In short: Frustrating start and end but enjoyable middle In full: It is a shame that the first two miles and the final mile are spent running around the residential streets of Buntingford in order to make up the distance. I would have preferred this run to either be shorter and have a direct route in and out from the start, or longer by removing the residential running and replacing it with two loops of the countryside. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Ideal way to run off the xmas pud In full: The previous comments about the start, are i think a little unfair. The race instructions clearly state that the start is a fair walk from the HQ, and the race director made an announcement to that effect 15 minutes before the off. Many people did indeed miss the start, which was unfortunate for them, but that's the price to be paid for so many runners deciding to huddle in the nice warm HQ till the last possible moment. Delaying the start to let them catch up would have peed off those of us who had already been standing out in the freezing snow for several minutes.
Have to agree though that the route needs some work. The first mile or two, zigzagging through a housing estate, is plain ugly and surely unnecessary. After that though, the country sections are beautiful and certainly undulating! No real killer hills, but plenty of ups and downs.
Must congratulate the local council on gritting all the roads. If they did that especially for the race, they deserve a runners world award, and even if not they deserve thanks for making the footing nearly perfect despite the snow and ice.
Good support and flawless marshalling round the course. Not keen on the trophy but would still recommend this race - it is a nice way to end the year. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Friendly, snowy and fun In full: Full-marks to the organisers for being brave enough to do this race at this time of year. It was snowy and cold and I'm sure a number of people dropped out. The marshalls were friendly and supportive and the snow added to the Christmas theme. The race material made it clear that the start was some distance from the facilities and that runners would be escorted to the start and to allow 15 minutes to get there. As soon as the crowd started to move I just followed... I'll definitely do this one again. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: My first 10 miler so its my PB, thought the Marshalls were excellent, found the course challenging but not impossible and a touch of snow to remind us its Christmas- very festive. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Nice race let down by the start In full: The start was a disaster, didn't even know when I'd got there and was then told the race has started three minutes earlier! So gave up on trying to time it. First couple of miles through a bland housing estate with hairpin bends - they should give this route a re-think for next year! Was really glad to get get out into the country though. Once there I really enjoyed it, especially after half way once it ceased being an uphill struggle - was not expecting so many hills. Like the trophy, makes a nice change from medals or t-shirts. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Fantastic event, can't wait for the next one. In full: Generally I am an average runner, however thought I would try something a bit different. So glad I did, this was a fab race. You begin with a x-country trot, not too challenging and then you mount up for a glorious ride through the woods with some metal tracks muds and some lovely little downhills. Then back to two feet, this time 14 miles on its more of a push. The bike course was challenging but very ridable. There are always the speedy people out front, but there was also some good middle and back field competition. Great for all standards. A must for those with a MTB and a pair of trainers! Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Lovely scenery, interesting course, pleasantly undulating. In full: The downhill charge at the start was fun, couldn't believe my time for the first mile! Balanced by the uphill finish which needed a bit of energy saving for. Bring your own water for after the finish because it didn't seem to be provided. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: I'll be back............ In full: Ok, it snowed, so full marks for letting the race go ahead, on a morning when it was a bit of a gamble with the weather!! I made the start, but the estate road has too much traffic , and worst of all a few cars heading towards the runners moments before the start??? There's got to be a better place to start it in Buntingford??. A few missing mile markers out on the course? ...but excellent marshals and lots of them on a very cold day. Am i the only person who thought the sharp glass thing was awful??? Nice Mars Bar though! Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Not as quick for me as promised, but the clock doesn't lie... In full: Turned up feeling like I ought to run quick, but felt ropey all the way to mile 5. Hillier than I'd been led to believe, but a good blast after the excesses of the festive season. Check out the alternative toilets though... Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Snow, a few undulations and cold weather, but a great race with a nice glass trophy at the end. In full: Didn't get affected by the starting shenanigans, but the start line was a bit hit and miss. Otherwise good organisation, friendly marshalls and one that I will be back for a third time next year.
Medal is very different a glass shard with a badge on it, I am currently typing left handed as I have sliced off two fingers on my right hand carrying it :0) Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: A bit of fun back into run In full: Oh come all ye willing! Not too serious, just enough perhaps to temp the most focussed runner, but ideal for tempting those who want to put a toe in the water of racing. Great atmosphere and a wonderful memento - only it didn't last too long after I opened it. Well done to the Organisers - superb event! Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Brilliant. I came 4th in the under 7s and I am going to win next year! In full: My daddy helped me with this. The race was fantastic, brilliant and I had a good day in the race. My legs were aching at the end because I am only 5. Date of review: December 27, 2005
In short: Crazy, crazy starting arrangements with dozens trapped in a narrow foootpath unable to reach the start and others, in sight, trying to lunge through the traffic as they saw the race go away. Why not use a bit of commonsense and wait? In full: Good pre-start atmosphere was ruined for many by a head banging determination to start on time whatever (actually it was slightly before 1030). People joined the throng, queued to get through the doors of the event HQ and made their way towards the start. There was little opportunity to rush as most of the route was up a narrow footpath where it was impossible to overtake mostly other competitors but also dog walkers, strolling couples, etc. Finally emerging onto the opposite side of the B1038 entrants were yelled at that the race had started two minutes before. Start was not clearly marked so even self timing could not be accurate.
Dozens and dozens of people were affected. Certainly there would have been some differences to at least the leading positions and at least the M40 category given a fairer start.
The organisers must have been aware there was a bottleneck. Why couldn't they apply a bit of commonsense and wait until people were clear of the footpath and safely across the road.
As it was people were annoyed and additional, unnecessary problems were caused as faster runners tried to find a way past on the narrow sections in the first mile or so.
Once underway it was surprising - once we were clear of estate roads and footpaths how little ice there was on the course considering the overnight fall and the extra dollop shortly before the start.
Usual friendly marshals along the course. Date of review: December 27, 2005