In short: Fantastic weather, brilliant organisation, amazing sense of achievement In full: I tried Farnham Half last year which is also off road and hilly, but this is far better. Great start/finish location at Denbies and fun run and restaurant kept the supporters happy. The weather added something special to the day but the course was the right side of challenging - hard but not impossible giving a real sense of achievement at the end. Was I the only one to miss out on a running diary at the end? T-shirt is great though. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Fun, hard, hilly. Well organised, nice scenery and a good intro to trail running. In full: After Barns Green last week this is the second really nice HM I've done in eight days. Good atmosphere (I liked the pre/post race music, but tastes vary) and a good facility at Denbies. Hard course but nothing extreme; well marked with good marshals (sorry for being too tired to always say thanks on the hills!) Nice tech t-shirt easily makes up for no medal. Would be nice to be able to see results sorted by chip time but otherwise all good. Does make me more likely to look at other events in the same area, Bacchus marathon maybe...? :) Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Splendid (near) autumnal Surrey woodlands In full: Were the hills so hard, as suggested? I found the route well chosen in that respect, to mitigate ascents that can be *a lot* harder in the area - such as Box Hill! Altogether a very good half marathon if about half-and-half tarmac and trail, so not quite what a pure country runner would prefer - but then the challenge is to create a 13 mile + route from Denbies which is a glorious location with the grapes hanging in early October.
The raucous music at the start/finish can bash the ears, OK for some Freddie Mercury at the start and a snatch of Frank Sinatra at the end, however most of it was jarring than feel-good - new DJ selections please! Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Bloomin' glorious race In full: Absolutely bloomin fantastic half mara. Stunning scenery, fab organisation, very inclusive and great atmosphere for families too. Yes the hills were relentless and hard, but what went up came down in glorious swoops of the Surrey countryside. Loved every minute, and I really don't do hills. Thanks to ETL as always, all the incredibly enthusiastic marshalls and to Denbies for being so accommodating. Molehills next!! Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Fantastic venue & route for my first half marathon In full: I was really nervous about this race, as it was my first half marathon and I was determined to complete it in under two hours, despite the hills. Denbies is a fantastic venue for Race HQ and I really enjoyed the scenery from the top of the hills. There was plenty of variety on the route and the course was well marshalled. Great race organisation, although a slightly questionable taste in pre-race music (10cc Dreadlock Holiday, really??). Finished in around 1:47 and would love to do this one again. Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Toughest half marathon I've ever run In full: Okay, so this is only my second half marathon distance! The hills were tough (I'm a hill lover and had to walk some parts) but there's a huge satisfaction when you finish.
First and last couple of miles along the A24 a bit dull, but it is only a small portion of the race (and that bit is relatively flat, so I shouldn't grumble).
Pre-race instructions suggested parking would be a nightmare due to a cycle race on the same day. So we car shared and left early, but actually there were no parking problems and this was all well organised.
Denbies House was great -beautifully clean toilets! Goodies at the end were fab - chocolate bars, Badger beer, t-shirt, running diary.
If you are looking for a challenge in the beautiful North Downs then give this friendly race a go (but don't day I didn't tell you about the hills). Date of review: October 22, 2011
In short: Great race, friendly, well organised with beer & chocolate at the end In full: It was great fun running most of this race, personally I wasn't too keen on the first or last 2 miles along the A24 but that is just me... at least that part was relatively flat. Great, friendly marshals (makes a real difference at the top of a hill) with good communications before and after the race by email and the website with the organisers.
This is certainly one I would do again :) Date of review: October 19, 2011
In short: tough but one brilliant race In full: my 1st badger, the day before this i ran the british military major series to chalk up my 250th race and how did i relax the next day ?? race 251 the badger ! great organisation , friendly runners , tough but wonderfull course , nice t-shirt and BEER , highly recommend this race and i will be back again next year. Date of review: October 15, 2011
In short: Still in my Top 5 fave events In full: The new slightly revised course didn't change my opinion of this event. It is an excellent half marathon, one of my top 5 events of the year and will remain one to look forward to next year. A welcoming family spirit exudes from the organisers and marshals touching all runners who take part. The new start/finish at Denbies adds a little drama to the morning helpful marshals and volunteers made number collection and bag drop easy. Despite the best efforts of some locals removing signage, a pre race run through by local club runners and the organiser ensured that the route was well marked and manned at all turns by enthusiastic, attentive marshals. Water stations were in all the right places with gel for those who were beginning to flag on the hills. The course itself is superb, if you have never run a half marathon or tried a trail run before this is an ideal one to start with. Free beer for those that want it, nice tech T (although not quite as classic as last years design, hopefully the badgers will be back for 2012 ) and Fine Fettle on hand for post run massages. Walk, run, race, win. Indeed everyone is a winner at The Badger. Date of review: October 14, 2011
In short: Great race for a first timer In full: My first Half Marathon but a good one to choose. Pretty tough on some of the hills and the final 3 miles of tarmac but excellent location Date of review: October 12, 2011