In short: Tough, fun, 0.5 mile too long In full: I've run the Wycombe 1/2 five times but this year it's a totally new course. No longer a road race, now more of a trail run (at least for long stretches), and I thought the old course was pretty hilly but now it's REALLY HILLY. Nice scenic route, much of it on Wycombe estate. I liked the course even though I was hoping for a faster time, and although it has many merits this is certainly not a PB course. The thing that really killed my time however was this was not really a half-marathon it was a 13.6 mile course. I've run dozens of road races but I've never run a course that missed its intended distance target by such a large margin and that added so many minutes to my time. Everything seemed more or less OK (according to my Garmin) until around mile 11, at which point the miles started getting longer and longer. Garmin said 13.61 miles and other runners have reported similar results on their watches. On the other hand beautiful course, really great marshals, excellent medal and goody bag, and a good race overall. Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Excellent new course - scenic & very challenging! In full: Really enjoyed the new course, far more scenic than the old one, and fantastic organisation as always from Handy Cross Runners. Of all the half's I've done over the years, this new course must count as the 2nd hardest I've done - only beaten by the Herepath Half in Somerset (which is advertised as a multi-terrain race & is even longer!) Hopefully this can be promoted as such next year, and attract a larger entry - I'm sure there are plenty of nutters out there who would relish the challenge! I'll certainly be back! :-) Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Seriously hilly course - created by a sadist perhaps :-) but great fun In full: I've run the old course before and I didn't read up on the new course and paid for it. This has some serious ups and downs (3,000 ft in total) plus a fair amount off trail/grass/stone track running. The first 10k provided the brunt of uphill running with the second half of the run being kinder (aside from the real monster in the woods mile 11). Having said this, I thought this was a fantastic course. Aside from getting in and out of the stadium, the views were very nice. Do not agree with comments below that finish was poor. Cars were using the road but it wasn't an issue and I saw 4 or 5 marshals along the final half mile. The marshals along the entire course were very very supportive and enthusiastic (given the atrocious conditions).
Pros - challenging, hilly and scenic course. Easy parking right by start line. Nice finish. Great marshals. Decent medal and goody bag.
Cons - could have done with more toilets open around football ground.
Vastly improved course in my opinion. Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Extremely challenging but satisfying race In full: Described as undulating/hilly and that was an understatement but at the same time the views were worth all the hard work. A very well organised race with very enthusiastic volunteers along the route. Date of review: July 10, 2016
In short: Much better route but sacrificing atmosphere and organisation. Too expensive too In full: They've improved the route but lost the local charm that the previous finish gave the race. The final mile of the race really let you down with no race marshals on the industrial estate road and all the early finishers leaving in cars on the same road, runners were weaving through cars, lorries and people walking out. The marshals were awesome but the atmosphere in the stadium was lacking giving a real sense of anticlimax to the end. Overall it feels like a bit of a sell out by the organisers and a money making exercise especially at £30 on the day tickets. Date of review: July 10, 2016
In short: Harder than expected but fun In full: Yes, it was very hard and I took it on much too casually and paid the price. The woodland trail sections were gruelling, most especially the climb on 11 miles. The country lanes were quaint. Except for the very earliest and latest sections, we were constantly in a pleasant environment. Far superior course to previous years. But it was half a mile too long according to my watch and also that of a number of other runners. It would have been nice to have seen some timing device at the end. A detail I know. Goody bag was good, particularly t-shirt. Enjoyed the crisps and not too distraught when afterwards I saw they were a month out of date. My support was disappointed that a rubbish coffee cost £2. What I shall take away is that it is a nice course, on my doorstep and a race which I intend to be better prepared for next year. Date of review: July 10, 2016
In short: Nice race, but was it over half marathon length? In full: Well organised and friendly, a scenic but tough and hilly multi-terrain course. The marshals were outstanding. Just one possible criticism - the measurement of the new course. My Garmin, which rarely differs by more than about 0.05 miles from the official distance, reckoned it very long at 13.64 miles - is it just me, or did anyone else think the course was long? Date of review: July 10, 2016
In short: Disappointing - route very boring and uninspiring for where it is. In full: I chose to enter this as it had been picked out in a previous running mag feature as something special. Such a disappointment. Considering it's Marlow I expected to be running alongside the river. Instead it was running alongside a dual carriageway and round residential roads. Wouldn't run it again and wouldn't recommend though the organisation was ok. Date of review: June 14, 2016