In short: This race just gets better and better each year! In full: 2013 was my 4th outing at the Spitfire 20 and I wasn't disappointed.
Perfect start, the race HQ had been relocated just a little further down the track which meant you didn't have to walk across the wet grass to get to the HQ from the car park, so not more pre-race cold wet feet.
Efficient race/chip collection and right next to the car park. I was able to leave my car just 10 minutes before the race started, perfect.
I love this race, but it does help if you like Top Gear as the first 2 miles are on the track and then repeated for miles 11 and 12. The route out in the lanes is picturesque and the marshals all the way around were absolutely fantastic. The water stations were brilliantly manned. Just a fabulous atmosphere.
I managed to finish the 20 miles with a PB so I was absolutely thrilled. The great finishing touch to this race is the Race Director standing on the finishing line shaking the hand of every race finisher (I got a hug too for my PB!)
In short: Birds tweating, marshalls smiling, big shiny medal and perfect organisation - would more could you ask for! In full: In my mind there simply aren't enough 20-mile races out there and every year this one brings a smile to my face for weeks afterwards.
Two laps through picture-perfect coutryside - a few ups and downs to keep things varied - unlimited parking and no delays in and out. I can't think of how they could improve on this - even the medal is one of the best I've seen around. I'm already looking forward to next year! Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Great organisation and a fantastic race In full: This is a perfect prep race for a Spring marathon. The course is great with the first 3 miles on the track then on to the country roads. As it's a 2 lap course it's ideal to practice those negative splits!! The hills weren't too challenging and plenty of downhill as well as up. The gel and water stations were great and the volunteers very friendly. The marshals were fantastic and very encouraging. Thank you to all those involved.
It was lovely to be greeted by the race director at the end and the chocolate bars were very welcome! Love the shiny medal.
This race is definitely worth considering as part of a Spring marathon training plan as it's given me the confidence to know I can achieve my marathon target time now.
In short: perfect for spring marathon training. In full: Always enjoy this 2-lap route,a 10 miler soon turns into a 20 miler without really thinking about it.
Loads of gels and sweeties on the way round, much appreciated!
Easy parking, just by the start. Good bacon butties, afterwards.
Some of the most jolliest and cheerful marshals on any race. Big thank you to them for standing in the cold, smiling and cheering all the way round, (especially the two lovely ladies at mile 8/18). Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Brilliant 20 miler. Excellent in all ways In full: Parking, simple. Number and chip collection, doddle. Zero congestion in 3 miles due to width of runway. Varied 10 mile circuit x2. Second lap always good as you know the course well. A few decent hills to test. This is a very fast course. Excellent marathon training. All good. Nothing to moan about. Good value, well organise, great course. Fantastic 20miler. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: superb organisation and a great training run In full: This is everything that a race of this kind ought to be. A very good course, 2 laps is idea for a 20 miler and the course is varied enough to be constantly interesting. Plenty of (effectively unlimited) parking and ample toilets. Very well marshalled with efficient, friendly and well organised water stations. Thanks to the guides for the bacon rolls at the end. Also great to have the race director greeting and thanking finishers, we should have been thanking him really. It is impossible to find anything to complain about in what is in my view the best of the "pre london/ Brighton" training events - though the Cranleigh 21 gives it some good competition on that score. Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: Excellent marathon training prep In full: Well organised event. Very effective venue - plenty of space to accommodate the runners & their vehicles - and a nice two loop route with a mix of traffic free miles at the test track and quiet country lanes.
Lots of marshalling support. Big shout out to the Guides at the finish - the tea and bacon roll was very welcome - and best of luck with your fundraising. Running events like this couldn't function without your support. Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: Brilliant event with lots & lots of very nice touches In full: This is a perfectly organised race, that is brilliantly set up to deliver exactly what people are looking for at this time of the year.
Venue is easy to get to, parking was great (and easy to get out after the race), the pre and post race facilities were great, there was plenty of loos, lots of enthusiastic marshalls, water stations, etc, etc, etc...
Everything about this event shows that the organisers really know what they're doing, they know what is important in a race, and they know what not to bother with.
The route is also pretty nice, with enough variety to keep it interesting, but no really challenging climbs.
I will admit to being biased (as I'm a member of the running club set up by the Event organisers), but I would strongly recommend this event to anyone looking for a quality, friendly, well organised event. I would also recommend it to anyone who like a bit of post-race bling - the medals are super shiny :-) Date of review: March 3, 2013