In short: Very well organised. A nice day out for the whole family. In full: I was impressed with how much there was to do for spectators and kids. Very well organised, very scenic course, plenty of water before during and after the event. The only down-side was that it didn't really cater for slower runners. I went through the first mile in 9½ minutes and that put me right at the back! Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: I don't know why I like it but I'll be back again In full: Terrible organisation at the start, too hot, too humid, too hilly, not enough loos, poorly maintained roads and pavements, course almost single file at places. Needless to say I loved every minute, got a PB and will be back again next year. It's my local city race so I may be biased......
To answer Andy from Embsay's point - I was one of the runner's milling about, the reason was that the PA was completely inaudible in the road down to the start so we couldn't hear a word of the instructions. We did actually get out of the way to let the elite runners walk down to the start, but even starting 80-90m back from the line we were soon overtaking run-walkers who had clearly started at the tape! Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: Start a bit of a shambles, but a nice run anyway. In full: Well, my Polar claimed it was 10.5km as well, but as the course is certified I'm prepared to assume that the man with the calibrated bicycle is more accurate than the technology.
Pre-race information was a bit vague about where the start actually was, which led to a lot of people getting stuck on the wrong side of the narrow alleyway linking the park with the start. As a result I was only just heading for the right bit of the start when, oh, the race started! Not the best organisation there, but the race itself was fun - maybe one less water station would be worth doing if it meant more people at the others, though?
But the atmosphere was great once I got past enough traffic to have a clear(ish) run, and it seems churlish to be moaning about the start and other bits of technicality when most of the other 4000 participants had a good run and raised buckets of cash for charity.
If I'm allowed just one more teeny tiny quibble, though - might it be worth making the time markers at the start a bit clearer? About half the race seemed to be starting in the 35-40 zone! Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: Fast & scenic! In full: Well pleased with the PB - very flat course. Very scenic in the 2nd half, along the river. Only one complaint - as I'd travelled a fair distance to the race, I was counting on the toilet marked on the map opposite the start. Unfortunately, it doesn't open until 10am (90 minutes after the race starts!!) Other than that, well organised, good value. Will definitely be back! Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: Good, tough race which makes you work hard at the right times In full: The course is a bit of a challenge with hills for the first half. Second half comes as a relief but long flat finish is one for mind over matter. Water stations excellent and plentiful although chip timing would be a massive improvement as the finish became back logged. Knocked 7 minutes off my time from the FLM half at Silverstone so can't complain. Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: No major complaints - just a few could do betters In full: Pluses first: - excellent value (a free T-shirt is more use to me than yet another medal) - nice and flat so I did a PB (despite the sunny weather which I hate) - marshalls in all the right places - water in the right places
minuses: -the starter needed a megaphone - no one could hear him - the marshalls were basically standing around with their arms out directing you as opposed to cajoling you/ giving witty one liners which I would prefer, - wasn't sure where the actual start line was and so don't know whether my time was accurate (eg we had a timing aerial on but was it started when I crossed the invisible start line or by the starter's hooter?). My watch time was around 50secs different from my aerial time... - no one to hand my aerial to at the end - so I gave it a T-shirt seller as I had parked at the finish. I also saw lots of people wandering off with their numbers still on - this must have cost Ranelagh some money?
But don't want to moan too much, I treated it as an up tempo training run and that, basically is what it was. Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: Superb race - 2nd place in 2003 & 2004, but over the moon to win in 2005 on my 36th Birthday! In full: With over 150 races in the bag, this has to be one of the best organised/marsalled friendliest races I have ever taken part in... Much drier than last year which meant a reasonable time of 1:17. 5 mins off the PB, but very pleased with that... Only one very minor negative is on 3 occasions having to stop due to horse riders getting in the way, but that is part of racing... Will definitly be back next year! Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: Small race with a view In full: This is a tough little race on bridle ways, footpaths and back country roads from Chinnor along part of the Icknield Way and back to Chinnor. If you're feeling particularly foolish you can do a second, longer lap and make it a half marathon.
The course is undulating with a climb near the start, a sharp little rise at 9K, and more gentle undulations in between. It's not a PB course, but very attractive and a great day out in the Oxfordshire countryside.
The organisation was good, with plenty of water stops and a useful race diary and medal at the end.
As well as the running events there are sponsored walks setting off earlier on different routes. Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: A good well organised and friendly race. In full: It was a good race, excellent facilities and everybody was very friendly. Marshals were very helpful, good support for all runners on the way round and the free isotonic drinks are the begining and end was a nice and very welcome touch! Will be back. Date of review: May 16, 2005