In short: Nice course, nice grounds, shoddy organisation In full: Weather held off and was a chilly but bright and dry race.
Organisationally, the event was a shambles. From the 3 course changes announced before the event to on the day shenanigans (More later) there seemed to be very little actual organisation. It was further hurt by Longleat's decision to open the park during the event which meant spectators either needed to pay the entry (At a 30% discount) or enter the fun run (£2 cheaper than the discounted rate)
Despite there being mention of timed start pens, I only saw the sub 40 one. The rest were hidden by swathes of people, not helped by the distinct lack of marshals trying to organise people properly. There was a PA system you could barely hear and no-one had a clue what was going on. I didn't hearIt ended up just a mass funnel of people of varying paces.
This was exacerbated by the Fun Run. There was supposed to be a 3k fun run taking place 5 minutes after the start of the main run. But people didn't seem to be able to tell what was going on (Lack of marshalling/decent PA contributed). So all the fun runners also started at the same time.
I spent the first 2k weaving in and out of people including, rather dangerously, children. In a fun run situation fair enough, but when I'm chasing a PB I'm not always looking down far enough and nearly rattled a few kids.
After that debacle though, I have to say the race was good. There were some KILLER hills. To say that marshals were sparse would be an understatement. If there was an emergency, it would take 2-3 minutes for a marshal to even get notified they were that far apart.
The problems return during the last kilometer. As runners were running up the finish straight, people who were already finished were walking down the same router, and I was having to weave around them too! Once again, no marshalling to keep runners and finishers separated.
The medal was good, the goody bag was shoddy. The tee shirt was good but paid extra for it.
The best part of the day was the attractions in Longleat which we did have free entry to (Except the safari park). The saving grace of the event.
I had fun, but have been to much better organised events and wouldn't do this one again with the current arrangements. Date of review: February 10, 2014
In short: Enjoyable and challenging. In full: Shame about the messing about from Longleat, and the goody bags weren't up to much, but I really enjoyed it and there was a nice friendly atmosphere. Date of review: February 10, 2014
In short: Hilly, friendly, beautiful! In full: Excellent organisation and very friendly - I particularly liked the Marquess of Bath cheering people on with "Welcome home!" as we approached the finish line. Date of review: February 9, 2014
In short: Was a bit of an obstacle course this year In full: Ran this race for the third time in a row. Due to the park opening earlier, the start/finish line had been moved further away, and the traffic!!! I lost count of the amount of times someone shouted out "CAR" - there were far too many of them!! In addition, when running up the final straight, all of the faster runners were walking back down the road making it difficult for us to run up. When reaching the finish, I sped up only to run straight into someone chatting in front of the line, who suddenly turned round without looking - WHERE WERE THE MARSHALLS??? The finish line should have been kept clear and the people returning to the car park should have been instructed to keep to the left! Preferred it the way it was last year I'm afraid. Still a good medal, goody bag and the country's best race photographers though. Date of review: February 9, 2014
In short: Weather Gods smiled on us, poor goody bag In full: This was my second year at this race. The change of route led to some problems before the start as late comers were still walking up the race line to the start, delaying it slightly. The starting area was packed and it was pretty much impossible to get into the right starting zone which meant a lot of weaving about to overtake people. Was good to have a tent at the start as it was about a km from the car park. The marshalls were friendly and helpful. The goody bag was pretty terrible. I know you don't go to an event for a goody bag but the only edible items were pistachio nuts an a bottle of coconut water.
In short: I aintn't et.... In full: First time at this race so didn't know what to expect. Surprised by the number of people who turned up for what could easily have been a cold drenching day. As it was, weather though grey and windy stayed kind. On a bright Spring day this would be lovely, if not flat. Couple of hilly sections at most half a mile. Depressingly boring goody bag, but overall a reasonable day out. Date of review: February 9, 2014
In short: Tough hills, nice scenery, shoddy start In full: With a few minutes to go there were hundreds of people walking where we were about to run. I didn't hear any announcements and we were crammed into pens near the start freezing. Luckily it going soon, with no further announcement. My wife and son did the fun run and just went when people started running near them, as there were no instructions. They then got stuck behind all of the 10k walkers on the hill. Not sure why the fun run started at the same time!
It was annoying to come back and find my bag covered in mud, a sheet would not have gone amiss to put bags on.
Other than this it was a nice race through nice scenery. Very tough hills, but a good route through the countryside. Barely saw a marshall, but the route was simple and traffic free. Nice medal. Date of review: February 9, 2014
In short: Great race but not for the feint hearted In full: Different route this year. Think it was tougher as more hills but they were long rather than short and sharp. Actually preferred today's route. Rain held off to make perfect conditions. Date of review: February 9, 2014