In short: 34k for the price of 30k! In full: My first race longer than a half-marathon and generally this one was really good. *Loads of water stations towards the beginning, though they did peter out towards the end. *In general the course was very well marshalled and well signed, though like other reviewers I found it much harder knowing where to go through Salisbury town centre and was desperately trying to follow a high-vis vest a few hundred metres ahead of me! *Scenery was great, and surfaces were a mix of about 80% trail and 20% tarmac. Within the first mile there was some very narrow, slippery chalk paths and we were down to walking pace but after that they were fine. *Can't fault the bread pudding! *Running with/past/behind people who were doing different distances or walking them entirely was great and meant you weren't often on your own, though there were a few places along the 30k route where suddenly everyone disappeared. *The distance! Well, definitely not a 30k and I didn't miss any signs, it was just longer than advertised and that was pretty hard going as we trogged along hoping the finish was just around the corner. This distance is probably not for me and might stick to shorter races in the future but I'd recommend it to everyone else - just make sure you're prepared for it to be longer than you think! Date of review: August 13, 2014
In short: Enjoyed most of it In full: Mixed feelings about this race. I did the 30k and it had a great atmosphere and was an enjoyable experience for most of the way round. The last 5 miles however were a slog with poor signage and no indication that the route was actually over 20 miles. From the reviews, it seems like the longer distances were better organised. Date of review: August 13, 2014
In short: cross country marathon In full: Prior to this my marathon experience was Brighton which i do in 4.56 .For myself this turned out to be a hard cross country marathon. .Four serious hills .80% of the remainder was seriously undulating cross country.20% on tarmac. Very good signage with no need for a map.More water stations than i expected with good stuff cake,choccy ,etc.After mile 22 i saw no more milege signs but plenty of arrows guiding the way home.I finished in 5.45 which i was happy with ,considering the course .some of which i was forced to walked .I may do it again if im up for some punishment. Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Beautiful, scenic race, let down by one thing - POOR SIGNAGE In full: Such a lovely, multi-distance race, badly let down by poor signage towards the end of the route... Our 30kms of country roads, hills and trails (no mean feat) ended up being 33.5km due to a distinct lack of signage from 28.5kms onwards. Also a real lack of water stations after 20kms - plenty before, so why so few afters!?
A real shame as the route is especially lovely. They're not joking when they say 5 rivers; 4 hills; 3 country estates; 2 castles; and 1 spire (Salisbury cathedral). To that you can also add a whole load of wildlife (including two fields of baby cows) and a very magical Yew-tree Wood (follow the pink string...)
In short: Some hills...SOME?? Jesus more hills than a hilly thing in a hilly place! In full: Practise your hill runs this will test you. There is a strong combination of trail and road lets say 60-70% trail and the rest road. Excellent marshalls and plenty of water at all the right bits. Highly recommeneded Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Challenging bu fun 21k race In full: Overall, the course was tough but good fun. There were a good mix of people running from club runners to total newbies, including a familiar face – Steve Way. Due to the weather still being warm (even though it was wet) I got quite thirsty on the first half so next year, I will probably take my own drink.
The signage could be improved a little more for those new to the course but apart from that, it was well organised and the route was gorgeous.
I’ll consider the 30k for next year. Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Excellent 50k event In full: An excellent 50k event. Good directions and aid stations stocking water, jelly babies and fruit cake. This is a off road/road event so consideration that distance can be slightly out but hey it's not a road race! Wonderful organised event, changing, showers and helpful marshals. Only bug was the 'speedy' club runners on the short distance busting for a good time. Barging past at speed as they checked their watch!! As I said I always enjoy this event ,chip times, nice medal, parking, location easy to get to,great organisation lovely city! It did however rain this year but it all adds to the fun. Thank you team and see you next year for the 5th time. Brilliant. Date of review: August 12, 2014
In short: Great value 50k but quite a bit of tarmac for a trail event In full: Easy parking and registration close to start. Plenty of portaloos. Missed the route card somehow but this wasn't needed. The old fort chalk is very slippery when wet! Route a little trafficky in places. A couple of sections of path were very rutted and tricky underfoot. Some stiles very rickety and some gates locked. The stiles had no dog gaps so they added to bunching when dogs were being lifted over. Attracts what looked like a lot of club road runners some of whom behaved very badly when overtaking on narrow trails. Food is very limited but this is as advertised (only water is promised). However the bread pudding at the yew forest is amazing. Penultimate? control point on 50km ran out of water. Signage was great and included marshalls at key points. Atmosphere at the finish great (clock, samba band, medal, quite a crowd). Need to have a real race emergency number that isn't an answerphone at a fire station that has gone on strike (particularly when extreme weather is expected!)
In short: bread pudding and yew trees In full: Fourth running of this race. Easy access parking, always well organised and excellent signage. But the 2 reasons I do this race: 1 Slabs of Bread Pudding (you can keep you sickly gels) 2 Running through the Yew tree forest
In short: Excellent event, interesting course good food stations and friendly checkpoint people. Really enjoyed this and can highly recommend. I did the 50k but liked the way that it was mixed up with others doing different distances. Date of review: August 11, 2014