A very challenging course (for the trails of rural Hampshire!), with stretches through ankle-height grass, mid-calf mud and a knee-deep ford... The (up-hill) stretch from 9 miles to the finish was harrowing and I loved it.
This was a really fantastic event, with plenty of encouragement from marshals, competitors and organisers.
The weather had been horrible leading up to the event, leaving some stretches extremely muddy (and tough-going), with a cold night immediately before-hand creating plenty of ice on the roads, too. There were a few tumbles, but plenty of support around to look after people and great care for a friend with a bumped head. Glorious sunshine saw us around, which showed off the countryside and views at their best.
All-in-all a lovely, friendly, tough run. Brilliant! Date of review: January 3, 2014
In full: The beautiful scenery was the perfect setting for an event. It was great to have the choice of two distances and the race organisers were very good about upping (or lowering!) your original distance on the day. Fun atmosphere on the run and cheerful marshals too. The approach at the end of the race was challenging but what a greeting when you got in- music, your name announced on the mic (never felt like such a celebrity!) a great looking medal not to mention mulled wine AND a mince pie. A nice run to end the year with.
In short: A great way to finish off the year ! In full: Very well organised . I chose the 10k version for my first go at this and I'm glad I did. Plenty of hills and the final run over fields was tough going but overall it was an excellent run. The first hill sets the tone for the run and then a downhill piece, a ford and a run along by the roman walls mean that you're never in danger of getting bored! Very friendly Marshalls and local support. Well done to all involved Date of review: December 30, 2013
In short: Lives up to the name In full: Definitely the toughest 10 miles I've run, but what a fantastic event, the organisation was excellent including the bus from the hotel (which I was also worried about) The marshalls were brilliant, one said I had the cleanest legs so far :-) don't think that lasted long. The medal, mulled wine, Jaffa cakes and mince pie at the end are all great too. As for the course, its well challenging, never run in bog before, thankfully I got a really good start on the roads, so did a good time overall but that last mile to the finish was really hard going, but what a sense of achievement when you cross the line. Being only 3 months from my 50th I'll definitely be back next year to see if I can win the 50-59 category!!!!!!! Date of review: December 30, 2013
In short: Race of the Year! In full: Infectiously upbeat organisers, encouraging marshalls, glorious scenery, peaceful off-road route, Roman remains and an amazing medal. I also love the way your finish is announced over the Pa, a much appreciated personal touch.
Will be back for this again, my all time favourite race of the year! Date of review: December 29, 2013
In short: A must-do event to end the racing year. In full: I love this event; 2nd year doing the 10 miler for me, and I'm glad I'd forgotten some of it from last time! Certain sections are seriously tough, slogging through mud and water, but to be honest, that's what makes it such great fun.
Other race organisers in the area (I won't mention names) please take note. Great course, great medal, great atmosphere and great value with all that's thrown in. I was initially sceptical about having to park a mile or so away at a hotel, but I entered late in the day due to some dithering, but the shuttle bus was seamless and easy; good fun in itself!
I loved the friendly and now familiar My Sporting Times faces, and I can't wait until next time. Something tells me this'll be bigger again next time. Date of review: December 29, 2013
In short: Superb but TAXING In full: A great race in some cracking surroundings, this year was a bit slippy underfoot owing to overnight frost, the course takes in some great country roads and tracks. However it then deviates onto what can only be described as some serious trails.
Having not done it before I was a touch concerned when on the shuttle bus a couple said "Straight for the 10 miler, that's brave!" Now I know what they mean! Don't wear your tidy white trainers to this because no matter how much you prance you will get covered in mud! Oh and how could I forget, at 1.5 miles you've got the choice of Forde or not to Forde! I went through it and quite frankly the squelencing trainers made no difference as in parts you were ankle deep in muddy water anyway! The Marshall's are super and encouraging and despite being out in the country the odd household pops out to support you. The 10 mile race is a full on exposure to trail/cross country, the 10k would be perfect for someone to experience this type of race for the first time however don't expect a distance PB if you do, you're not trying hard enough on road races!
The only minor moan and it is minor, there's not a lot at the start finish area however this is a growing young race that'll come with time. One superb aspect was the park and ride facility from a local hotel. I did fear I'd be waiting for ages to catch the bus back after the race however I was wrong, the service was fast and efficient.
I will be doing this again but feel perhaps I shouldn't be telling people about it as currently it's a bit of a hidden gem. A massive thumbs up to the race organisers and his/her team you all made the day a very worth while event.
In short: A great race in beautiful scenery In full: Didn't win my age category this time, but still had a great time. Less mud/flooded fields than last year, but black ice on the roads added to the challenge. Saw deer and alpaca. Good organisation, friendly encouraging marshals. It really is a fun race in beautiful countryside. Thank you. Date of review: December 29, 2013