In short: Near perfect inaugural event In full: Fantastic trail race on Watership Down. Grueling first slog up the hill which dominates the race HQ landscape. Heavy traffic for the first mile, but patient runners in the middle of the field. Beautiful vistas and leafy lanes made up for the grueling profile. Smiling marshals and well stocked aid stations, nice bling and smashing beer for all finishers made for a near-perfect inaugural event. Same again for next year please. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Just brilliant In full: Organisation and logistics made easy, route is stunning and challenging, people friend, marshals so encouraging, food stations perfect, goody bag full, and yes beer at the end Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Great Trail Marathon In full: Great race, challenging and hilly which made the beer taste even better! Great goody bag and nice engraved beer glass! Enjoyed the cake at the end too! Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Tough, beautiful, a real challenge for all In full: A great new race on the local scene. Very tough climbs and steep decents but some good other sections to let your legs run freely. Gave you a chance to see the beautiful countryside on your doorstep. Well done and thank you to all at Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC and all of your volunteers too. Put this one in your diary for 2017. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Flat course, great mix of abilities and brilliant support. In full: Currently Hull is undergoing a lot of regeneration which affected how scenic the run was, although the route still afforded some great views across the estuary and throughout the city centre. The organisation was excellent with water stations working brilliantly and a very efficient baggage drop. There were some narrow parts of the route but nothing to cause any concern. Will be looking forward to running again following the City of Culture regeneration. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Superb events - childrens 1 mile, adult 1 mile and 5k and wheelchair event In full: Absolutely brilliant. Fabulous scenery, flat course, all facilities available. Brilliant organisation. Best atmosphere at any event. Seeing the promenade filled with runners was simply beautiful. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Amazing! Great marathon (but tough!) In full: From start to finish, this was a slick, well organised race. A fantastic but challenging route, with amazing views over the Downs. Some real steep hills (up and down) and regular changes of surface, field, trail, tarmack, forest - meant that there was never a dull moment.
Marshals were some of the best I've ever had - encouraging and positive, but on the ball enough to give very clear directions at road crossings and intersections.
Feed stations were also great - well manned, frequent and well stocked.
The goody bag was superb too - an engraved glass and a pint of good beer! Whats not to like?
Word of warning though - the first hill is STEEP! Its all down hill from mile 41 though... Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Would do it again in a heart-beat In full: Superbly well organised, especially for a first event. Splendid location, excellent and challenging course. Superb marshals and plentiful food and drinks on offer. The goody bag was great and the beer in a finishers' glass was the icing on the cake. Excellent all round. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Hop to it In full: Awesome race for a a first time. Great Route - yes hilly but all runnable (except the first one). Well marshalled, roads we cover. Pint at the end - Thanks to organisers awesome effort. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Excellent In full: Excellent, loved it, well organised, friendly, a mix of hard core half marathoners/marathoners and beginners. Everyone made welcome and part of the team. Great support from marshalls along the course and at drink stations. I will defo be back next year and hope to bring along more friends. Thanks so much for a great event. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Amazingly welcoming community event In full: This is a small community running event (~350 people) that seems to be widening its catchment every year. The course itself is tough (undulating does not really do it justice!) and so a PB is a tough ask, and hill training is a must. However, it was everything around the edges that really made this a special race.
The organisation of small races can often be something that lets them down. Not in this case. Registration (both online and on the day) was smooth; I pre-registered for the 10k, but my son joined the 500m dash on the day. Car parking and direction was simple and completely painless (an often overlooked problem!). The start and finish area had a real feel of a race village, with an ice cream van, access to the pavilion for refreshments and great views of the first and last 300m of the races. Marshaling on the course worked really well, with encouragement from every single one. The roads are quiet, but open, in this race, and the marshals seemed to take great care in informing both runners and drivers where to take care. Bottled water was available on the course, with the fair request that the bins provided were used to dispose of (you get 2 chances at this, as it is on the out-and-back section).
The real star of this race is the value for money. I have been at other charity races (including Rotary Club organised events) where the focus appears to be on making money not community awareness and letting people leave with a smile on their face. I felt fully welcomed by New Alresford, and came away with a medal, a technical T-shirt, a refillable water bottle, a banana and about as much watercress as I could ask for - which I got the impression is the real force behind this event.
I came away with aching legs from the challenging country roads, but I would fully recommend this run for anyone looking for a small, friendly event. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Tougher than Clarendon? Maybe, but wonderful scenery and organization win out. In full: My first South Downs Half, but not my last. Heavy rain over the previous week made the ground slippery and I was grateful for my decision to opt for trail shoes. The route is really varied - woodland path, open field, quiet lanes - with some spectacular views. One really tough hill around mile 6 (quicker to walk) was the main challenge, but overall a couple of months of solid off-road hill work paid off. As the announcer pointed out before the start, this was not a PB race, but the reward for all the effort was a fantastic finish, great t-shirt and the most generously-filled goody bag I have received all year. I would put this race up with the Clarendon Way for challenge, perfect organization and warm, friendly atmosphere. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Amazing race In full: What a race! Very well organized. Amazing course, great goody bag and beer. If this race is happening next year and you want to make it successful, just don't change anything. Congratulations for a great event! Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Loved it! In full: A very well organized race from beginning to end. Plenty of loos, music playing, lots of cakes and refreshments, goodie bag and glass and ale at the end. Enjoyed the first mile which was a bit stop/start but helped warm me up for the rest of the run which was varied and scenic. Friendly marshalls, plenty of water stations/nibbles. Really enjoyed the whole event but legs paying for it today. Note to self:- will put in more training for 2017. We will be back to run the Hampshire Hoppit again. Date of review: June 20, 2016
In short: Cannot recommend this race highly enough - brilliant! In full: The scenery and atmosphere of this event made it incredibly special. That started from the Facebook page banter and joining instructions, but went into every aspect of the day. Everyone was SOOO enthusiastic and helpful. The arrival was well-signposted, parking was easy, enough loos, easy baggage drop and great announcements and music. The run itself was a stunning route - really beautiful. I chose trainers for extra support vs trail shoes for grip (even though it has been a wet week) and was pleased with the choice as lots of flinty paths. The run itself was multi-terrain and had lots of hilly sections with a killer hill within the first mile! (That's why the views were so breath-taking!) The organisers and marshals were all so enthusiastic, and the finish was great - local real ale in your finisher's glass, nice medal, great goody bag, home made cakes, burger van, massage tent, ice cream van, music... a really good vibe - if I had not had to rush home I would have hung out for a good few hours more to see all of the marathon finishers come back in. I'll be back, for sure! Date of review: June 19, 2016
In short: Really well organised friendly event In full: Superb event, really well organised and marshaled with the course covering some fantastic British countryside. Beer provided at the finish, spot on! Date of review: June 19, 2016
In short: loved the new route and much better starting at Townley Park In full: my first 10k in 2 years having been treated for prostate cancer. very special comeback in my home town of Burnley :-) Date of review: June 19, 2016