In short: Downhill glory, Uphill another story ! In full: * Very friendly 10k, on a freezing morning, with the oh-so cheerful tea ladies dispensing hot drinks & biscuits both before and after the race - most welcome ! * My only gripes would be about the timing chips; i) mine didn't work (or rather the time for my race number was about 7 minutes faster than I actually ran - far too much for my conscience to accept !), ii) there was no timing mat at the start, hence with the narrow roads, it took me about 15-20s to get over the start line, but my Gun Time and Chip Time were identical. * Only other point would be that in today's world, not having any online entry procedure is a bit of a pain, but then again, the race is limited to 500 people and seemed pretty close to that number, so I guess over-popularity is not to be encouraged ? * However, minor gripes for what was a challenging but rewarding course - very fast downhill for the first 5km, then undulating, and finally a 3km climb to the finish - so it's a challenge to pace yourself properly on this 10k. Date of review: January 18, 2013
In short: The last 3k will get you! In full: Really pleasant scenery made even better with the first couple of km downhill. But you know what goes down must go up & that was the last few km of the race. Nothing steep, you could certainly still run up it but it did eat away at your time. It made seeing the finishing line even sweeter though.
Free parking was laid on at the village hall & local school, & the start line was in between the two so you didn't need to walk far.
This wasn't a 'all the frills' kind of race but I think that was nice & gave it it's charm. The route was a perfect setting for a crisp winter's day & we only came across a few cars.
Great race to start the year. Date of review: January 14, 2013
In short: An undulating, no-frills, well-organised road race In full: The whole route is along very quiet, closed country lanes in an attractive part of the Chilterns (though with a couple of dull fields to pass en-route). It probably helped that this year it was a glorious sunny winter's day - absolutely perfect weather. Though this cannot be guaranteed! The first 5K is mostly down-hill then just when you expect the second 5K to be all uphill there's more downhill with a sloggish uphill for the last 3K or so. So this isn't a PB course, but the hills aren't killer ones and it's all on-road so there's some scope for a decent(ish) time. I liked the simplicity of this race with just a medal at the finish (goody bags are a bit overrated in my opinion). The free tea, coffee and biscuits were a godsend since I ran to the start (also available at the finish) and a really nice touch. Also, the race was big enough to race in company, but not crowded. This isn't a 'must-do' race; but I'd definitely recommend it for anyone in the nearby area. Date of review: January 14, 2013
In short: Watch out for those hills... In full: Pros - Lovely scenery: country lanes through the woods and fields. - Enthusiastic marshalls and supporters: given the temperature, full marks go to these people for standing there for so long cheering us on. - Nice and easy first 5k.
Cons - All that downhill in the first 5kms comes back to get you in the second half of the race! Challenging hills, but great training.
Really enjoyable race, though I wasn't thinking that between the 7-9km markers...
First time I'd done this race, but definitely won't be the last. Date of review: January 14, 2013
In short: One of the best 10k's - helped by great weather In full: Continues to get better every year helped by the enthusiasm of the stewards. Requires a races strategy that you stick to but the hills aren't that bad!!!!
One of the friendliest races, glorious countryside and a free cup of tea and biscuits at the end Date of review: January 13, 2013
In short: One too many long hills In full: Seemed strange to start in the road, when there is a sports field next to the road. Also the end was in the middle of a road, and it seemed too cluttered when your trying to finish a race, the last thing you want is a medal given to you and your timing chip taken from you. The route is based in the countryside, but there are two nasty long hills one of which is right at the end. Date of review: January 13, 2013