In short: A brilliantly organised, beautiful, hard race In full: This was a race that had everything: beautiful scenery, wonderful trails, mud hills, long grass and stiles. It was a fantastically interesting and challenging race that required training. And it was worth it! The organisation was brilliant, the marshalls were fantastic and we got not only water stations, but energy drinks, jelly babies and oranges en route too. At the end we had cake provided by yet more wonderful volunteers. Wadhurst Runners, thank you for a fantastic day out. I will certainly do this run again. Date of review: July 5, 2016
In short: Tough as nails, a brilliant race! In full: I took part in the 2016 Potteries Marathon race. This race starts and finishes at the Britannia stadium, meandering around the various towns of Stoke. Make no mistake this is a real tough one, the hills were relentless and brutal but it made for a very enjoyable run. I'm not sure I would recommend this for a beginner though, unless you are used to hills it would be easy to hit the wall very early.
Parking was free (in the stadium) and right next to the start line, which made it handy for popping back to leave jumpers, keys etc. And also a nice short walk back to the car after the race had finished - thank you. There was lots of support on the course, the people of Stoke-on-Trent did us runners proud. Endless people shouting encouragement, handing out sweets and even unofficial water stops. The run up to the finish line (yes, up a hill) was lovely and lots of support. Nice medal and a reasonable t-shirt. For the entry price, I thought it was exception value. I liked very much that the race was low-key and non-commercial, it didn't feel busy and had a lovely atmosphere. I even saw people entering on the day, I'm suprised it's not more popular to be honest. A big bonus was the free digital race photographs - how awesome is that - organisations like marathonfoto charge a bloody fortune, so that was a lovely touch. Extremely well organised, thanks guys. I'd like to do it again, although it's well out of my area (Hampshire).
Ideas for improvement?
Although the main road crossing were well marshalled, there were plenty that weren't. I nearly got wiped out by an enthusiastic bus driver who didn't want to let me finish crossing the road safely. You need to keep your wits about you.
Perhaps the route could include some of the many beautiful parks in Stoke or surrounding countryside?
Finishing up a hill is a bit cruel, I wonder if the finish could be tweaked a bit so you can get a good run up to the line?
In short: First Time of Doing This One and I Would Do it Again In full: Great run with only one major hill. There are a few other hills but they're not bad. Excellent organisation and great marshals. Decent goodie bag and plenty of water on the course and at the end. Even a shot of Jack Daniels for finishers! Lovely medal too. Only slight drawback is the roads aren't closed but most of it is on very quiet country roads and on the slightly busier roads where you need to cross over, there are marshals to help.
On the whole, a great run that I would highly recommend. Date of review: July 5, 2016
In short: Good race! In full: This is a well-organised and enjoyable race, on a fairly flat course in the beautiful English countryside.
Organisation was good and the marshalling was enthusiastic and plentiful. I particularly liked the addition of a marshal on a bicycle who rode alongside when I was around 8 miles, checking everyone was getting on ok. (It was a hot day and some people were flagging around this point). The whole event felt very personal and friendly.
Only two bugbears - 1) the mile markers were slightly out around the middle of the course, and 2) the final mile was a bit of a dissatisfying wiggle around Bassingbourn, in order to make up the distance.
I was pacing someone through his first half marathon and so I was running at a comfortable pace - though I would definitely return and run at speed, as this is a good half marathon. Date of review: July 5, 2016
In short: Outstanding race - brilliantly organised In full: This is just a great race on so many levels. The organisation is outstanding and the special touches (beer, cakes and brass band at the finish; the piper at the start and various points on the course) are really appreciated. The marshalling and fuel/water/sponge stations are also excellent - so many across the whole route.
For someone like me who rarely goes beyond 10 mile races these days, it is really tough (especially this year with all the mud) but it is an outstanding, challenging course that hugely rewards proper preparation.
Great goody-bag etc and overall, the race delivers fantastic value for money. Date of review: July 5, 2016
In short: It's wonderful. Hard but uplifting. In full: The organisers have gone to every trouble possible. Great course. Great atmosphere. Perfect marshalling. Nad for those still able you can drink beer, eat cake and listen to the band. Or, like me, simply lie in a feel until the pain eases. Perfect. Date of review: July 5, 2016
In short: A gem of a race! In full: A lovely varied route around the fields and woodland south of Andover. Well organised and marshalled, with a very friendly atmosphere. Youngsters are positively encouraged to run. Home-made cakes after the race to refuel, and we even got a medal! We race regularly, and love these low-key local events much better than highly organised mega-races. Well done Muddy Runners! Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: Excellant race in beautiful scenery In full: My 4th race and probably my hardest. Wonderful people and scenery. Slight mis-organisation on th hill as noted by others. Lots of rain prior made the chalky paths pretty challenging which did leave me less confident of both the downhill and uphill - which is a lot of things race! I love it though - and a must do in my year Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: The new 5 mile distance is great. Lovely scenic course. In full: Great new course in Hatfield Forest. This is a very well run event with friendly and encouraging marshals. Would recommend this event, whatever your standard of running. Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: Congratulations to the race organisers who had thought of everything In full: Whilst it's not easy by any means, the Bewl 15 is a great race, with fantastic scenery, a lovely medal and T-shirt and really supportive encouraging marshals, will be back next year. Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: A Good Race In full: The parking and collection of numbers was well organised. A good country route; not traffic-free, but the marshals did a good job of keeping cars away from runners. Good crowd support. Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: god that tunnels dark In full: This is a wonderful unique race that starts by going through a door! What follows is a nice mainly flat run along the canal from Wolverhampton with a few crossovers along the way. Really well organised and addictive as it was my sixth outing. The weather was kind which was great for the run but lousy for the post run beer . Will be back next year Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: Mud, Hills but great race! In full: Hardest thing I have done to date. Was a bit congested at the start so was straight away aware I wouldn't be able to get the time I wanted so just decided to enjoy myself and get thru it safely! Lots of mud, horrid hills (especially at the end) but lovely scenery to keep u occupied!!! Managed to chat to a few other runners on the way round too. Can't believe the amount of water stations, sponge stations, jelly baby opportunities....it was amazing!!!! Lots of friendly and cheering marshals including children which was nice and made it a family event! The end was hard going but was helped to the finish by other runners and achieved a surprisingly good time!!! Lovely medal, great goody bag and lovely free cake. There was also bananas and beer but I didn't partake in these!!! Great email communication from the organisers the day before meant we were well prepared and although all 3 of my party wore normal road shoes (not trail shoes as recommended) we all managed to stay upright (although a few people slipped in the mud but hopefully no lasting injuries sustained). We stayed a few miles away the night before so didn't have the worry of getting to the event on the morning but it was a late start (10:30) so wasn't a necessity. Overall a good challenging race. Well organised and although I wouldn't say I'd rush back next year it's certainly one to consider!!!!
In short: A fantastic event with great organisation and wonderful attention to detail In full: This really was a great event. The organisation was great and the email updates on the weather and course conditions in the final few days really helped us runners turn up in the right kit and with the right expectations. The marshalling was really good and some great touches enroute like wet sponges, jelly babies & oranges. The effort which went into the finish was impressive with a huge table of homemade free cakes, free beer and one of the best goody bags I've seen. The course itself was tough but very rewarding. Over all a prefectly organised and executed event. Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: Why have I not run this race before?? In full: I'd heard so many good things about the Bewl 15 but had never actually got round to running it. I have been missing out! From the gorgeous course around the reservoir, the friendly and helpful marshals, the lovely medal, well stuffed goodie bag and cake and even a brass band welcoming you across the finish line, this is one of the best races I have taken part in. With an entry fee of just £25, this race puts other, bigger events to shame with its value for money. A huge thank you to the Wadhurst Runners and all the volunteers for putting on such a great race. I will most definitely be back again next year! Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: Fantastic race! In full: Muddy and slippery in places this year. I always get cramp on this race, usually in the calfs at the stile around mile 9. This time it was a hamstring on the very steep downhill section around mile 13, but the dozen or so runners who passed me were all very sympathetic. Date of review: July 4, 2016
In short: WOW! In full: Plenty of water stations. Locals offering support, jelly babies and oranges. Gently undulating. A few more toilets wouldn't go amiss but otherwise one of the best races I've ever done. Can't recommend it highly enough. Date of review: July 4, 2016