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.
In short: Great feedback from runners at the finish In full: As a injured runner at the moment after ankle surgery, my wife and I decided we would help out at his event. We helped at registration, marshalling, handing out chocolate bars for the junior race and then cutting up fruit for the main race. We were thanked by everyone, everyone had a smile on their face, and hearing runners say how good/tough/hilly etc the course was they did seem to think they will be back next year......so we think we will have to run next year instead of helping out? Well done all runners, marshalls etc a great day had! :0) Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: excellent day ! In full: Excellent in all respects, tough-ish scenic course, perfect organisation, tremendous marshalling, great spirit between runners, lovely t-shirt/drinks/beer/fruit at end ..what more can say ! Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: Hot and hilly, but well worth it! In full: After only discovering the race a few days before I was pleased when I found out I could sign up on the day, this was a smooth, quick process as was all the organization on the day.
The course is tough, it's very hilly, although there are some nice flat bits in between. Mostly trail/offroad other than the first few miles. Stunning views, and fab course.
Marshals and everyone involved in the event are fabulous. Loved the t-shirt, and the beer, and the fruit platter at the end was perfect!
Will be back in the future for sure! Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: Hills, hills and more hills In full: An excellent race with a good vibe and great organisation. Not one for a pb though! The hills (and humidity this year) made for a long slog through the middle of the race. I went from pb chasing to attempting a respectable time to finishing as best I could very quickly! The badger t-shirt you get at the end is a cool and unique bit of kit! Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: Tough, challenging and well organised half In full: Another well organised friendly race from Events to Live. Being in the shadow of Box Hill it was never going to be pancake flat and true enough the course provided a challenge.
Thanks to the marshalls for the motivation along the more challenging parts.
Forget about rip offs such as the British 10k and add this to race to add to your July race calender. Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: Slow, slow, quick quick slow In full: Didn't see any badgers on the course but did think the course was more of a foxtrot of slow, slow, quick quick slow, with the fabulous mix of lung busting climbs through hills and twisting paths in the woods to the long speedy paths.
Fantastic atmosphere and organisation, with Denbies and the Surrey Hills making the perfect backdrop. Superb course marking and marshalling over a very twisty and clever course. Brilliant camaraderie and a great morning all round.
I must echo what Rob says about the noise polluters and it is such a shame when ETL went to great lengths in all their instructions to explain the rules and the reasons why as well. However, none of this detracts from a fabulous event and thanks to Alan, Nicky and all the RTL team. Date of review: July 14, 2014