In short: Extreme conditions but lovely course In full: As a beginner I found this race tough. Not because of the hills (they weren't that bad) but because of the weather. As mentioned, there was rain, hail, thunder, lightning and ankle deep streams to pass. I had so much rain in my eyes at one point that I could hardly see. I'd love to do this race in better weather because there was some beautiful countryside to admire, if only you could see through the monsoon.
I am full of admiration for the marshalls, the organisers, the tea and bun ladies - and for those of you who raced round like greyhounds. There were lots of serious looking runners but a few of us who came near the back to make up the numbers. The great thing about this race is that if you can run in these conditions you can pretty much run in anything. So well done everyone, a big fat pat on the back. Date of review: November 27, 2006
In short: Wonderful race despite the weather ! In full: Beautiful country lanes, in and around the New forest. A few hills, but nothing too bad. However the Weather was awful, Thunder, Lighting, Hail and big Rain for most of the race. Made the course underwater in parts, but added to the fun.A massive thank you to the Marshalls and orgainisers, it was tough conditions for everyone ! One of my favourite races, will be back next year whatever the weather ! Date of review: November 27, 2006
In short: Highlight of the year...fantastic race In full: Agree with all the positive comments below. The weather was, shall we say, a little bad. Torrential rain, hail....thankfully it wasn't windy!
The course was fantastic. The climb at mile 3 is a toughie. That is some hill...especially with floods of water pouring towards you. And lost count of the number of 8" deep puddles flooding large sections! Still, managed the course in 1.35 which was well chuffed with.
A big thankyou to all the marshals, organisers and locals for making the day one to remember. I don't think I saw a marshall that wasn't smiling...despite looking like drown rats, and their words of encouragement were greatly received!
Downton should be proud of this race. Definately be back next year, and hopefully will be able to enjoy the views next time!
In short: Hilly, Hard and Beautiful In full: Occasionally surreal - it rained so hard that most of the course was like a stream.
We ran with the ponies. One or two long hills made it quite testing. It was thoroughly enjoyable but occasionally I was running on my own for periods and would have liked a little more company. Its a shame they can't make this a bigger event. Date of review: November 26, 2006
In short: Rain, wind, hail & storms - bring it on! What a race! What a day! Fab! In full: Just had a great time. The organisation and marshalling were fabulous. Special thanks to the starter [for taking my kit back to the school when I arrived with bag 2 mins before the start]; the two ladies on one water station for their enthusiasm [already mentioned in dispatches]; and the ladies serving tea and buns. I would also thank all at the school and leisure centre, and the few brave residents of Downton who came out to cheer us on. What a lovely village - such a welcome change from Central London.
Yes, it was wet (I thought I was going to drown at one stage, I was breathing so much rain)but it wasn't too hot or too cold and I managed a really satisfactory time [1'42"].
The scenery was lovely, particularly the lovely hills and streams and rivers!
Organisers, you did a wonderful job - thank you. I can't wait to come back for another go next year. One of the highlights of my running year in 2005. What a way to get over the rubbish served up at Twickenham yesterday. Worth every minute of the 4 hour round trip.
Well done everbody. Date of review: November 26, 2006
In short: Would have been lovely if not for rain, wind, hail, floods...... In full: Hilly, but not suicidally so. This year, there was thunder, lightning, hail, torrential rain and roads flooded to ankle-deep, but that isn't the organisers fault! Somewhat took the shine off the scenery though.
Great value, with a decent T-shirt and a medal, bun, biscuit and tea! Low-key (300ish runners), but good, friendly organisation.
Slight lack of marshalling at the end when coming back through the village, where the traffic is heaviest.
Would do it again, but maybe not in these conditions! Date of review: November 26, 2006
In short: Cracking duathalon for the price of a single event! In full: My first 1/2 and I will never forget it. Quite challenging course but what really made it was the weather and in particular the marshalls. They were absolutley fantastic the whole race. Special thanks go to the well placed marshall at the first (totally flooded) cattle grid directing us through the gate instead. If he wasn't there we would have just thought it was another ankle deep puddle and run through it like all the others. Free bun, coffee, t-shirt and a friendly face at the end finished it off nicely. Thanks Downton!! :-) Date of review: November 26, 2006