In short: Watch out for that Pony !!! In full: I fully recommend the Downton Half to anyone. Really good mix of runners and support/spirit during the event was top notch. Marshalls all gave plenty of encouragement and good pockets of support on this lovely rural run through some really scenic parts of the New Forest. Nearly taken out by a couple of Ponies at one point, but it all adds to the experience. The course is certainly a challenge and plenty of hills to mix it up a little. GPS showing 800ft of ascents mostly long drawn out affairs rather than short sharp ones. Sign up - you'll love it :-) Date of review: November 30, 2015
In full: My only concern was the queue for number collection, which was snaking out the door when I joined it - if the weather had been harsher there would have been some cold bedraggled runners before the race started! (Or maybe the queue would have found some room for itself indoors if this had been the case). Apparently there was a greater number of entrants than in previous years, which contributed to this, so at least it means that the race is successful!
With reference to a review from 2012, I was also comparing the course to others I've run recently ...I'd say it's not as tough as Marlow, but on a par with Burnham Beeches. I noticed the downhills as much as the ups, including a lovely long descent in the middle.
Marshals and runners alike were very friendly. Directions to the race venue were clear, as were the arrows on the course.
The medal wasn't the fanciest, but the soup and roll at the finish were a nice touch, and very welcome on a chilly day.
Oh, another small disappointment is that the results give only gun time, not chip time. I can't honestly recall what was promised, but obviously hoped that I'd get a chip time that was slightly faster than what my watch said.
These are minor gripes only, though! This was a lovely race and I am glad I did it! Date of review: December 1, 2014
In short: A great event with only a few minor issues In full: Once again Race New Forest staged a great event. However, I have two small gripes: 1) The first water station needs more organisation or more people. Runners in front of me were stopping and waiting to get their cups of water. I don't like to stop so ran straight through. 2) The sign for the second water station was too far away from the actual station! However, neither of these issues really affected me as I completed the race in my first ever sub 2 hour even though I wouldn't consider this a PB event! Date of review: December 1, 2014
In short: second time and not the last In full: I have just got back to Bristol after my second go at the Downton Half - I remember why I went back now; It is a great event. Much nicer more sociable feel than a big city event, very friendly runners and marshalls. The weather was a perfect late autumn morning with some mist but no rain. The roads were quiet with few cars. Hills certainly slow you down compared to a flat race but not insurmountable, only a few people stopped to walk up them. Last mile or two downhill which was great. Cake and soup at the end. Spot on on a slightly cool autumn day. Pity there were no New Forest ponies in the road this year - last time it amused me greatly having to run around them. If this event was nearer to Bristol I would do it every year. It is almost perfect. Date of review: November 30, 2014
In short: Beautiful race, beautifully organised. In full: Thanks to all for a great morning. I will make this a feature of my race diary every year now as the scenery is terrific and the course challenging enough without being off-putting. Loved the hills and the views they provided. Date of review: November 26, 2013
In short: Beautiful scenery, challenging hills and good weather! In full: Second time doing this. Benefitted from great weather and as always friendly and good support round course. Will be back again Date of review: November 24, 2013
In short: Lovely race, tough but not crazy. In full: Just came back from the 2013 event. You have to love the New Forest! On a couple of occasions you had to navigate around horses on the road, which only adds to the fun! This is a lovely race - the route is quite attractive but it is not easy. Plenty of hills, some of which are real calf biters. Many thanks to the organisers and all volunteers. The soup was most welcome on a chilly day as well! May well be back next year. Date of review: November 24, 2013
In short: Seriously tough.......and wet! In full: This was the final event in the 2012 Wiltshire Road Race League and I decided to target it as my first Half Marathon for five years. The course presented two particularly tough climbs and great views, lots of running water on the course but at least it didn't rain. I agree with the previous comment about the medal being a bit naff, and I have got hundreds of them so would appreciate something a little different, though the memory of weaving around ponies on the run will stay with me. Well signed and well marshaled, good facilities at the Race HQ including individual shower cubicles with own changing room - very nice. Date of review: November 29, 2012