In short: Great race once again in glorious weather! In full: A great race through beautiful countryside. Some tasty hills added to the enjoyment, so was very pleased to get a PB of 1h 34m. Only downside (which I think is commented on each year) is the lack of any food/goody bag at the finish. I can only imagine the marathon runners who only received a cup of water at the end! The free hog roast at the Old Barn pub certainly makes it all worth while. Look forward to next years race! Date of review: October 4, 2009
In short: Great course, let down by some poor organisation. In full: This was my first time at this event and the course through the New Forest is excellent, very scenic with a good level of support around all along the route.
What let things down on the day was some very poor organisation. We arrived in New Milton with over a hour to go before the start but got stuck in an huge queue for the car park which was being very ineffectively marshalled. With such a large number of entrants a second car park, ideally in a different part of town, should be used.
The car park chaos contributed towards a late start as people were still queuing for the toilets at 9.30! There should have been more emphasis on the 'predicted start times' at the start as there were a large number of slower runners in front of me at the start which made for a very congested first half mile.
There were a good number of water stations along the route but they were primarily staffed by brownies/cubs who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the number of people and couldn't get water out quick enough to people.
The support at the finish was fantastic but the finish area itself was too small, the water table was hidden away and there was no indication of where the free hog roast was!
The medal was good, but for the money I would have expected more than just that.
This could be a really fantastic event as it gets a good number of entrants, is a beautiful course, the weather was great and there are loads of spectators but the general organisation really needs to be improved. Date of review: October 2, 2009
In short: A reasonable run out! In full: Lets deal with the running aspect first! First time doing this race,this is a pleasant course with great local support suitable for beginners and the more experienced runner. However lets be realistic about the organisation. The pre race organisation was good, on the day not so good! I think what has happened is that the race has grown and the organisers are using the same template as when it was a smaller race. There was a horrendous queue for the car park which I understand closed just after we got on! It seems to me another one is required, perhaps on the opposite side of New Milton thus preventing the dire queue. This problem seems to have caused a delayed start. The water stations perhaps needed some slightly older people dishing the water out, Im all for involving younger people but some seemed to be overwhelmed. The end was chaotic,it was too narrow for the number of people coming through it. Also the water station at the end was in the wrong place. Im glad I didnt have a bag to pick up as that queue was dire. All in all I enjoyed the actual race, thanks to all who gave up there time to put it on,however it is not cheap and for this level of expense I think the organisers need to go back to the drawing board regarding the staging on the day. Date of review: October 2, 2009
In short: Only the scenery makes it worth a three-hour round trip. In full: Great race and great weather, but hated the personal sponge idea and would have preferred a free t-shirt to a free brochure. Arrived early and parked in the town for £3 which was money well spent as it's one thing walking to the race but the distance to the car-park field after a hard race is something else. However, the course alone more than compensates for any negative points. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: A race which offers something to everyone In full: Overall a thoroughly enjoyable race in which I somehow achieved a pb. Generally the event is well organised, although I do have a few points to make. A number of the mile boards & marks on the road were some way apart, which was quite frustrating at times. Some of the marshals assumed we all knew the course, & I had to ask the way! Was not happy that the marshals let a lady with a buggy cross right in front of me on the finishing bend! Having said that, the crowd support was teriffic & much appreciated throughout the race. We travelled from the Isle of Wight, getting up soon after 5am. Parking has never been an issue for us, & I would always advise folk to arrive early. Will definately return again next year. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Scenic race but shame about the parking! In full: Like Joel I got to within a mile of the car park 40mins before the start only to find it full. I was waved on by a marshal and thought there would be a further marshal ahead telling us where to go but no. Eventually I got parked down a residential street at 9.25am (for the 9.30 start) with a 1.1mile run (as measured by my Garmin) to the start-line. I legged it there and just managed to start with the main pack due to the delayed start but by then I was totally stressed and didn't want to be there. Each mile I considered stopping and eventually did at mile 8. Realised though it would be quicker to run/walk back than wait for the sweeper car so did get to cross the finish line. A pity, as it was a beautiful day, the course was very scenic and the rest of the organisation was good. Would I do it again? Possibly but please sort out the parking... Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: run this twice, and have enjoyed it on both occassions In full: Seen a lot of negative comments. I thought the water stations worked well and there were an impressive number of them. Thought the sponge was a great idea, but worried being toward the back what bacteria I could have been wiping over my face. They ran out of cups at the finish, so I got one out of the bin and poured myself a drink. At the end of a race though, Id drink out of a bucket, so didnt worry me. Excellent marshals, i turned up early and parked on a road really close to the start. Lovely day out. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: not as good as usual In full: I have run this race a few times now and this year seemed to be less organised for some reason. The sponge idea was rubbish. who wants to carry a sponge around the course and dip it into other people's sweat? Car park full up so I had to park in a side road and run to the start. Finish area was poor. large queue for water. no goody bag. had to pay extra for a T-shirt. The only thing better than last year was that the massages were organised better. I only had to wait 10 mins. Last year I gave up after waiting an hour! Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Parking was a nightmare In full: Ran this race 2 years ago and the course has been improved, but disappointed that the Medal was the same just a different ribbon. Water station at the finish should be in place of the burger van instead it was hidden away. The cost of the race the organisers do not offer much !! Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Another fantastic event - how do they always arrange the weather In full: My family and I made our annual pilgrimage to John & Rita's fine B&B in New Milton and throughly enjoyed our weekend in the Forest, topped off with a fantastic afternoon at Beaulieu (saw a few runners there aswell).
And the race the scenery is stunning. Could there have been at better place to have been on Sunday morning out in the scrubland with only runners and ponies for company with the sun shinning down. The "new" route is more interesting in the last few miles.
Nice to see and hear locals out on the route making a noise. Great support at the finish also.
I would echo the comments of others that a bottle of water at the end would have been welcome, but this is a minor point. It's my own fault but I forgot the start was a free for all (despite the attempts at time banding) - so started too far back and with a slow first mile.
Love the programme (I don't know any other race that does this), it's a great souvenier. I thought a technical T Shirt for £8 was a bargain.
I'll be back next year. Date of review: September 28, 2009