In short: Faster than expected, only 4 miles of true off road In full: As other reviewers point out the majority of the route is canal towpaths, there is a 4 mile break where you do get offroad plus a nice park section at each end, I'd definitely come back but would wear road shoes as trail were overkill for the towpaths Date of review: December 12, 2010
In short: Great race, lovely atmosphere In full: I was looking forward to this event after a challenging six months where I stopped enjoying my running and it became a chore. It did not disappoint and I had a great time and remembered how to enjoy running again. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Lovely morning run but nasty hill In full: Venue was easy to find and plenty of free parking available.
Organisation seemed very good although the start was a bit weird as the runners were moved back at the last minute so not sure if this was a mistake or last minute change of route.
It was nice to run on a Saturday and the first 6 miles along canal paths was pretty flat and quick. Some of it was a little slow going at first as it was almost single file at some points but relatively small field size helped.
A nasty hill at mile 6 which I was trying to pace myself for seemed to take a few runners by suprise and I didn't have too many people overtake me after that point. The lovely woodland section afterwards was a little tricky with leaves hiding the occasional tree root but it was different to the usual road race and enjoyed the challenge.
My only concern was my garmin showed under 13 miles at the end so not sure if the issues at the start perhaps reduced the overall race length.
Medal was nice and would certainly recommend giving this a go next year. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Exactly what it said on the tin. In full: Having done many road races and a few triathlons, thought I would give trail running a go and thoroughly enjoyed this race. The pre race information gave a very detailed course description and map, even including elevation, so for me the race delivered exactly what it said on the tin. I did find the combination of canal/woodland a challenge and will definitely be back next year to beat my time! Date of review: November 21, 2010
In short: Neither one thing nor the other. In full: The name Dirt Half Challenge led me to hope that this would be an off road race over some challenging terrain. Although the race was almost entirely off road much of the terrain was flat and on surfaced footpaths.
An estimated 8 – 9 miles of the course was canal towpaths. The canal provided an attractive but less than challenging running environment. The remainder of the race ran through some very picturesque countryside and provided a genuine challenge. There was however only one hill of note.
The race was well organised and the marshalls were helpful and friendly. The absence of free showers was disappointing although the absence of Dirt made this less of an issue. (Showers were available at the near by pool)