In short: Fabulous scenery and a wonderful atmosphere - despite the wind and rain! In full: Torrential overnight rain made conditions very tricky for the first couple of miles out of town. I opted for the half and there was a good field. Stunning views over Salisbury as you head out and then the additional pleasure of running through country estates closed to the public the rest of the year. The finish past the Cathedral was really memorable as well. A great race for a great cause - I will definitely be back next year (and maybe I will have trained enough to complete the marathon). Date of review: September 17, 2014
In short: The 50K is really great for those going above marathon distance for the first time. In full: I loved running the 50K; a mix of road and trail and the hills weren't too challenging, so perfect for my first go at running more than marathon distance. There were eleven well-stocked aid stations and I found the signage was fine on the 50K. There are a number of highlights on the route - running around the outer ramparts of Old Sarum, the magnificent Longford Castle, the beautiful chalet house, the yew forest, the Racecourse and the Cathedral Close. I've worked my way up the distances over the last four years starting with the 20K in 2011 & love the fact that all the different distances, as well as walkers, are all mixed in together - it makes a really interesting event! The only slight downside I have is that the general public in the city seem to have no idea there is a race on & look at us as if we are out of our minds as we run past them. I have to shout "Make way!!" to get them to move - it would just be nice if Salisbury itself recognised the 54321 event as something to be celebrated, as it is a brilliant day for the participants and supporters. A Big Thank You to all the marshals, volunteers and Salisbury Firestation for organising this excellent event! Date of review: August 15, 2014
In short: 34k for the price of 30k! In full: My first race longer than a half-marathon and generally this one was really good. *Loads of water stations towards the beginning, though they did peter out towards the end. *In general the course was very well marshalled and well signed, though like other reviewers I found it much harder knowing where to go through Salisbury town centre and was desperately trying to follow a high-vis vest a few hundred metres ahead of me! *Scenery was great, and surfaces were a mix of about 80% trail and 20% tarmac. Within the first mile there was some very narrow, slippery chalk paths and we were down to walking pace but after that they were fine. *Can't fault the bread pudding! *Running with/past/behind people who were doing different distances or walking them entirely was great and meant you weren't often on your own, though there were a few places along the 30k route where suddenly everyone disappeared. *The distance! Well, definitely not a 30k and I didn't miss any signs, it was just longer than advertised and that was pretty hard going as we trogged along hoping the finish was just around the corner. This distance is probably not for me and might stick to shorter races in the future but I'd recommend it to everyone else - just make sure you're prepared for it to be longer than you think! Date of review: August 13, 2014
In short: Enjoyed most of it In full: Mixed feelings about this race. I did the 30k and it had a great atmosphere and was an enjoyable experience for most of the way round. The last 5 miles however were a slog with poor signage and no indication that the route was actually over 20 miles. From the reviews, it seems like the longer distances were better organised. Date of review: August 13, 2014
In short: cross country marathon In full: Prior to this my marathon experience was Brighton which i do in 4.56 .For myself this turned out to be a hard cross country marathon. .Four serious hills .80% of the remainder was seriously undulating cross country.20% on tarmac. Very good signage with no need for a map.More water stations than i expected with good stuff cake,choccy ,etc.After mile 22 i saw no more milege signs but plenty of arrows guiding the way home.I finished in 5.45 which i was happy with ,considering the course .some of which i was forced to walked .I may do it again if im up for some punishment. Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Beautiful, scenic race, let down by one thing - POOR SIGNAGE In full: Such a lovely, multi-distance race, badly let down by poor signage towards the end of the route... Our 30kms of country roads, hills and trails (no mean feat) ended up being 33.5km due to a distinct lack of signage from 28.5kms onwards. Also a real lack of water stations after 20kms - plenty before, so why so few afters!?
A real shame as the route is especially lovely. They're not joking when they say 5 rivers; 4 hills; 3 country estates; 2 castles; and 1 spire (Salisbury cathedral). To that you can also add a whole load of wildlife (including two fields of baby cows) and a very magical Yew-tree Wood (follow the pink string...)
In short: Some hills...SOME?? Jesus more hills than a hilly thing in a hilly place! In full: Practise your hill runs this will test you. There is a strong combination of trail and road lets say 60-70% trail and the rest road. Excellent marshalls and plenty of water at all the right bits. Highly recommeneded Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Challenging bu fun 21k race In full: Overall, the course was tough but good fun. There were a good mix of people running from club runners to total newbies, including a familiar face – Steve Way. Due to the weather still being warm (even though it was wet) I got quite thirsty on the first half so next year, I will probably take my own drink.
The signage could be improved a little more for those new to the course but apart from that, it was well organised and the route was gorgeous.
I’ll consider the 30k for next year. Date of review: August 12, 2014