In short: Brilliant fun and wonderfully hard In full: Loads of fun (although at times I didn't think so) and a great laugh. Spend the next two days trying to get mud off yourself/clothes/trainers etc and the aches out of your body, but feeling very chuffed about it. Will do again. Really interesting not having any idea of how far you had left to go. Excellent support from people along the way - some real encouragement to be picked up (and it was needed). Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: Nice rural course - hills a bit of a challenge but could be worse In full: This was my third marathon in a row after the city races of Bristol and Cardiff so a nice change to get out into the country. Was a bit worried about the hills after seeing the elevation chart but although a big difference from the flatness of Cardiff did not think they were as bad as coul dhave benn except the last bit towards the end but after that the downhill to the finish meant that I actually was nearly a minute faster than Cardiff. Traveling to the race and parking (Wroughton Park and Ride ) was about the best I 've done but the start area was a bit congested and the fair rides didn't help. Being nearly flattened by a runaway horse however is something you can't plan for in training and overall this is a good race which deserves a bigger profile Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: Tough race, but great fun! In full: Overall a fantastic day out. Generally great organisation but I agree with other posters that runners late to the start line should join from the back, not from near the front. It can be difficult to overtake if you are behind lots of slower runners.
Great fun to be had scrambling up and down almost vertical hills, then splashing/wading through endless water. I thought my legs were going to burst when I finally got out of the swamp! The cold and smell really wakes you up.
Then just when I thought it was all over and you could hear the announcer at the finish, I turned the corner to be confronted with sand dunes for as far as I could see. You just have to laugh! Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: Pleasant route with one hill, finish line cramped though In full: Fairly scenic with just one real hill so a pretty quick course and suitable for a beginner. Spoilt by a locked gate from the changing facilites to the start line - meaning a quick hurdle before the off! Only one changing room for both sexes and locked when I arrived after 09:30. The changing room supervisor (Not the race organisers the Portsmouth Joggers I hasten to add!)particularly unfriendly to runners. Finish line (the pavement!) cramped, dont know why the race could not of finished in the sports field! Entry fee seemed a bit steep for a small medal! Despite all this with excellent weather and reasonable scenery an enjoyable race! Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: Excellent, Well organised race In full: Really enjoyed the race which I thought was well organised and support on the way round was excellent.
I am a fan of medals but really like the T-Shirt. It was clear from entry forms that there would not be medals. Have never been at a race where there are enough loos so Stroud was no different and have learned that people never line up where they should so now live with it. Fairly liberal interpretation of the word 'flat' in the course description but still a great event. Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: I never knew there were so many hills! In full: Having completed grim last year. I decided to give this one a shot. It was as good if not better. A well organised and excellent event. One I will travel 89 miles again for!! David Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: What a crack! Top banana event! In full: Tough course, lots of hills, loads of mud, but loads of smiles and wisecracks from other runners. My favourite was "I didnt want to join the army anyway". Will be back next year, Date of review: October 24, 2005
In short: Surprisingly quick course - another PB! In full: This was my first attempt at the Stroud Half, having been assured that it was fast and flat. I'd agree with the former, but it was a bit too undulating to be called flat. I still can't understand how it was so fast - I knocked 3 minutes off my PB.
Perfect conditions and an enthusiastic PA - he told everyone to make their way to the start with plenty of warning. If you chose not to heed his advice, whose fault is that? I do accept, however, that there were the eternal problems of the start 'cage' being too narrow and too many people starting much too far forward in the field for their ability.
Although there were no portaloos, the PA did stress that they had been let down on the day - I don't really think it's fair to have a go at the organisers for that.
Similarly with the traffic - it would have been great not to have to run alongside traffic jams - but the shutting of roads is probably down to the local council and police. Maybe we should direct our anger at the idiots in the cars sitting in long queues with their engines running?
Overall, I found the course interesting, well supported most of the way round and very well marshalled. As someone else has commented, the mile markers were pretty much spot on according to Garmin. There was plenty of water (and squash) available at the finish.
Personally I prefer a T-shirt to a medal, so I'm pleased with the memento - I guess the T-shirt vs Medal argument will run and run (sorry :) Date of review: October 24, 2005