In short: A challenging run in absolutely beautiful surroundings around the river Wye. A great event run by the local community but very well organised In full: This is a cracking race! I did a HIM 70.3 in Oct 11 and am doing another in Spet 12 and this was a great way to get me back into my training program. It's a tough race in terms of hills and terrain but the surroundings are absolutely stunning and the organisers were incredibly suportive, welcoming, friendly and fun. All proceeds are put back into the local community so this isn't a case of a man trying to make a buck. The refreshments tent (which served the much needed post race tea, cakes, drinks and BBQ) was all in aid of an Oprhanage in Africa, providing even more of a community feel.
Dont't let that subtract however from the level of competiotion in the race which was very high with some serious athletes competing. But also ranging to those taking it less seriously and some participating in canicross (being pulled around by dogs!). They are started at separate times to the pure runners in case you were wondering!
I understand that next year they may be offering a 10km race (or quarter marathon) as well as the half marathon and this will offer the perfect blend for all given that this is not an easy half marathon which may scare some off.
I would 100% recommend this race to others! Date of review: May 23, 2012
In short: what a hill. In full: This has to be one of the toughest half marathons going. That hill is a killer, especially as you have to do it twice. The down hill was just as tuff because it was through woodland. It was well organized and the marshals were friendly and encouraging. Definately one everyone should do at least once. Go on I dare you!!! Date of review: May 22, 2012
In short: Slugfest at Whitebrook In full: Dropped another road event on the same day to use this as a fair reflection of the IMUK 70.3 run course which is also off road. This is significantly more challenging which was exactly what I needed :) . Some fast technical descending as well which is quite rare coming from triathlon/road race background. Thought it was going to be dry and wore racing flats = error. Trail shoes only if it hasn't been as dry as a desert.
Well organised friendly event - perfect for beginners but don't let the course scare you off the sport. Course is quite unique (in a good way) and has x2 tough 600ft climbs with 3044ft vertical gain in total. Scenery and support around the course is fantastic - which you need for the second lap.
Other matters of great importance are loos and post race refreshments. Plenty of loos (clean and no queues) with an abundance of cakes, drinks and hot food all of which was deserved post race.
Particularly enjoyed the technical descending and the long climbs that just sap the life out of you.
If you're looking for a PB course this isn't it but offers so much more of an overall challenge. Just over 16mins slower than my 1/2 marathon road time - it was a little long but wasn't a problem - same for everyone else. Not easy but came away with some good war stories for the pub :D
In short: Tough run but great organisation and course In full: My own fault - but I did underestimate this a bit having run 60ish half marathons over the years and it was a last minute decision to enter. The course was excellent (13.6m with my garmin but couldn't care less about that). 1.9m of steady climb is a long way up (especially twice as two loops) and fast descent afterwards. Lovely scenery and very well marshalled with lots of water and jelly babies too ! Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: The friendliest half marathon I have ever run!!! In full: Hats off to the organizers, I emailed Saturday morning to see if there was still space in the race, and got a very swift and welcoming response. This continued upon arrival all the registration volunteers and organizers were very welcoming and efficient. Race village in a field, but sufficient toilets, good catering for spectators and runners, and shelter provided had it been raining (it wasn't!)
The course is a real mixed bag, despite dry weather today we have had a hell of a lot of rain over the last month, so patches were very wet, muddy and boggy. Sections were on grass down by the river which was quite uneven under foot, then we moved onto hard tracks with quite a lot of loose stones in places before heading into the woods and down some slippy mud footpaths. There is no getting away from the hill (that you have to tackle twice!). Its an unrelenting incline for the best part of a mile and it does take it out of the quads on the second lap. However, once at the top we were rewarded with running through the bluebells, fab! Some of the downhills were a bit steep and slippy for my liking but others were pure speed! The final stretch for home is all flat which is always a big thumbs up. Great marshals, 4 water stations, 2 on each lap with jelly babies, what more can you ask for? I didn't have my garmin on, and did hear that it may have been long, but I always thought trail races were measure in 'country miles' ;-)
Cannot say anything negative about this race, the only thing that I would personally change (and this is just my opinion!) I would have much preferred the route in reverse, although appreciate this would mean moving the start to thin the field out a bit before getting onto the single file tracks through the wood. Announcing the prize giving via the megaphone, I didn't expect to get 3rd Senior lady (as I was technically 4th Lady overall) however totally missed the presentation as my other half was scoffing a burger in the catering tent! And now I am being really cheeky but if the T shirt got upgraded to a technical T that would be the icing on the cake!
Will definitely be back next year!!! Great Job guys!!!! Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: Great challenge, very tough hill. Excellent atmosphere and organised well. Also feel the course was a tad long. Don't feel it has pb potential due to the climbs. Overall good race. Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: Tough, but worth it :) In full: I did this race as a preparation run for another hilly off roader, and hilly it is make no mistake!! Don't under estimate this race it is a challenge, but a great day out and a wonderful sense of satisfaction at the end. It was very friendly, a brilliant medal and t-shirt, great prizes (my partner took MV40 and got a lovely lump carved of glass), great catering and just generally great craic. Water stations and jelly babies accessible four times round the route, and a difficult trail marshalled so well there's no chance of getting lost. Only moan, I think it was a little too long - more trail for your money perhaps? ;) Date of review: May 20, 2012