In short: Great mix of runners, good atmos, enjoyable route In full: Second year I've done this run and the story is the same - every kind of runner from the whippets up front to the totally whipped at the back. Good atmosphere, all the runners, marshalls and organisers were positive and supportive. The route is lovely, lots of boats, trees and ducks, which I find infinitely preferable to suburban streets. Underfoot is just what you expect on the towpath in November, so don't do it if you don't like your trainers getting muddy. I like the route because it's mostly pancake flat, with 6 or 8 short steep rises around the locks. The best bit of advice I read this year was to keep a bit in reserve for the long incline up from the canal through Cassiobury Park to the finish. The organisers did a fine job, though calls last year for more toilets weren't heeded this year. Handy Moves once again demonstrated their idiosyncratic approach to baggage handling - maybe they need a bit of hands on management from Purple Patch. My one 'runners, they're never satisfied' comment is that some of the water stations were positioned just above the locks. This meant picking up water whilst gasping from the short steep rise and then spending precious seconds choking. Thanks to everyone who put the event on, looking forward to next year. Date of review: November 18, 2010
In short: A really enjoyable race on a beautiful course In full: As others have aluded to the only problem was the overcrowding at the start which really slowed the first mile. Date of review: November 18, 2010
In short: A beautiful and relaxing riverside run In full: This is one of my favorite races. 3rd year in - I definately prefer the Uxbridge - Watford route - get the worst of the mud out of the way early! Great organisation (could do with a few more toilets....)and a really friendly crowd. Being able to buy a hot chocolate at the end really helped :-) I'll be back (baby permitting)!! Date of review: November 18, 2010
In short: Very scenic, flat course along canal tow path In full: Good organisation from Purple Patch - lots of information before hand and on the day it all went smoothly. Friendly and helpful marshalls, scenic route, and definite PB potential all made for a great race. Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Off road, point to point, flat, but care needed on the canal path In full: As this is a flat run there is plenty of personal best potential, but limited space on the canal tow-path means that you have to choose your overtaking points.
The organisers put on coaches to take you from the finish line to the start line - which is a really nice touch and at £5 - a good price.
My only complaint - there were no jelly babies Date of review: November 15, 2010
In short: Tougher than it seems, suicidal overtaking manoeuvres and plenty of leg draining bridges In full: This was my first ever run and I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. Am used to running this canal but in the other direction so was pleasantly surprised at how much nicer to look at this side was. Horrible start line crush completely messed up the first km and tight towpath proved difficult to over take for the first few miles. Constant speeding up and levelling off really pushed all the cobwebs out and the very real threat of slipping in mud and going head first into the canal soon pushed any brave overtaking out the window. Once it got going the mud was easier to avoid and it was obvious the lock bridges were taking their toll as I saw plenty of people crumble after the half way point! The marshals were very friendly and encouraging but the odd cyclist/dog walker going in the opposite direction was quite annoying yet unavoidable on a public path with limited room. The final push after the last bridge was horrendous in my opinion and totally took me by surprise sapping all the remaining energy from my legs. Overall I was happy with my time of 1 hour 57 minutes which was at least 15 minutes faster than I expected so the potential for PBs is higher than you'd think. Well done PurplePatch, excellent race, shame about the drizzle! Date of review: November 15, 2010
In short: Tougher then you think but enjoyable In full: There was definitely mud and a lot of short hills over locks and bridges. The marshall at mile 11 who said no more hills to go lied big time because the drag at the end was certainly not flat!! Although reasonably flat I think the terrain makes it hard work. Definitely a great race as the surroundings are always changing and nice to do a route that isn't laps. The only critism I have is that my entire warm up consisted of queuing for the loo (and stretching) followed by queuing for baggage drop off (while changing). Would also be nice to have some squash as well as water at the end as desperately needed sugar! Date of review: November 15, 2010