In short: Very good organisation, fab scenery, nice goodies, challenging course In full: I did this event previously when it was just 9 miles. On each occasion the event proved to be challenging in places, yet very rewarding. This was complimented by the very friendly marshalls/helpers, the very good organisation, the facilities before & after the event (special mention for the very fine port-a-loos) and the very reasonable entry fees.
I highly recommend this event to anyone, regardless of ability as it caters for all. And, being entirely off-road, no vehicles to impede your flow and enjoyment through the lovely scenery. Mark it in your calendars!
Only one minor issue, as a helpful suggestion: perhaps the announcer(s) at the beginning of the race can be issued with a PA system of some sort and a step-ladder so that the announcements (some of which are very important) can be heard by the majority rather then just a few people on the start line.
Thanks to all involved for a wonderful event. I hope to returnn. Date of review: October 23, 2014
In short: One of the best races around! In full: This was my second Stinger, so I knew what to expect. Excellent organisation, first class marshals and a worthwhile goodybag. Add in the scenery in this beautiful part of Hampshire, hills and plenty of mud, and you have, in my opinion, one of the best multi-terrain races in the south. Date of review: October 21, 2014
In short: Quite tough but good fun. In full: Beautiful scenery, two water crossings, glutinous mud and a killer hill or two. What is not to like? Some of the marshals had lists of race numbers so could encourage you by name which was a nice touch though a bit of a surprise the first time! Very well organised and I am looking forward to coming back next year. Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Hard race, but very enjoyable In full: My first Minstead Stinger, and it won't be the last. A hard race, made harder by the weather conditions and soft ground. A good atmosphere though, well-organised, and the best marshals I've ever come across. Well done to everyone involved. Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: I certainly would recommend this to anyone who fancies a nice run in the forest, does not care about their time, enjoys great scenery, likes a few hills or is in training for something longer / tougher, oh and does not mind a bit of mud In full: “This race will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think the people that like Beast, Stickler, and Studland etc might like this. I certainly would recommend this to anyone who fancies a nice run in the forest, does not care about their time, enjoys great scenery, likes a few hills or is in training for something longer / tougher, oh and does not mind a bit of mud, well lots of mud actually.
Being the day after Weymouth 10, and “across the border” into Hampshire, there were not many runners I recognised – well none actually, until just at the start line I caught up with Carole Loader, Caroline Horder and Debbie Camp from Bournemouth Joggers (Did not see them after the start though- they are all a lot quicker than me !).
It’s a great scenic race totally traffic-free event through the New Forest - 15K of undulations and hills (but nothing as steep as the Stickler – I did run the whole race all but about ten yards !!!).
But there was mud, some up hills, some more mud, some downhills, some more mud and few more up hills, (you get the drift ….). At about 13K there were a couple of places of calf-knee deep water (that washed the mud off) and then more mud for the rest of the race.
Hard to compare your time really as you kind of squelch and swagger in places rather than run, but is a really good workout and unbeatable forest scenery and views, plus ingeniously organised route and race venue. One I’d do again.
We often comment that marshalls are friendly and encouraging – This race is a contender for “best race marshalling of the year award” – A feature unique to this race is where the marshalling points had lists of the entrants, and the marshals were giving out first name cheers to all the passing runners – even from a stranger a “Come on Ray” is always welcome. Marshalling this one is quite a lonely affair with just 124 runners quite strung out across the forest with marshalling points miles from anywhere, but each marshal was very lively and supportive (and some apologetic about the mud and hills !!!). I did like the positive spin they put on everything including classics such as: – “there’s a nice downhill section soon” (meaning – “there’s a flipping big hill up ahead first”; “There’s a nice section to wash your shoes coming up” (meaning – here comes the water !!!) and “nearly there, I’m the last marshal” which I heard three times, including from the one dressed up as a six-foot Bumble Bee !!!
This event is organised by Totton Running Club who used to organise the Totton 10K, the first race I even ran in. That used to be a great event with children’s races and such, raising money for the local school and charities, yet due to difficulties with local authorities, police and safety concerns is not allowed to run any more. So Totton RC ingeniously went off-road and organised a race in the forest. This is its third year, and my initial prediction that this would be a cult race like the Stickler and grow in popularity has not yet materialised, but I do think it deserves more than the 124 entries it had this year.
It is hard to fault the organisation – As a previous entrant I was sent an e-mail months ago when the date was announced (I am surprised more races do not send entry forms and notifications to runners who have entered before, especially those smaller races who wonder why their entry numbers drop if their race is not in the DRRL); once entered you get e-mail confirmations – and even updates regarding the traffic and road closures, etc.
Upon turning off of the A31, the Totton RC flags make the race HQ entrance visible from a long way away, and the quaint Race HQ of a car park, tents, gazebos, Burger van and portaloos within seconds from the race start and finish make it all very relaxing and easy.
Goody bag was a bit different, with a “Running Belt” (for you to carry gels, I Pads, phones, drinks, etc) and an “Arm Strap” thingy (to carry even more stuff if you feel so inclined). Also contained a nut bar (any kind of food after a race is always welcomed), complete with a health warning that it contained nuts.
Congratulations to Totton Running Club – a great event. This race really does deserve more recognition and more entries”
In short: nice run in the forest In full: enjoyed the mud at the start finish, all the gravel tracks did get a bit boring when we went under the A31 . just needs to add a mile of mud about half way round to turn it into a great 10 miler - no-one wants to run a 9 for some reason! (please don't turn it into a half-marathon) Date of review: November 11, 2012
In short: Wet, muddy, hilly, brilliant, this is what you train for! In full: An off-road race with everything. Wet open parts, hard compact trails, deep slippery mud, river crossings, technical descents, if you like off-road, this is a brilliant course. Only my 3rd off road race, but difficult to see how a course can offer more. Great, friendly organisation as well. Date of review: October 22, 2012