In short: New course but same old good feeling afterwards In full: Enjoyed the new course. It's not as varied or challenging as the Epsom Downs course but I still enjoyed it very much. A good venue for racing with all the facilities we need. Date of review: January 18, 2011
In short: Well done, Oddballs, for coping so well with the new venue In full: As others have said, it was a shame this couldn't be run on the downs. However, Nonsuch Park was a lovely venue, with good facilities and easy parking. The quality of organization and marshalling was up to the usual high standards. I really enjoyed the twisting, undulating route, and I like a bit of mud, too! Well done and thank you, Oddballs Date of review: January 16, 2011
In short: Oddballs did well to find an alternative to Downs In full: It is a great shame that the Epsom Oddballs were not allowed to hold the Perch over the Downs again. I find it bizarre that the Conservators reached this decision, especially given what else is permitted on the Downs, the small "footprint" of running, and the start time being after racehorses typically exercise. Who are the Conservators and how are they selected?
The Epsom Oddballs deserve considerable credit for the arranging this alternative - it must have been tempting just to moan and sulk.
The main plus points of the race itself were a scenic course for inside the M25; plenty of good marshals; a tech T shirt (I do not need yet another cotton one!); distance markers every K (we were only promised "sparodic").
My main negative is that the first K was very congested (even by usual standards), including coming to a stop when the course narrowed after about 300m. This was with about 300 entrants; it would have been much worse if the limit of 500 had entered. I wonder whether going round in the opposite direction would have solved this. A niggle is that my number and chip did not arrive in the post before the event despite a closing date a week in advance - and I was clearly far from unique in this. Not sure whether this is the fault of Sports Systems or the Oddballs.
The course was more cross country than multi-terrain and seriously muddy in quite a few places. Reasonable people can differ on whether this is a good or bad thing (for me it was a negative). Perhaps the info on the runners world website could have reflected this better.
So a mixed bag for me, but again the Oddballs need great praise for how they reacted to the unfortunate (to be polite) banning from the Downs. Date of review: January 16, 2011
In short: Definitely undulating and scenic as promised. In full: The hills and mud were challenging. But Nonsuch Park is lovely. With the fine weather and good organisation, it was an enjoyable race, despite some bottlenecks! Date of review: January 16, 2011
In short: Well done Oddballs In full: Despite being forced to move venue this year the Oddballs pulled out all of the stops to put on another magnificent race. The course was scenic and much more lumpy than expected. Great muddy bits and interesting trails distracted the mind from the strong wind. Super marshals and a fab tech T made this a very worthwhile day out. Thank you! Date of review: January 16, 2011