In short: Great race, fantastic marshals, lovely scenic route In full: I really enjoyed yesterday's race. The route was scenic and the aid stations were well packed (jelly babies, chocolate, biscuits, water, squash, wine). I really appreciated the marshals and the well signed course. There were small little touches which made it a great race (signage being VERY clear, great marshals, extra quality aid station).
The only thing that let this race down was the price. It's a little steep and although you get a hog roast in the price; I didnt really like the look of it.
The organisation are great and responsive which is a really nice touch. The t-shirt was alright but is a little weird fitting (the small is more of a medium/large).
The route is really scenic. The first two miles are a little congested as you run through the streets (no road closures) but then it goes into the countryside and onto trial and this is where it becomes utterly beautiful. Lovely country lanes, great trails and well marked either with marshals or signage. The only niggle I had with the route was the two small out and back sections which were a little annoying.
The only reason that would put me off doing this race again is the price. Otherwise - i'd be back in a flash! Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Excellent run - but organisation could improve In full: The run itself was great - thoroughly enjoyed it and finished just under my planned time. Particularly well marked and marshalled for a trail run.
The pre-race documentation tended to refer only to the half marathon (leading me to double check there actually was a marathon on this date) and parking advise placed you a good walk from the start rather than in the spacious on site parking. The "free" hog roast and drink hardly compensated for a pretty steep entry fee.
But in the end the run compensated for these irritations and I'll probably sign up to do it again. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Now my favourite marathon! In full: This was my third marathon and by far my best. The organisation was superb and Denbies Wine Estate made for a perfect location.
This was by far the best catered event I have ever run. They had stations every 2 miles with water, gels, jelly babies, cakes, mars bars, etc., not to mention the wine. Even after the hundreds of half-marathoners had been through there was still plenty available.
The course is tough (uphill for the first 10 miles of each of the 2 lap course) but the scenery more than made up for it. Certainly not a PB course but ideal if you want an "experience" marathon. Especially with a lot of competitors dressing up in fancy dress (my admiration goes out to the man dressed in the full-on scooby-doo costume that I passed at the 20 mile mark!).
Other good points were: - the car park was on-site so only a short walk to the start - the hog-roast included in your ticket was a great after race pick-me-up. - great marshal support. For such a small event they had marshals dotted throughout the course.
My only negative comments is that there we no toilets anywhere on the course, not even at the half way point.
However, overall, a great experience. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Fantastic atmosphere.. will be putting this one in the diary for next year In full: Really enjoyed this. Having the half marathon start an hour later meant on the second lap of the full marathon you get to loads of people, many in fancy dress that really keeps you going. Feed stations were amazing well stocked. Atmosphere at the end was again amazing. I've never clicked the 'all-time favorite' button before I will for this one. Only minus for me was the £50 entry charge- but that was an on the day entry so would have been cheaper if I was more organised. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Running and wine...perfect In full: Marshals were excellent. A fantastic race and a best kept secret...lots of capacity for more runners. I'll definitely be back. Date of review: September 8, 2013
In short: Very good race, deserves to get bigger In full: Plenty of drinks stations and excellent marshals (the most marshals I've seen at any non-big city marathon). Also well done for putting bins for plastic cups at least a bit past the drinks stations, so we can drink and not litter! Overall a pretty challenging and very scenic course with some great views and the fastest last mile of any marathon I've ever done. I like the two lap layout and although not a fan of 'out and back sections' both are short. Quite possible to run in road shoes though they will get a bit muddy! Passing the half-marathoners gave a good atmosphere which can sometimes be lacking in 'smaller' events. Occasionally an "excuse me" was needed to get by but everyone seemed very nice. Also the spectators that were there were vocal and supportive. Nice tech t-shirt and a minimalist medal which is quite classy. Can't comment on the post race food and drink (I don't feel hungry straight afterwards) although the queues did seem quite long. On the other hand plenty of toilets so no queues for them! Overall a good race at a nice venue which should get bigger year after year. Personally I prefer either very flat or very hilly courses but can understand this being many people's favourite marathon. Date of review: September 8, 2013
In short: The Best Marathon in the UK? In full: I don't make the comment on my strap line lightly, however, I think I know what I talk about. Today was my 68th marathon!
Whilst most races keep to the same tried & tested format, the Bacchus marathon in its 4th year, has grown bigger & better each year.
With a feed station every two miles, with copious amounts of food, drinks & gels at each stop, there is also the opportunity to have a shot of wine (15 drinks for the marathon runners), with a different taster at each stop & you can have as many as you want!
A quality technical vest is given at the end, with a first class medal. At the finish there is ample food, a free hog roast/veggie option too & a free drink.
The marshals are some of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met at a race & the signage & marks are spot on. Mile markers are accurate.
The course is very attractive, despite being two lapped.
Races don't get better than this. In the first year there were only 30 or so of us running the marathon, this year in the low hundreds doing either the half or full - many runners in fancy dress & everyone having a great time in a wonderful setting.
Parking is available on site, so no need to walk long distances to the start/finish.
In a year or two, like the Le Medoc marathon which sells out within no time, this event will. Races don't get better than this event. I for one have never been so enthused over a race. Date of review: September 8, 2013
In short: party atmosphere In full: There is a party atmosphere and everyone was freindly,whilst overtaking half marathon runners I heard one of them say get out of the way a proper runner is coming through(this made me chuckle).The marshalls were excellent especially one older lady who had a kind word for every runner that passed.There were many runners in fancy dress which made the event pretty unique.All in all one of my favourite marathons Date of review: September 8, 2013
In short: Superb well organised race In full: Thoroughly enjoyed this race despite the very hot conditions. Thought the course was picturesque, and all the marshals, and those at the drink stations were fantastic giving you encouragement and being really supportive.
Whilst the cost may appear a bit steep it's well organised,, plenty of water and other refreshments, a good atmosphere and a nice meal at the end to help you recover.
One of the best marathons i've done in terms of organisation. Would highly recommend this to anyone, and thoroughly pleased I did it. Date of review: September 28, 2012
In short: If you want to enjoy running 26.2 miles, enter this race. In full: I entered this race almost at the last minute as it fell on my birthday and I fancied the experience of conducting a wine tasting whilst running a marathon (my friends think I'm very strange). I'm in training for a different marathon so this was to be my last long slow run. The course comprises two-laps, mostly off-road with one long hill (a slog rather than a pain) and, just when you think you're going to be going back down, another short steep uphill section. It's then a steep descent on road to the finish of each lap. There are six wine tasting stations en route, plus sparkling wine at the mid-way point. I tried the wine on the first lap, but decided to up the pace on the second lap so stuck to water (it was a ridiculously hot day). I'd recommend the wine tasting (if you drink) - it's part of what makes the race different and with lots of water and food I didn't notice any adverse effects from the small quantities of wine consumed. There's a small field for the marathon with a larger half marathon field that sets off one hour later so marathoners may well catch up with the slower half marathoners. This means that the course feels pretty quiet during the first half, but rather busier in the second half, especially at the water stages when you're trying to grab water whilst others are milling round and taking things easy. Luckily, no-one minded me charging past them. But perhaps the marshals could be more aware of the faster runners during the second half and hold out cups of water as they did during the first half. My one complaint is that there were serious problems with the chip timing and differentiating between marathoners and half marathoners. This was eventually resolved over the next few days, but it meant they couldn't hold a prize giving on the day. Not a problem for most runners, but I won the ladies' race and as this was the first race I'd ever won I was really disappointed. Hopefully this will be resolved for future years as it marred what was otherwise one of the best racing experiences I've ever had. Date of review: September 20, 2012