enough scenery & great marshals! Great finish on the field with a nice big clock! Shame you only got chopped up banana at the end - a whole one would have been nice - but other than that it was great! Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Amazing training run - well marshalled and organised - for £5!!! In full: This was amazing - it had everything a race has except the chip timing (or any kind of timing). It's very well organised - staggered starts mean there is no hold up on the canal tow path stretch. Water stations every 4 miles and jelly babies handed out at mile 17. Tea, sports drinks and cakes at the end. An absolute steal at £5 - well done Gade Valley Runners, and thank you for a lovely day. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Excellent. How it should be done In full: I signed up to this race as it's local to me and it got a good score in the awards last year. Lived up to all expectations. Organisation was slick. Parking was easily accessible and ample. The run route was pretty and flat. And the medal and goody bag great. The most impressive thing was the communication. There was a delay, totally out of the clubs hands, with the delivery if the race numbers. But the club made sure everyone was kept informed. Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Well organised, highly recommended In full: Would definitely recommend this race- was a little frightened as seemed to be a LOT of very serious club runners and the booklet was advising a 2.30 hour cut off time and no earphones etc...but was actually very friendly, seemed to be a real mix of runners taking part- including lots with earphones, so don't let that put you off- roads were closed, so no real safety concerns. organisation was excellent, the booklet was very informative, plenty of parking at the start (we parked at the pub for £5 and then got that money off food/drinks after the race). there were markers for people to choose where to start depending on finishing time- as usual lots of people who paid no heed to this so the first mile was a bit bottle necked for me, a little difficult to get going (i was in the 1.50 zone)...but after that the crowds thinned out a lot. course was very picturesque, lots of vocal support in the villages that the rave went through- some lovely people handing out jelly babies and really cheering people on, which was nice. marshals all very encouraging and friendly, and water stations well manned and in frequent places on the course. only real criticism here is that the middle two stations had cups instead of bottles- so i ended up wearing my water rather than drinking it! course was mildly undulating, but nothing to be scared of- and plenty of downhill/long flat sections to really attack. goody bag had a really top quality medal and really nice tech tee and a mars bar which went down a treat. there were also people handing out water, powerade and space blankets which was appreciated. All in all, really enjoyed the day, will be back in the future no doubt. many thanks to organisers and volunteers :) Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Scenic, quick and well supported race In full: Positives: enthusiastic marshals & supporters, good t-shirt, fairly flat and fast course with great scenery all the way around Negatives: cups at a couple of water station and ran out of small t-shirts Date of review: March 23, 2014