In short: Very well organised and friendly, no issues with signs for me In full: The race was a great event, very well organised, good value, and the atmosphere was super friendly and welcoming.
The route was stunning, there was a mix of terrain but it was mostly off road and a nice mix of challenging up and down hills and flats across country fields with nice views across the country, and a few short sections through houses/urban areas. I opted for the 42k marathon distance and did not have any issues with the signage at any point, and this was my first time running the event or anywhere near the location so it was all unfamiliar to me. Towards the end the signs were smaller but not difficult to spot if you kept your eye out as you come to any kind of turn or junction. I’m not sure why so many people were confused by them, it seems most of the issues are with the 33k route so maybe those signs are not as good, but the organisers are very upfront about the route and potential issues – and they do what they can to prevent issues with a map pre-race and in the race briefing.
The water stations were frequent and marshals / volunteers, as well as the other runners super supportive and friendly. A local runner not racing even had a short chat with me towards the end, so seems the running community in and around Salisbury is pretty strong.
Definitely one to do but be prepared for a challenging and varied, as well as picturesque, route – especially if it’s a hot day.
In short: Superb run in and around Salisbury and the stunning Wiltshire Countryside In full: Fantastic event I loved it, I did the 21K (or 22 by my GPS) and for a great cause too, very well organised start and finish and the marshals were excellent - a good challenging course with some great sights on the way.
I would call it a Multi-Terrain rather than a Trail run as about 50% was on roads and pavements, fair enough the organizers send out full details of the differing surface types in advance so to me it was 50/50 call on which shoes to wear- I decided to wear my trail shoes for grip off road - next time I will wear road shoes as boy those hard road surfaces really took their toll on my feet in the lightweight trails shoes.
I think the point made about the signs by other runners is valid though, even in the city around the Cathedral runners temporarily lost the signs I saw runners diverting down different streets which cannot be good from a safety point of view not everyone can run and read a map at the same time especially with crowds of shoppers in your way. I lost the signs and the view of the runner in front of me too, but I know Salisbury very well and in the end I guessed which way the route was going towards the central car park. Date of review: August 12, 2015
In short: A well organised race, but spoilt by confusing or non existant signage In full: This was my first entry to the Salisbury Trail Races and I ran the 33k. Parking, number collection, toilets start etc. all very effective, as was early signage. Plenty of water stations, some with food and jelly babies, but would have been better with bottles, rather than cups. There were some areas where the different races split where the signage was unclear which route to take. There were other times where there were no signs at all, and runners were waiting for each other to see if any of them knew which way to take. Having read back over previous years reviews, it seems that signage is a continuing problem. We were advised to carry instructions and map with us, but unless you are a runner that can run with reading glasses, or doesn't wear glasses, then they are useless. I shall probably run again next year, but hope they will have sorted out the signage problems. Date of review: August 12, 2015
In short: Great event In full: I really like this event. I have ran in both the marathon and ultra 7 times. This time I took part in the ultra. Great start and finish area. Showers, food, value for money. All for a great cause. I will always support this event. Marshals do a great job. Ludo the organiser does a great job. I find the course a good mix of surface. People forget that it started as a LDWA event and gradually got took over by runners. It's a challenge at the end of the day and I guess that taking in the signs and reading a map is a must. If you want a fast pace event then there are plenty out there that will cost you a lot more for less organisation. Reasonable start times and I did not find navigation difficult at all. I really rate this race and will be back. Well done to all at the team and fire station. Date of review: August 10, 2015
In short: Well organised day out In full: If the weather is nice - which it has been both times I have done this event - then it makes a great day out. A band (or two), ice-creams, bacon rolls.. oh and some rather good runs (& walks!). I ran the 33k, this year it was a bit longer and a bit less trail than 2013 (maybe 50% off-road), but still a pleasant yet challenging run. The scenery is excellent; turning the corner to see Longford Castle is an amazing sight and the yew forest was an interesting bonus. Home-made flapjacks and bread-pudding(!!) were bonuses in the later stages. There were enough aid stations on a hot day, although most only had water (if you need more, carry a few gels). There are a range of distances (runs and walks) which start at different times, this stops the routes from getting too overcrowded, but also means that there always seemed to be someone to overtake (a nice feeling). This does lengthen the day, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending upon when you want to go home. Date of review: August 10, 2015
In short: Depends on your definition of a trail event! In full: Let's be honest, I entered this event on the strength of much positivity from other runners. As it was only £20 to enter, with proceeds going to a very worthy cause, I did not expect a flash medal, a free T-shirt or all sorts of goodies at aid stations. However I did expect an event that has been running for quite a few years to be well marked out. It wasn't and I was lucky to run the last half with somebody local. I've never seen so many runners appearing from other directions saying that they were lost! The map was indecipherable as well.
I also expected a bit less tarmac and more "trails" than was on the route. Instead we ran mile after mile along busy A roads, crossed dual carriageway and ran around plenty of urban sprawl and housing estates! There were the occasional treats - Yew forest, a couple of cornfields, but really not what I would call a trail marathon. Date of review: August 10, 2015
In short: Good scenery, poor signage In full: Good scenery, good marshalling, good water stops, problem was the lack of signs at Wilton, ended up doing 27 miles due to poor signage. Other than that, signage was fine. Would like the medals to have differentiated between the distances available. Date of review: August 10, 2015
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