In short: Trail-ier than expected In full: Really should have checked the course profile beforehand, and worn trail shoes. This was a KILLER. Measuring a bit long didn't help either. Nor did my lack of preparation.
But, the marshalls were glorious, there were more loos than last year (seriously. I did not have to queue for the loos! Amaaaazing!), and the scenery was really nice and varied. Loved running through West Wycombe Park, and the woods, and the winding roads. Did not enjoy the very last mile at all - it was not as pretty as everywhere else. Plus I was knackered.
Will be back next year - it's excellent value compared to some races I've done, the goody bag was great, the tech top is BRIGHT and it's near my parents' place. I love this sort of race - with hills, and trails, and varied terrain (see Farnham Pilgrim and Leith Hill Half for something similarly tough and slightly more scenic). Date of review: July 23, 2016
In short: Should come with a health warning! In full: Whilst I can't compare this with the old High Wycombe half marathon route, I can compare this with other races I've done. Regrettably this race was somewhat disappointing. Other than the marshals who were lovely throughout, my gripes included a chaotic scramble to get race numbers at the beginning, poor parking, terrain was too varied, the route seemed bizarre meandering right and left across multi surfaces, killer hill at 11 miles (which I like many others had to walk) no countdown distance towards the end, and no clock at the finishing line. Oh, and to add insult to injury the race was atleast half a mile longer than it should be! A valiant effort to rejuvenate the race but I sadly shan't do this route again and I hope it's changed. I also hope it's appropriately advertised for what it is in the future - a challenging trail run. Such were the conditions there could have easily have been an accident.
In short: Not what I expected In full: I'd done the race on the old route 2 or 3 times and I'm in pretty good shape at the moment and was vaguely hoping for a PB. That all went out the window in the first mile or so. Got round with no problems and it was a good workout but I'd (mistakenly as it transpired) assumed it'd be a bit like the old route and, as others have said, it really wasn't Date of review: July 13, 2016
In short: Not for beginners In full: Excellent organisation (ignoring the last run up to the stadium) and lovely, encouraging marshals. This was my first 10k and I wish I hadn't done it. I didn't expect the hills and really struggled to keep going and stay motivated. It has really put me off signing up for courses now - without knowing exactly what to expect. All in all a very disappointing run for me. Date of review: July 13, 2016
In short: New course is no fun In full: The old course was a challenge but enjoyable and well supported by locals. The new course wasn't any fun at all - large hilly sections off-road made it incredibly slow and there was no atmosphere (even with the football stadium finish). A bizarre choice of course which I can only see leading to the race becoming a "niche" off-road event with a couple of hundred runners in future years. A shadow of its former self - still well organised but, for me, sadly a race to avoid in future. Date of review: July 12, 2016
In short: Preferred old route In full: More scenic route but much more difficult with off road sections and more steep up and down hill sections. I was using this as part of training for a marathon so was concerned about risk of injury on the rough off road sections. Fun to do this if you are not in a hurry or trying for a time. It took me 15 minutes longer than last year and was my slowest ever half. Organisation and marshalls excellent and friendly as usual but less people out on the course for support. Have run Wycombe for the last 4 years but may not do it next year on this course. Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: It's not a road race! It's not even 13.1 miles! In full: With the old course put to rest I had hoped for a more forgiving race but this was bigger challenge.....had expected a road race but got a XC / trail run with just a few miles on Tarmac.....not what I signed up for a felt misled and ultimately not a opportunity to practise pace running! 3x unplayable hills spoiled the route as did the uneven ground....worse still for all the slick organising the course measured wrong by over 0.5 miles which is an amateur mistake.....if Wycombe wanted to change a race for the better then I suggest you think more about the type of race you are trying to offer and make it true to the discipline.....after 6x entries to date and a repeat subscriber, you have one less for next year. Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Not for the faint hearted - hills galore! In full: I was expecting a hilly road race with only a couple of miles of off road (I had asked the organisers in advance). However it was definitely more of a Cross Country route, mixed terrain and definitely could have benefitted from wearing trail shoes. The woodland sections were pretty, but very tough going both up and down the main hills. The organisers were really friendly, encouraging and excellent water stops - 4 I think in total. For the money paid in advance (about £27 I think), I thought it was great value - bumper goody bag, tech tshirt and nice medal. I also measured long via my Garmin which was a bit soul destroying as it seemed to go on forever at the end. I measured 13.69 miles which added 7 minutes to my 13.1 finish time. Not ideal. I wouldn't recommend to beginners, I think the severity of the hills could put off a newbie runner. I had thought Watford was a tough, hilly half, but this one now wins 'tough half award' for me! Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Didn't like the new course In full: I get why a lot of comments are praising the new course but I didn't like it and much preferred the old route. I kind of got disheartened by the inability to run yesterday given the hills which seemed to go on for ever and just when I thought it could not get any worse - mile 11 and the incline that went on forever! Having run a PB on the old course in 1.33, I finished yesterday with my worst half marathon time ever (and also felt that I ran 13.6 miles per my Garmin - I hit the mile 12 sign according to my Garmin at around 12.4??). Totally dejected crossing the line at the end and this is not the kind of course that suits me so will not be running it again. Credit to the marshals throughout the course who were brilliant. Weather was shocking which made the cross country parts slippy. Date of review: July 11, 2016