In short: SUPERB DAY, VERY WELCOMING In full: I did the half marathon distance with my son. We had a brilliant day the organisation was great, I found the marshalling really good and the encouragement along the route excellent. Great introductory to trail running for anyone that wants to see what its like. A very good mixture of terrain to cover, the hills good not too difficult and then going into Salisbury excellent. My favourite city outside London. The route markers were good, I did not get lost which is a bonus when you are tired the distance markers did not bother us as we had an idea of what pace we were going at ( we did not have a GPS). We were in the shade a lot of the time which helped, but also the cloud cover was good and the extra water I brought along we did not need as the water stations were excellent. It was not as hot as I had prepared for so we had a bonus. A big thank you to everyone that was involved in organising this great event. A lot of work goes into organising such an event and its great to be able to take part. Thanks to everyone that encouraged us around the course we had a great day. Looking forward to coming back.
In short: Dry conditions this year, but a surprising extra half-mile! In full: I really enjoyed the race again. Wonderful atmosphere beforehand and my son really appreciated the chance to climb aboard the fire engines and meet the firemen. It was hot and humid, but there was plenty of tree cover. Putting Christian names on the bibs was a nice touch, resulting in plenty of encouragement at aid stations. I didn't find the signage a problem, apart from the markers at the end. The only major gripe was the inaccurate distance - I did the Half and my Garmin stopped on 13.56 miles. I double-checked the accuracy with a few other people and there was definitely an extra half-mile. However, I will certainly be back next year to support this wonderful event for a great cause. Date of review: August 10, 2015
In short: Expected more trail and less road in a 'trail' race In full: To be fair, this is many many peoples favourite race, so they must be doing something right. I did the 33k Registration was excellent, toilets at the start were plentiful, atmosphere in and around the start finish was jolly. fire engine tours for small kids. Very nice. Complicated instructions sent, maps, route description, & detailed charts of differing terrain percentage (which I found difficult to read) but no info it seemed about simple stuff like what time the registration desk was open from and to. (turned out to be quite a nice long time, but i had to ask) I wish i had taken more time to decipher the terrain percentages though as I would have known then that the percentage of tarmac like surfaces in a 33k 'trail' race was almost 50%! I know that by definition a trail race (as opposed to a cross country race) is going to have some road in it, but I felt this was pushing the description a little. Somewhere i read it says traffic free, i suppose it depends on your interpretation of this, there were a couple busy road crossings, one over a duel carriageway. A bit too much road for my liking sorry so probably wont be back. was very very Hot & humid (obviously not the organisers fault, as much as they would like to i'm sure, no race organisers can control the weather!) and this likely didnt help my mood, it might have been nicer in cooler weather. running round Old Sarum was nice, and the Old Yew Forest. Some of the aid stations were a little basic, well stocked but the first few only with water (one had run out of cups but given the heat not suprising) the one at halfway had some fruit and a couple of other items. there was flapjack at another. weak squash was available after halfway but this seemed to make me more thirsty, so by about 20k i was craving something like cola! signs were ok to start with but as the races devided and joined it got a little confusing. At one point the distance markers went something like 20km, 22km, 21km, 23km, 22km! Obviously we eventually realised that this was because of the differing races but it was confusing for a while! the route through the town was mostly signed (small signs but they were there) but again there were a couple of confusing sections where you just hoped you had gone the right way. And then there were the signs near the end that said '2km to go' then '3km to go' then again '2km to go' then 'run in' then someone said its just 200 metres, then all of a sudden you were on the finish! after mentioning this confusion we were told 'well we sent you a map' Hmm, might be a good idea to tell people they might actually need to carry it, and anyway i wouldnt take my reading glasses on a run unless I knew i might have to do some self navigating? All in All it was not a poor race, but it was an OK race, but as I say, just my opinion as loads of people love it and come back again and again! Date of review: August 10, 2015
In short: Fantastic run/walk around salisbury In full: Love this race. Have tweaked course, I did the half, so much better. Signage was poor through Salisbury town, but trouble with idiots moving signs. Plenty of water stations and friendly marshals. Nice mix of off road and road running. Shame about registration at start. Despite entering some time ago my number was not there so had to re register, which was a right pain. So no nice number with my name on !! Date of review: August 9, 2015
In short: Signage still a shambles In full: Good points: great scenery and almost entirely traffic free, plenty of water stops and most of them have snacks too (gorgeous bread pudding at one of them), showers afterwards in the leisure centre, great atmosphere. Bad points: let down by signage. Where 33k splits from 42/50k route it was just hand scribbled marker pen on some tape. Other reviews have mentioned the poor signage, I don't understand why they don't do something about it. It's just basic stuff - every route sign should show which distance it applies to. With 6 distances in play you can end up running the wrong route & distance. It should be idiot proof - and not require map reading. Date of review: August 9, 2015
In short: Fabulous scenery and a wonderful atmosphere - despite the wind and rain! In full: Torrential overnight rain made conditions very tricky for the first couple of miles out of town. I opted for the half and there was a good field. Stunning views over Salisbury as you head out and then the additional pleasure of running through country estates closed to the public the rest of the year. The finish past the Cathedral was really memorable as well. A great race for a great cause - I will definitely be back next year (and maybe I will have trained enough to complete the marathon). Date of review: September 17, 2014
In short: The 50K is really great for those going above marathon distance for the first time. In full: I loved running the 50K; a mix of road and trail and the hills weren't too challenging, so perfect for my first go at running more than marathon distance. There were eleven well-stocked aid stations and I found the signage was fine on the 50K. There are a number of highlights on the route - running around the outer ramparts of Old Sarum, the magnificent Longford Castle, the beautiful chalet house, the yew forest, the Racecourse and the Cathedral Close. I've worked my way up the distances over the last four years starting with the 20K in 2011 & love the fact that all the different distances, as well as walkers, are all mixed in together - it makes a really interesting event! The only slight downside I have is that the general public in the city seem to have no idea there is a race on & look at us as if we are out of our minds as we run past them. I have to shout "Make way!!" to get them to move - it would just be nice if Salisbury itself recognised the 54321 event as something to be celebrated, as it is a brilliant day for the participants and supporters. A Big Thank You to all the marshals, volunteers and Salisbury Firestation for organising this excellent event! Date of review: August 15, 2014