In short: A fine race and tougher than you expect In full: Town centre start, good race HQ with room to change and fast baggage stow, plenty of public loos in town.
The course is undulating including several km along stony and grassy tracks so not one for a pb but interesting and varied. It's also long by a couple of hundred metres, I reckon, from several outings here (I know Garmins should be viewed with caution but this route is consistently 6.3 miles or longer). Not going to deduct points for that, but just saying.
You get your bling at the end from the mayor in his chain of office, this is the only race I've seen that happen!
Thankyou to Newbury AC for quickly sorting out a glitch with my race entry - a sign of good organisers.
All in all, a great race. Date of review: May 29, 2016
In short: Friendly race on very quiet roads - scenic views. In full: Good facilities, using school sports hall facilities, so no queues for the loos. Undulating course, quite testing on the stamina. Views around the route are stunning (or at least they were when I drove round the course earlier in the day - during the race the clouds came down). Date of review: May 28, 2016
In short: Excellent evening from the race to the pub after In full: Interesting switchback course and lovely friendly atmosphere. Surprisingly fast at the front. I ignored the advice about leaving my new shoes at home. They took quite a lot of cleaning after one or two missteps in a bog or two. Thanks to the pub for hosting the after party, for the bacon rolls and for the quiz. Date of review: May 27, 2016
In short: Good course and well organised In full: As a first time event this was well organised and marshalls were good. Course is a single lap on scenic & quiet country roads with no serious hills. Hope it continues as would defnintely do again. Date of review: May 27, 2016
In short: Poor organisation 45 minute start delay in the heat didn't help anyone In full: So, after running the very hilly Jerusalem marathon in March, My friend and I thought we'd keep our eye in with the 'flat' hackney half.
Let's look at the pro's Superbly supported: lots of locals with hoses and sweets and cheering. Throughout the race there were people cheering all day. Very good. Lots of water stations and energy drinks. Never had a chance of dehydration, even in the heat (except of the start, we'll look at that later) Good post run photos and even your finish is recorded on film, nice touch. Route is wide and clear all the time, with portals and st johns ambulance stations.
Cons The start was delayed by at least 45 minutes. I saw no reason for this and we, who were at the back were left in what was becoming one of the hottest days of the year with no information or help whatsoever. Very bad, in my opinion. Towards the end, as we're doing the last mile, some 'elf and safety' numpty tells us to stop running and walk the rest in. That is NOT what you tell runners as they are nearing the end of the race, this really angered me and the fact that the organisers started advising everyone to walk not run is just the nanny state gone mad. They said that the problem was people collapsing through heat exhaustion, however, this was due to people running too fast for the heat and not because you can't run in the heat. PLUS, if we'd started on time, we wouldn't have been finishing past mid-day!
There were lot's of positives, yet I can't get past the fact that the organisers put everyone in peril with their delays at the start. I heard someone say it was because the celebrity starting the race was delayed in traffic!!!
I think there's other challenges to take on, they've lost me for next year. Date of review: May 27, 2016
In short: Very friendly off road race In full: This is a nice distance for an evening event: 5km is perhaps a little too short and 10km too much, so five miles (8km) is just about right. The course winds around Ashstead Common and is a mix of paths and grass tracks. It was quite "chunky" on the muddier patches but as someone with notoriously sprain-able ankles I can say that it keeps you focussed on where you're putting your feet. Don't wear your shiny new straight-out-of-the-box trainers! A big thank you to the lovely marshals and organisers for a very well run event. I'll definitely be back next year! Date of review: May 26, 2016
In short: ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DARLING! In full: Positively glorious scenery with excellent marked course, super friendly marshals and an excellent reception by The Woodman Pub! Thoroughly enjoyable event. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes off road and greenery! Date of review: May 26, 2016
In short: Hills mud and cider. WSR nail it yet again In full: Another classic from White Star Running. A great course. Well marked. Well stocked regular checkpoints. The usual WSR sense of humour about the whole thing. Great atmosphere on the campsite. The 'wall of mud' at approx mile 32 was something else. But we don't do these runs for an easy ride! Can't wait till the next one. Well done Andy and Co. Date of review: May 26, 2016
In short: Great local race In full: Thanks to RTL, organisers, marshals and all the supporters for a FAB race. A challenging course through Ashtead Common with many short climbs and rough / slippery underfoot. A really testing and enjoyable race – Thank you Date of review: May 26, 2016
In short: No regard for runner safety In full: Lots of negative comments have already been written about this event, which I am in general agreement with but my main issues relate to 3 fundamental safety issues which could all so easily be resolved. Firstly - runners really need to start this race in waves. It narrows almost immediately and yes, it's annoying that you have to stop and wait to cross narrow paths but from a safely persepective there isn't really anywhere to go when people are trying to get past you for much of the first 7k or so. There's a lot of pushing and shoving and it felt to me like you couldn't stop and walk for a while in the early parts as you would have been trampled over. This is advertised as suitable for walkers with a generous 3hr 30 minute cut off time. I hope no one tried to walk the whole way on Sunday. Secondly - hardly any marshals at all. If you had been in need of a marshal especially in the first half of the race, you would have been severely out of luck Given the terrain and volume of people and lack of space, it's amazing to me that I didn't see more people in trouble. Thirdly - WATER!!!! Unbelieveable that there was no water at the 19k mark when I got there after about 2 hrs 15 mins of running. I just cannot understand how that can happen. I spent most of Sunday and Monday recovering from the effects of the dehydration. These problems seem to recur year after year with no improvement. Such a shame as the course is beautiful. Date of review: May 25, 2016
In short: I didn't know hills could be so close In full: Despite the wheels coming off I think I loved it. There are 4 genuine hills but aid stations at the top of 3 helps. Route easy to follow. Friendly atmosphere from volunteers and fellow runners. Food and drink at the end and great bling and t-shirt. Will need to do more hills in prep. Must do Date of review: May 25, 2016
In short: Fantastic event. Love White Star Running! In full: As a huge fan of WSR I also feel the need to challenge the bad review left a few days ago. The organisation is brilliant, all bases are covered. Prior to the event there were regular updates on the Facebook page and useful bits of info posted. There were 3 drinks stations (with food!) which is perfectly normal for a Half...every 3 miles. The signs were clear (and funny!) and in between signs there was tape hanging from branches to mark the route. WSR really pull out all the stops and I love their races. The atmosphere is great and everyone is so friendly and chatty. Andy and Kevin, who are in charge (!), are always around, approachable and up for a laugh. The medals, tshirts, buffs etc are fantastic and well worth collecting, along with the mugs and the cider! These races are set in stunning countryside and although very challenging, really are a treat to take part in. Keep up the good work WSR, we love you ! :-) ps Have already entered another WSR event in June... Date of review: May 25, 2016
In short: Brilliant, well organised, marshaled, lovely scenery In full: Yet another excellent race. Mud, hills, narrow paths, beautiful scenery, super marshals and organisation, well-stocked aid stations. What more could you ask for in a multi-terrain marathon. Date of review: May 25, 2016
In short: Bring on next year, Why do we have to wait so LONG! In full: This was my first White Star Running Events 3 years ago, and I was hooked on that first event that I go back to every one of their events they are SO welcoming and friendly, brilliantly managed and expertly organised trail runs. Date of review: May 25, 2016