In short: Challenging, nice course, well organised In full: Lots and lots of people gave up their time to make this a good race for the runners, many must have been completely soaked too. Good on them. Not a fast race but a very well organised community event with a good mix of people. Congratulations on adding this to the marathon calendar. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Interesting mileage! In full: I did the half. Overall I enjoyed the race, with fellow runners at the back all very friendly and encouraging. I was surprised however when my Garmin was displaying 8.5miles, to be told by a marshal at a drinks station that we were at the 9mile mark, which I thought a bit odd. Not much further on though, another marshal said we were over 9.5 miles. Thinking that maybe my Garmin had "lost" some mileage in the woods, I was relieved to know that I was nearer the end than I thought. Imagine how I felt when I saw a sign at a drinks station which said "3 miles to go" - and my watch said we were already well over 10 miles. It knocked my legs for six knowing that I had got further to go than I thought, and I consequently struggled for the next 2 miles.
I have to agree with the comment about the marshals below. Some were fantastic: encouraging and cheerful but some were obviously bored: heads engrossed in books not even bothering to look up as runners went past - the classic one was a guy who had taken his chair off the route to sit to the side and was fast asleep.... never seen that one before.
The finish was great - running (or trying to run in my case) along the road, with finishers going in the other direction cheering people on, and then onto the finishing line with loads of spectators cheering finishers on.
Special word of mention to Sportability who put on the archery - that was so much fun to watch, especially seeing my husband hitting the target! Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Hilly - but superb scenery, well organised and friendly. In full: The hills weren't as bad as I had expected, but you needed to pace yourself, and no chance of a PB (I was pleased to only be 6 minutes off a recent flat half marathon time). Very well organised, and a nice medal and t-shirt. Would definitely do it again - or maybe try the full marathon next year. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Tough but fun In full: First time running this race and really enjoyed it. It had a very nice small race feel yet still had a good number of runners. The course itself was tough - a lot of ups and downs including many stiles and narrow paths. The run up to the top of Puttenham Common was particularly fun! Finishing up a hill also added a sting in the tail but none of this is a complaint - I really enjoyed the challenge of the course. My only complaint was to do with the marshalling. Half of the marshalls were great with lots of encouragement for the runners but the other half were the opposite. Some were reading books not even paying attention, others didn't say a word, clap or even acknowledge the runners as we went past. I appreciate them giving up their time, but how hard is it to offer a few words of encouragement for the runners?! Or even smile? Overall a great race that I will definitely do again. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Very hilly, glorious scenery, good atmosphere In full: Definately not one to run for PB potential as the hills, stiles and bottle necks get in the way. Single file tracks through the woods in places means you can only run as fast as the runner in front of you. Having said that it was great fun, a party atmosphere and very well organised. The route was well marked (although no mile markers until mile 10) and there were plenty of marshalls and drinks stations. My only complaint would be the hideous queue at the end to get the goody bag and water meant I didn't bother with either. Would have been good to have several water stations at the finish. But I will be back again next year so it hasn't put me off. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Fantastic race In full: This race is an absolute must and needs to be on everyone schedule, what a brilliant race. A couple of challenging hills, but totally manageable for new runners. The bandana in the goody bag was a nice touch. Well done to the organizers and marshals, there was no fear of ever getting lost. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Mad First Ever Organised Race In full: In hindsight I was probably a bit mad signing up for this as my first ever organised run with just 3 months of training, a lifetime's history of little or no exercise and a recently kicked 30-a-day smoking habit, but I loved it!
I finished in 2hrs 22mins, which is slow in comparison to most there but my sole aim was to simply finish so I was pleased!
I've now well and truly got the running bug and have got 5 races under my belt since this one back in September. Date of review: February 17, 2011