In short: Great organisation, but beware the hill, not as described lol In full: Can't fault the organisation, had the massive car park running like clockwork, chip hand out was faultless and quick (though why they weren't posted like other races is a mystery). As always a 30 minute queue for the toilets, portaloos must be expensive, but same at all events.
Awesome start, spot on time for a change! My only criticism would be the description of the route "The route generally uses well-maintained tracks with gentle inclines". They weren't even remotely gentle! From km 2-3 you drop 110m then climb back up until km 11 with a few dips, you then drop another 100m and climb again up some very steep inclines. My garmin recorded a 1km drop and climb overall.
Don't get me wrong this maybe normal for trail runners but I wasn't expecting it and felt mislead by "gentle inclines" lol.
That said squeaked in a PB, just so v happy. A nice course, great organisation, but I'm going to stick to road running :-) Date of review: March 27, 2011
In full: Fantastically organised, signposted very well. Plenty of car parking. Lots of toilets. very well marshalled, spectators wonderful at lots of places along the route. Sports drinks at the finish along with boiled sweets and the very very wonderful massage tent free for all! Fantastic 1st half marathon, everyone should try it. Well done guys. Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Not easy, but a brilliant race In full: A brilliantly organised forest run on tracks which were, thanks to the recent lack of rain, mostly very solid. A few stretches of loose stones and a couple of fairly steep hills kept things interesting (mile 2-3 is entirely downhill, which is nice, but then there's that niggling feeling that you'll have to go back up at some point...). But the big thing I'd say is that it's great value and very well organised - chip timing, clear marshalling and signposting, nice hefty medal and time zones at the start are all nice touches that are sometimes missed. My only complaint would be that water was given out in cups rather than bottles, but this race is hardly unique in that - and the fact that I managed to sneak home early enough to get a free top 50 t-shirt was more than enough to compensate for a few facefuls of water. Good job FODH! Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Please stop fiddling with the Course In full: Nice run again today although the sneaky hill slipped in at 1/2 way was crafty. Lots of recent changes in the course though make year on year comparisons difficult . Parking exit seemed a bit better . All sounds a bit moany ...sorry to Organisers , actually they do a pretty good job of it ! Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: A great introduction to trail running In full: A great day out. Maybe not a great chance of a half marathon pb but still must be considered reasonably quick for this class of event. Some steep downhills at the start and a degree of concentration required to deal with the loose conditions underfoot but nothing too specialist. I had been told i would need a trail shoe but my usual road trainers were fine. I would recommend this event to anyone considering a trail event for the first time. Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Excellent, well organised and fun trail race In full: Really enjoyed this one - it made a change from running around a city centre or rural country lanes.
Excellent organisation and parking, (for me) 25 yards from the finish line! Chip pickup was quick and efficient, water stations every 3 miles and well marshalled. Crowd support at various points throughout the course was good and excellent at the finish.
Course is undulating with some fairly short, steep sections but otherwise a really good mix of up and down. I thought it might be a bit congested but it seemed OK for me finishing in the 1:40 crowd.
Definitely one to do again next year for a change from the usual road stuff... Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: My 6th and toughest half. Be prepared for the hills. In full: Well organised, good price and lovely location. I found it quiet on the course and missed the volume of spectators that accompany the road races I usually do - others might find this a plus point though. The spectators that were there were very encouraging though. It was my first non road race which I found challenging - uneven underfoot, quite a lot of lose stones and a few steep hills to cope with - not my forte! I would suggest taking your own drinks as the water stations give out cups which are hard to drink on the move and I ended up with 1 or 2 mouthfuls only. Overall, not a good race for me but if you like quieter scenic routes and don't mind a few hills, I'm sure you'll love it. Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Really enjoyed this- far better than I expected In full: This was one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done, very friendly, supportive runners, supporters and marshals and very well organised. Nothing like as many hills as I was expecting and so much downhill. A really gooe finish too. I'll definitely be back next year Date of review: March 27, 2011