In short: Challenging training run; let down by poor organisation In full: No directions to the start. Long wait for the loos. Clubhouse too small for ~1000 starters in the cold. Lovely route Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: A tough off road challenge for longer distance runners In full: 21 miles around Cannock Chase following a sawdust trail. There are usually only around 150 brave souls so the gaps do open up. After a bumpy and hilly first 800 metres it all seems pretty easy for the next few miles along flat well made tracks. It gradually gets more off road until you hit the dreaded 'switchbacks' at around halfway (short steep muddy climbs followed by perilous descents). Most runners are reduced to walking. The surface gets easier after this, but the damage has been done. A final sting in the tail is another climb in the last mile. Not for beginners, but great fun if you are up for a challenge. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Well organised, challenging, scenic and good value In full: Really an echo of what has already been written, but was a beautiful sunny day and the wind managed to behave itself for most of the time. The Marshalling was excellent – plentiful, cheerful and supportive. The facilities at the sports club were good and not over burdened. I hadn’t done the Thanet 20 before, and so wasn’t familiar with the Cabbage field course people fondly re-call. Only ran through the one cabbage field, and found the course to be scenic and interesting enough to keep my mind off my aching legs! You did share the boardwalk with the public, but it was plenty wide enough – and it was a nice day after all. You got a bottle of water, medal, mars bar, and random silver effect plate at the end. All for a tenner! For me, it makes it one of the better races I’ve done, and race directors for other similar smaller field races could learn lessons from the way this was run. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Well organised race which I would recommend to anybody, elite or beginner. In full: Definitely pb material course providing that it isn't windy as it is quite flat countryside directly around the aerodrome. Pleasant countryside, good even surface to run on, I loved the music, Queen and Chariots of Fire to name a couple. Easy to park, plenty of loo's, the race was conducted with professionalism. I am not a beginner but I saw some beginners being cheered on by the Race Organiser. Chip start and finish is always a plus for me. Great medal and goody bag. Lots of peeps are saying it is flat as a pancake, well I thought it wasn't as there were some long slopes/drags which were run into the wind, but definitely no hills. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Good warm up for a spring marathon and well organised In full: Chip timing this year which I thought would be good although couldnt see any magnetic mats at the start - only at the finish. If that was the case then surely it almost negates the point in having chip timing in the first place?? Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Great race in a wonderful location; well organised and friendly In full: This was a great race and in a wonderful location. The marshalls were plentiful and full of encouragement. The medal was first rate... one for the mantelpiece, not for the drawer. Just a shame that I, and a running friend, made the effort to return to support the prizegiving (as I believe more should do!)at just before the advertised time of 11.30, and it had already occurred some time before! However, this is a minor gripe about a wonderful race. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: I'll be back In full: What a fabulous race - just like a cut down Beachy Head Marathon. Great organisation, welcoming officials and a full English breakfast to finish. Walkers welcomed too. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: hard work but great scenery and fantastic organisation In full: One of the best organised races I ever done. Fantastic. Very hard but hugely enjoyable. Thank you Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Loved it - fab views and challenging In full: Good preparation for London in a few weeks. It was fab to run along the Kent coastline in the sunshine despite the odd spot of wind on the exposed bits! Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Nice sunny day, good organisation and a PB as well! Brilliant In full: A bit windy but still a nice race through pancake flat fenland. Small and friendly and a good race. Thanks to the marshalls as always Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: A less than impressive start, in a narrow side street but aside from this by local standards a reasonably if not totally flat course with good scenery on the return back along the Tarka trail. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Scenery fantastic, organisation and facilities outstanding In full: Icy conditions made this and 'interesting' event, paricularly on the downhill. Quite tough in places, I had to walk a bit near the top of the hill. The bits across the low fields are draining due to the boggyness.
Worth doing just for the views. Very friendly and encouraging runners, marshalls and supporters made this a really special event. I will be back next year. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Very well organised. The marshalls were excellent, the scenery great, and the course was very excellent. Loved the scenery and the showers very great. Vert hot. See you next year. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: First time and I loved it - and no problems with the route. A slight improvement might be the addition of time zoning at the start as there was a lot of overtaking early on. But a super course - and gloriously traffic free for the second half. Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: Larger field caused organisational problems In full: Last year I really enjoyed this race; I think about 400 did the half, it was full without being packed in the clubhouse beforehand, and the toilet queues were bearable.
This year, according to the starter, 1000 started. The clubhouse was packed solid (and with the cold, standing outside wasn't much of an option) and the queues for the toilet ridiculous; in fact they had to open a back door because runners leaving for the start couldn't get through the main doors because of the toilet queues. I think if this race is to go on with such numbers, thought must be given how better to accomodate them all before the race, especially with the cold weather to be expected at this time of year.
The only other comment I have about the race is that I can't remember less enthusiasm from the marshals anywhere; I think one of them muttered well done as I staggered past, but all the others stood there stone-faced and mute. This may seem a small point, but it really makes a difference when you have the sort of enthusiastic, cheerful and encouraging banter that you get at, say, the Watford Half every year.
Other than that, a good tough test with some very nice scenery, although I swear those hills get bigger each year... Date of review: March 5, 2006