In short: Glorious balmy November (?!) weather, atmospheric canal paths and woodlands In full: As a trail runner I'd wondered how much joint bashing would be involved on the tarmac canal paths - but it wasn't a problem, the atmosphere along the canal side was delicious with all the pretty boats, a few fishing rods and sweeping Middle England countryside. Then some variety with a good uphill (not too taxing though!) and into magnificent Scots Pine woodlands with a few roots to keep you alert. This has to rate among the most unique of off-road events, finishing time/position becomes less of an issue - just soak it all up and enjoy! Date of review: November 19, 2011
In short: Corking -felt like I had gone to heaven In full: Ran this race for the second time in a row and my review isn't different from last time. This is a brilliant race and fairly fast if you want it to be. If you are thinking about a race plan, I think I have now figured it out. Run the first 10k along the tow path to the bottom of the hill at 10k race pace. Expect then to just manage the following 4 miles with an average 10-20% loss on average pace. Come back on the tow path for the last 3 miles and make sure you are quick (back to 10k race pace)as this is where you will be picked off if you start to flag.
In short: Faster than expected, only 4 miles of true off road In full: As other reviewers point out the majority of the route is canal towpaths, there is a 4 mile break where you do get offroad plus a nice park section at each end, I'd definitely come back but would wear road shoes as trail were overkill for the towpaths Date of review: December 12, 2010
In short: Great race, lovely atmosphere In full: I was looking forward to this event after a challenging six months where I stopped enjoying my running and it became a chore. It did not disappoint and I had a great time and remembered how to enjoy running again. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Lovely morning run but nasty hill In full: Venue was easy to find and plenty of free parking available.
Organisation seemed very good although the start was a bit weird as the runners were moved back at the last minute so not sure if this was a mistake or last minute change of route.
It was nice to run on a Saturday and the first 6 miles along canal paths was pretty flat and quick. Some of it was a little slow going at first as it was almost single file at some points but relatively small field size helped.
A nasty hill at mile 6 which I was trying to pace myself for seemed to take a few runners by suprise and I didn't have too many people overtake me after that point. The lovely woodland section afterwards was a little tricky with leaves hiding the occasional tree root but it was different to the usual road race and enjoyed the challenge.
My only concern was my garmin showed under 13 miles at the end so not sure if the issues at the start perhaps reduced the overall race length.
Medal was nice and would certainly recommend giving this a go next year. Date of review: November 22, 2010