In short: Great organisation, beautiful course, and a beer at the end In full: As with all ETL events, the organisation is top notch, and the marshals brilliant. A handshake from the race director as you cross the line sums up the ethos of the race Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: A must do event! In full: Where do you start with this event! These are all the excellent bits: Holding an Event at Denbies, DJ, Warm up girls, Atmosphere, challenging off road route, Marshals, water stations (plenty) Tech T-shirt, lovely fresh fruit, beer, Massage (if req) the whole event was brill! Thanks ETL, you done the business again :-) Date of review: July 15, 2014
In short: fantastic venue , real fruit , gels and sweets at all the feedstations In full: very friendly atmosphere, the fresh fruit was plentiful, a perfect alternative to chocolate on a very hot day, beer and a proper technical top for the finishers. special thanks to the marshals for their enthusiastic cheers all around the course Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: Tough - but fun! In full: I ran the Ashridge Half 3 weeks before the Badger Half and would say that they are very similar in terms of terrain, hills, and scenery. I’m hoping that even next week’s Wycombe Half, with its one notorious hill, will feel easy compared to these two!!
Badger HQ (Denbies Wine Estate) was easy to find from the A24 and well-equipped in terms of parking. On-the-day entry was available (for £25) and smoothly handled. There were minimal queues for toilets. The route itself starts with a lap of the Estate - running on grass or earth, and I thought (hoped!) that THAT might be the tough bit of the course!! A brief respite with a mile or 2 on flat pavements, then we started to climb uphill on a wide road with faster runners visible as tiny dots way above us in the distance! Varied terrain included plenty of tree roots waiting to trip you up if you didn't keep an eye out for them. We had a bit of everything with the weather – hot sun, bit of a breeze, even a shower of rain, but the woods provided shelter and cover. Directions were clear (yellow signs and orange arrows on the ground), though the mile-markers seemed a little erratically-spaced to me; starting out by being more than a mile each time and getting closer together towards the end of the race. The marshals on the course were incredibly vocal and encouraging, and realistic rather than optimistic about the challenges that we had still to face! The undulations didn't really let up until about 11.5 (?) miles in, at which point I realised that we were basically heading for home. The last mile or so can be covered fairly quickly if you've any energy left! The finish-area crew were *all* very congratulatory to *every* runner coming through the finish funnel, which I've not come across before to that extent! They made it sound as if they were pleased that every single runner had finished their race, and they really were keen to know that everyone had enjoyed themselves.
Slices of melon, pineapple and orange were very welcome at the finish, as a change to the usual bananas or Mars bars; and a lovely "Badger" t-shirt to wear at the next race! It is easy to see why this race has the excellent reputation it has. Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: It tempted me back for a second go In full: I rarely visit the same place twice, or run the same race over and over again. There are however exceptions, special places I think about and long to return to. Over the past month the Badgers Half had added itself to that short list. I ran the very hot 2013 version of this race and wilted even before the hills started getting too hard. Despite finishing last year in 2hr 8, deep down I wanted revenge and over the last two weeks I talked myself into running it again, so entered on the day. This year I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The course, the setting, the marshalling, the up hills, the long down hills, the guy dressed as a chilli that kept me sane in the last four miles, the t-shirt, the beer, the hand shake at the end. From the moment I pulled off the A24 into Denbies to the moment I set off again wearing my Badgers t-shirt I was in my element. If you fancy a bit of a challenge give this a go. I can see me lining up for this one again next year. Fantastic work.