In short: Well organised race, good for a PB In full: I turned up early and so had none of the problems some have reported with toilets or parking. The marshals were very good and gave lots of encouragement; being a rural course other support was thin on the ground, as you'd expect. It was a bit crowded in the school before the start (and would have been worse had the weather been bad), but there's not a lot that can be done about that, and the rest of the organisation was excellent. Date of review: February 21, 2014
In full: Arrived at Bramley at around 09:20 for a 10:30 start & spent about 30 minutes waiting in the queue for entry to the car park. Note to self - I’ll leave home earlier next time !
After that there was a 10 minute walk from car park to the Race HQ which was extremely busy. Sufficient loos (no more than 5 minute wait) but queues a bit chaotic due to limited footprint of Race HQ (local school). There were about 1300 entrants with the split being 700/600 in favour of the longer distance – testament to those preparing for a Spring marathon.
Onto the race...I did the 20 miler which involved 2 x 10m laps of the same course. This was largely flat with a couple of minor hills at around 6 & 8 miles so a big thumbs up in that respect. Plenty of camaraderie out on the course but it was pretty quiet out there at times once the 10 milers had finished.
Positives - Excellent marshalls. Plenty of drinks stations. Good scheduling for those doing Spring marathons. Also had great weather – one of those rare dry days when the sun shone !
Negatives – Looks like the race has outgrown Bramley. No loos out on the course (didn’t bother me but if you’re doing 20 miles you may need a pit-stop). Those doing the 10m may feel a bit cheated by the entry fee (though I thought the 20m was good value).
In short: Well organised, lovely course, excellent marshals and nice cake In full: 2nd year of running this as part of a spring marathon build up. No probs with parking as we arrived early and there were more toilets than last year. A slight cock up at the start when we were called to line up and then 2 ambulances had to get through the runners. Plenty of drink stations and friendly marshals - particularly the lady at the left hand turn just before mile 17 who was very enthusiastic :) Definitely recommended
In short: The perfect day for a 20 mile run In full: This was my 3rd year of running Bramley and the best yet. The organisation is always good and the marshalls did a sterling job. The additional toilets at the start and the great weather were very welcome. Date of review: February 17, 2014
In short: lots of runners... In full: After the initial couple of miles there was plenty of space to breathe....even more so after the 10milers finished. A good course....not traffic free, but I had no problems with cars or cyclists - well marshalled. Enough water stations - but only water or glucose drinks in plastic cups. Toilet facilities at Start excellent - I arrived at 10.10am for the 10.30am Start...still had time to queue, use them, put my baggage in the (very basic) bag store and be at the start line before 10.25. In an ideal world there would be a tee-shirt to look forward to...
In short: Not as intimidating as it seems In full: At first glance it seemed that the event was just catering for the faster club runners - and there certainly seemed to be a lot of those lining up and the fact that i appear on the last but one page of the results, despite just dipping under 3 hours, shows the quality of runners but in reality the organisers and Reading Roadrunners made everyone welcome. We had no problems with the car park - one of the first to arrive which we were quite surprised about - perhaps others weren't quite as organised or just didn't want to arrive more than an hour before the start. We were also one of the last to leave and the marshals still had a cheery attitude despite having had a long day. I guess that the impression you get at an event comes out of the way you approach it, all i can say is that i had one of the most enjoyable runs i can recall thanks to the company of those I was running with and that all the facilities were still open and although they started to start closing down 4 hours after the race start ( as noted in the race instructions ) there was still plenty of marshals and support about when my wife finished - slightly after the 4 hour mark. Would like to applaud the group of runners from Slinn Allstars who stayed at the finish long after most of the main field had finished to cheer on and encourage all of their members and every runner along the last few hundred metres to the finish as well as the support given by the marshals and Reading Roadrunners to those following the pack at a slightly slower pace. Making an event attaractive to non club runners has to come from those taking part, as well as the organising club, after all running 20 miles is a bit of a challenge for many. In this case the club appeared to be working hard to encourage and help those running their own race no matter what pace. That said a loo on the route would have been appreciated :) Date of review: February 17, 2014
In short: Lovely race In full: When I saw that this race had a 4 hour cut off, I did begin to regret entering it as I am a slow runner, however the race booklet also advised that if you thought you might take longer than 4 hours then to let them know - so I duly did that and was quite relieved to see that I wasn't the only name on the list.
I am really glad that I didn't back out as I loved it. Very friendly and encouraging marshals (in particular the marshal that encouraged runners up the hill as soon as she saw people appearing in the distance) - the vocal encouragement was much appreciated; good water stations; and good support. Definitely a recommended race. The gorgeous weather certainly was a bonus!
In short: Mixed bag In full: The race itself was pretty decent (nice terrain, only one relatively friendly hill, blessed with good weather) and ran smoothly. However, it felt like too much of the focus is on the 10 (I did the 20) and this made it a bit anticlimactic. I finished the 20 in about 3.25 (running it as an LSR as marathon training, as I imagine many are) and everyone was already packing up. Erm, that's pretty standard mid-pack marathon runner time...? I wouldn't fancy being a 5hr+ marathoner at this race. Was a bit underwhelmed by the goody bag (having got a medal and a nice tech tee from watford half a couple weeks earlier). Supposedly there were T shirts for sale with everyone's names on which might have helped this a bit, but they had sold out. Then tried to get a massage but got turfed out of the school at 4 - my boyfriend was one of the last to get a slot and he'd finished it in 2.51, hardly slouching...a lot of these problems could be avoided by starting the race at 9.30 and paying a bit more care to the 20 mile runners. I've got better value from a variety of half marathons so probably wouldn't do this race again unless I was marathon training and needed a 20 miler. Date of review: February 17, 2014
In short: Family feel, great race. In full: Not raced this one since 2009, really enjoyed it. Great marshalls and support long the route. Goody bag was perfect mith a nice medal, mars bar and an apple juice drink. Top marks to all those who organised the event, well done. Date of review: February 17, 2014
In short: Great Marshall's, really friendly In full: Great 20 miler, fantastic marshall's and impressive goody bag. We arrived early so had no problems with parking, toilets or bag drop. The start was quite busy and took quite a while to thin out but a well organised and enjoyable race. Date of review: February 17, 2014