In short: Great British Summer 1 - New Forest Runners 0 In full: There was ample parking at the start, in fact I had a ten acre field to myself enabling me to park right next to where I thought the start line might have been. The queues for the porta-loos were pleasingly short and the loos themselves nicely unsoiled and unstinky - I could get to like this kind of race. The start area was surprisingly quiet and uncrowded, with a complete absence of announcers, supporters, timing mats or indeed other runners. Still this enabled me to line up right at the front without any of those bothersome "competitors". My garmin was a solitary beep in the rural silence.... I set off at 1115 and I led from the start a position I was able to hold without undue effort all the way round. Unlike previous years the course wasn't very well marked, I had to make it up as I went, and unlike last year there were surprisingly few marshals or words of encouragement. The drinks stations were, well, infrequent to the point of non-existent but one musn't complain. It was kinda quiet out there churning out those ten miles, just a few ponies and walkers and when I did see other runners they didn't have their race number on - I assume they were later disqualified. The ten miles passed reasonably quickly if a little soggily. In previous years the runners have been greeted at the finish line by the announcer shouting ones name and home town over the tannoy with words of encouragement. It was a little quieter this year though a cow did moo and a walker did shout "pillock" at me. I cruised to an easy victory, my first in twenty years of running. HOWEVER I was greatly saddened not to receive the "Overall First Male Trophy" nor the "Category M40" trophy as promised on the web site. Come on New Forest Runners give me the 2012 trophies! What kind of idiot do you take me for? (Actually, the kind of idiot who'd make a 100 mile round trip without first checking the race was on first......come on it is summer and we still have a hosepipe ban!!)
In short: A mid-summer cracker In full: Another New Forest 10 done & and will not be the last. Great atmosphere, great support around the course and very well organised. Wonderful location, great running course cutting through the New Forest. Simply excellent.
In short: Superbe race with great marshalls and friendly general public cheering you on. In full: Following in my Dad's footsteps (albeit 27 years later) it was a delight to run the full race rather than the fun runs. The course was fab although a little shingly at times but grass verges helped. Really supportive and friendly marshals and great support from general members of the public just out for a Sunday stroll. Water could have been better in bottles rather than cups but understand the risk of litter in such a wonderful area. Date of review: July 20, 2011
In short: Scenic jaunt through the forest In full: What a contrast from boring road running! I will definitely be looking for more trail races from now on. Organisation was great - plenty of marshals and all very encouraging. There was a small hill (well I call it a hill) at around mile 8, which was a bit of a struggle, but then again that's probably just because I'm used to 10ks and was starting to struggle a bit by then. Friendly for beginners - I'm always near the back and received lots of encouragement which is always much appreciated. Think this one will become a regular in my running calendar :) Date of review: July 16, 2011
In short: great run and great organisation In full: excellent introduction to off-road running with majority of race held over wide gravel forest trails with a few undulations but no major hills (though the loop at mile 8 felt like it).
In short: Another great race this year In full: A great day and an enjoyable race again. My highlight was the highland cow that was stood watching the race towards the start. The race feels like a real family event. Well done to the organisers. Date of review: July 12, 2011