In short: Flat, scenic and great for a PB! In full: I entered this race having seen the positive feedback in Runners World as it was voted in the top 10 trail races for 2013. I can certainly see why; it was great!
Really good organisation, with regular email updates from the race director; beautiful Derbyshire countryside to admire that made the miles whizz by (I did the Sunday race and we had lovely sunshine with only a slight headwind to contend with); well stocked aid stations located at approximately 3 mile intervals and a slight downhill profile giving brilliant PB potential (I might be slightly biased as I nailed a PB taking 8 mins of my previous best!).
Other really good points include the staggered start as it's very narrow and this prevented a stampede and the chip timing so you can get an accurate finish time for that all important PB!
Only 2 things that were slight drawbacks: drinks at the aid stations were in plastic cups which makes it hard to drink on the run whilst maintaining a decent pace, bottles would certainly be easier and whilst the race is chip timed, the results were ordered by gun time. It should be easy enough to order the results by chip time as I lost over 8 places due to starting very near the back and working my way through the field during the race.
These are only very minor things though and I'll definitely be back next year to try for another PB! Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Beautiful scenery, friendly small field, excellent organisation and slightly downhill"" In full: Did the Sunday race and it turned out to be my favourite HM ever - the slight gradient made the miles fly by, the marshalls were friendly and encouraging and despite the intimidating number of serios looking club runners, the atmosphere was friendly and supportive. The last tiny uphill was lined with cheering people who'd already finished, encouraging and advising. Absolutely brilliant! Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Superlative! In full: I ran the Sunday race with my amazing daughter Hollie - the 1st lady home!! - and loved it to bits. The sun shone, the Derbyshire countryside sparkled and it was headlong from start to finish. This is the ultimate feel-good race. We started in waves to avoid congestion - it worked a treat - and compared to the road the trail was so much easier on the legs. We had to watch out for an army of cyclists and dog-walkers - and even tree-cutters! - as the morning wore on. But I've got to say that after years of racing all over the UK and dozens of races this is right up there with the very best. Bring on next year, we can't wait! Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Nailed on PB In full: Ran this on the Saturday, and the weather was not the best, however, this could not dampen (!) my enjoyment of the run along a fast, picturesque and somewhat downhill course. The field soon strung out, and I ran most of the way by myself, chasing down a couple of people in front for most of the way - as such, it was a nice change from a mass participation event - concentrate on keeping your form & just running - fast! The trail is fine a hard (if puddle strewn when wet) surface and was fine in road shoes, and the poor weather had pretty much removed all other users - just a couple of cyclists and the odd walker, but only a few very hardy spectators. The organisation seemed fine to me, and while the race did start a whole 6 minutes late, the bloke in charge on the loud hailer explained that this was to let everyone go to the toilet first. There were regular drink & food stops en route, staffed by what appeared to be the same people, hurtling from location to location. A medal, biscuits and a drink at the finish, and a t-shirt & shower at Ashbourne leisure centre afterwards. I broke my PB for a Half by 5 minutes without feeling like I had run especially hard (entered on a whim a couple of weeks beforehand), so will return to have a proper crack next year - a day without a gale howling through the railway cuttings should be loads faster:) Date of review: October 5, 2014
In short: Good, but.......... In full: Sunday race so lucky with the weather as it was raining for the Saturday run. Deferred from last year as I was injured, so thumbs up for the good people at NiceWork for allowing me to run this year. Pro's: Well organised, communication great: flat off-road trail, doesn't feel downhill but my Garmin says it is: PB potential; well stocked feed stations - water at mile 3; coke, jelly babies, jaffa cakes after that: lost a few minutes eating! Good medal (if that is your thing): Derbyshire scenery amazing. Slight cons: trail is not closed off, so thanks to all the other users (dog walkers, cyclists etc. for respecting the runners); Not many spectators, but the one who were there were brilliant. Overall a good race and can see why it gets a good rating on here. Date of review: October 5, 2014
In short: stunning scenery, well organised and pb race In full: 2nd year of running this race well organised run through beautiful countryside. 2minute pb this year so really happy. Cant wait until next year! Date of review: October 5, 2014
In short: Wind and rain In full: OK, the weather didn't help, but I can't say that this was the most enjoyable race ever. There are great advantages to the route - completely off road and traffic free, good scenery and a downhill profile with great PB potential. Plus, you can't really get lost, as it's just straight down the track. The drawbacks are that there are no spectators so nothing to spur you on and no variety to the course, so I found myself just counting the miles. At the end, I got handed a medal, but no goody bag, so I'm wondering where my T shirt is that I pre-ordered. I had to contact the organisers several times before the race as I only got my race pack the day before, and I hadn't received any instructions so didn't know where to report. The race also set off 5 minutes late. Because of the conditions, I ignored the feed stations, but they looked like they were stocked with jelly babies and chocolate brownies(!) Would I do the race again? If I was desperate for a PB then maybe, otherwise I'd probably give it a miss. Date of review: October 4, 2014