In short: A nice trail run with a steady inclines for most of the way. Beware the hills towards the end. I'm not sure it's any easier / faster than the previous course. The new start / finish is an improvement, due to the extra space. Date of review: March 31, 2010
In short: Pretty good event In full: It seemed a lot less chaotic at the start than with the old arrangement, altho I agree that it should be penned by time as the start is so narrow. Great support and fine course. Bottle of lucozade great at the finish. Improvements I would like to see: ~some kids activities or a race round the field ~more ways to get out of the parking field ~something to eat at the end ~give the option of refusing the medal on entry as I don't collect them so it is wasted completely.
In short: A real challenge compared to the usual road runs! In full: Lovely countryside, perfect weather, some challenging hills, rough surfaces and mud!! A fun challenge for a sunday morning and surprisingly got a pb! Date of review: March 30, 2010
In short: Surprisingly quick considering the hills, could do with staggered start In full: I thoroughly enjoyed the race, despite the 40 minute loo queue beforehand. This left me 2/3 down the queue to start, which meant the first 2 downhill miles was very slow - average 9:20 on the first mile :-( and the second mile, a very steep downhill, was also way too slow due to congestion. I would easily have taken 2-3 minutes off my time with a clearish run. I second the suggestion that it would be good to stagger starts for those aiming for particular times, to relieve the congestion.
Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of support round the course, and all the marshalls / cadets were terrific - big thanks to you. The parking was a bit of a horror, with queues and cars needing to be pushed through mud. But overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere very much, I thought it was good value, lovely but very challenging course, and I even managed a PB despite everything (mind you, it's only my second half-marathon). One gripe, the timings shown on the results page appear to be taking the clock time rather than the chip time which if true is rather annoying - I'd like to know how I did on my net time please.
I may be weird but I was glad of the fizzy drink at the end - desperately needed that glucose after a very physical course. If they repeat this course, you definitely want to do some hill training beforehand - nothing seemed flat. What has worked really well for me is at the end of each training run on the gym treadmill, I do 1 mile slow walk at max gradient. It's worked wonders for hill performance for me.
Tips for the future - arrive with empty bladder & bowels, your own loo paper if not, with plenty of hill training behind you, and in a 4x4 with a pack of cards to while away the time as you queue to arrive/ leave. There were niggles, but I had a great day and I hope it raised plenty of money for charity. I'll be back for sure. Date of review: March 30, 2010
In short: A challenging and well-organised race In full: OK there weren't enough loos and the goody bag was non-existent. How many times have I heard that complaint before at races up and down the country! I thought the organisation was great, the race was well-supported and the hills were painful. In short it was a great day out! I certainly felt I had achieved more by completing this challenging course than from most of the city road races on flat courses that I have done recently. Achoivement isn't just about getting a PB! Date of review: March 30, 2010
In short: Very Challenging but well organised overall In full: The course was very challenging and the weather up to the event did not help. The marshalls and the army cadets on the drink stations did a good job. The course did become congested in places but no records were going to be broken on this course. This was my first race of the season having had a back problem and i think i should have given it a miss as i recorded my slowest ever time over this distance but away from that i enjoyed the setting. I agree that the car parking and toilets need to improve. I also agree that a T shirt should have been included in the price or the medals could have at least have the date on them. Would i do it again still in the balance Date of review: March 30, 2010