In short: ETL's Finest Yet! In full: In 2010 I did this race and it was a much smaller but still a fun race. Last year I did the Marathon du Medoc from which the idea of the Bacchus/Denbies race comes from and that was one of my all time fav races but this year at the Bacchus ETL ramped it up into a fun fiesta and the Medoc had better watch out! I had a blast in the sun - slick organisation, great fun marshalls, wonderful scenery and a great medal. I too like the touch of Alan shaking our hands as we finished and everyone in their costumes shone brightly in the sun. The camaraderie with the runners, marshalls and supporters spurred us all on over the hills, and the strongest beverage to pass my lips was good old water. I am still smiling and I will look forward to doing it all over again. Thank you to Alan, Nicky and all their team. Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: Fantastic fun In full: Well I knew from the location that I would not get a Personal best...but I got a Personal Worst and it was one of the best days of fun I've had in a long time! The course was 'undulating' in the extreme....whose idea was that hill? When wearing a big yellow foam suit in high 20s temperature and add those hills it makes for a slow old course. The Marshalls though - they can make or break a race and here they were fantastic - the drinks stations were so well stocked they were worth a 5 minute break with the fruit, gels, water, pretzels and wine, and the sponge station at #4 was very welcome. From start to finish this was a winner of a day, and one that if a definite date for next year. Thankyou all! Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: I'll be back next year In full: This was my first ever half marathon, and it's given me the long distance bug. Brilliant from start to finish. Great venue, well organised, friendly marshals and wine. I'm there next year. Only thing I learned was that the black Spiderman costume I wore wasn't the best in 30 degree heat! PB potential will go after the first wine stop but I'm definitely going to apply again next year, maybe even do the marathon Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: Although not a beginner's race because of difficulty, a great welcoming well-organised day means I'm sure I'll be back for mroe In full: A brilliant experience for my first ever half marathon. Despite the heat (what can you do?) and the hills (fully anticipated), a great atmosphere and a beautiful course made this a brilliant experience.
The organisers did a grand job preparing for the hot weather - although bigger tables/more water at the stations wouldn't have gone amiss - it was frustrating to have to queue up. That was my only niggle and I'm sure on other occasions without such heat it wouldn't be such a problem.
I totally agree with other reviews that the provisions laid on both during and after the race were much more valuable and appreciated than anything in a goodie bag. Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: Friendly, well-organised trail race with a party atmosphere In full: It was hot & hilly, yes! It was also the friendliest, best marshalled, and best organised race I've ever run - way better than some of the large urban races. There was no goodie bag at the end, but a medal, technical tee, free drink, & hog roast beats a granola bar and sachet of joint cream hands down any day! The marshals along the course were some of the cheeriest I'd ever encountered, the trails were excellently marked in orange paint, and runners were really looking out for each other and others using the footpaths.
I was really wary of the No Headphones clause, but it really meant I ended up talking to other runners more, even finishing the last 2 miles with a new friend and giving the spectators a thrilling neck-and-neck sprint finish! The fancy dress costumes also made a nice icebreaker, and meant the spectators along the course could more easily offer encouragement (names were written quite small on our bibs). I also loved that the start & finish line were more of a big village fete atmosphere, with picnics and cheering going on for hours after runners finished. My non-running husband enjoyed this race as much as I did, which is no mean feat. I also loved that the race organiser personally shook the hand of every finisher as they came across the line, which is such a wonderful touch. I'd run this race again in a heartbeat, even with those killer North Downs hills! Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: Slick, great fun and definitely one for the calendar! In full: Was supposed to be doing the marathon on the day, but other arrangements got in the way. But being 2 laps there was the opportunity to turn it into a half. Good stuff.
However, that was only a minor point of personal satisfaction. This is beautiful countryside, a race which takes itself lightheartedly but delivers it in a very friendly manner. Great marshals, excellent entertainment at the start. Slick organisation and not too big to be impersonal. This might change as word gets out. Get onto it soon! The organisers put other companies such as Human Race to shame. Good work guys :) Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: Best race I've ever done! In full: Absolutely loved this race! Brilliantly organised and the marshalls/volunteers were fantastic. The water stations (or feed stations as someone else has named them!) were awesome!! I'm sure I'd have run a better time if I hadn't spent so long at each one!!! Loved the finish line feed station with lovely fresh fruit - what a great touch!! Brilliant T-shirt (that you would actually run in!) and lots of lovely extras - massages, hog roast, wine etc etc. Really can't fault it! The hot weather made it a very tough race and I posted a "personal worst" but still thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks very much to all involved. Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: Britain's best race? Probably In full: This is a local race with big race facilities: loads of marshals, great parking, bag drop, chip timing, cracking goodies, a smorgasbord of cakes and fruit (and tea!) at the end, wine and very many goodies at the feed stations (not just water stations, Feed stations), chunky medal and fine t-shirt, hog roast, DJ and cold beer. The course is sublime - making sensible use of the terrain to inexorably climb from the depths of the valley of the Tillingborne stream to the top of the North Downs at Ranmore (what an appropriate name) at around mile 11, ready for a thunderous flight back down to Denbies Winery and the welcome finish line (and a handshake from the race director, Allan). I ran on a lot of new trails - and I thought I knew this part of the world. A classic course - yes, very fine indeed. Yes it was a bit warm today, but we runners cannot complain about that - we have to take the rough with the smooth and the hot with the cold. I'll bet you someone does complain about the heat (just as they would have done if it had been raining or cold) - but remember, the weather is the one thing that is outside the remit of the race organisers! At least there was plenty of shade in parts. Is this Britain's best race? Well, it's certainly the most spectacular and best-organised half I've ever done. It's got to be up there with the very best of them - there can't be many (any?) half marathons that are better than the totally awesome Bacchus Half! Well done to Events to Live and all your cheery helpers and marshals - I give you thanks and full respect. Date of review: September 9, 2012