In short: Lovely place to run, but first half hills made the second half feel tough In full: My first trail half so not sure what to expect. The organisation was great, and so good to be able to park so close to the start (you don't get that in city races!). The weather was lovely, forest was great to run in, but the hills in the first half seemed to go on forever - my legs had definitely lost their spring by what should have been the easier second half. A big thank you to the guy I ran those middle miles with - I think I may have been tempted to stop without your company. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Beautiful setting, excellant organisation and atmosphere, antidote to big city races In full: If you can't bear the logistics and stress of getting to and from big city races, this one is gloriously easy to deal with. Wonderful forest setting, more hilly then undulating I would say. Lovely friendly encouraging marshals, loos fine and lots of water stations (more then the four that they indicated, with plastic cups). Date of review: September 29, 2013
In short: Great off road race. But terrain not too challengling In full: I do this race every year as it is my local half marathon. The organisation just improves year on year as the race grows. It was certainly the right decision to postpone this year by two weeks as the cousre would have been dangerous in places for a lot of runners and parking impossible. Hats off to the organisiers and volunteers for the extra work in re-arranging. Date of review: April 22, 2013
In short: Excellent route, well organised and friendly In full: My "local" run and therefore most of the course forms part of my normal long runs BUT it's still a great run (and still as hard) and one that I would encourage anyone who normally only runs road to try out. As has been mentioned it's not really hardcore trail and therefore whilst it's challenging in terms of descent and ascent the trail itself is well compacted and wide.
In terms of the postponement I ran the trail on the Sunday AND yes it was runnable but slippy in places and lightly covered in snow. One thing to do it on your own and another with 1000 people. Equally travel to and from the start would have been difficult for many.
All in all a great run (despite 90% being something I do every other week) and I'll be back in the Autumn for the follow-up.
In short: Decent run through the forest In full: Had a nice morning running through the forest. Scenery wasn't as good as I'd hoped but the route was decent and race nicely organised. It was a bit of a drive to get there so I'm not sure if we'll be back as there are lots of other races to try. Good overall and a nice one for anyone looking to give trail running a go. Date of review: April 10, 2013
In short: Undulating off-road route through great scenery In full: Some hills, so PB is unlikely. 11 miles is off-road on compacted trails and in dry conditions road shoes will be fine, even in wet they would probably be OK. Scenery is great which helps to take your mind off the uphill sections. The route is wide enough to ensure there is no crowding after the first mile - unlike most big city events. The organisation is fine - the route well marshalled and signposted, the car parking is right next to the start and finish line (no need for bag storage). Date of review: April 8, 2013
In short: Great race, but be prepared, 2 miles downhill at the start but you will pay it back! In full: Really well organised and truly scenic. Rearranged very quickly after the snow 2 weeks ago. I consider myself a middle of the pack club runner and I find this hard. The first 2 miles are downhill and then you climb steadily for about 7 miles. There are 3 major hills and the final one at mile 12 may make you want to cry lol! BUT it is so worth the effort, the scenery is lovely and sense of achievement beats any fast road race. Id highly recommend this race. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Fantastic organisation and beautiful surroundings! In full: First couple of miles are downhill which I love, mildly challenging hills at 6 and just before 12 miles, lovely route throught the forest. Excellent organisation, well marshalled and well supported. I don't quite understand why some runners shut themselves off with iPods, they missed the birdsong. This has been a race I have wanted to do for the last couple of years, glad I managed to make it this year. Nice medal for all finishers and a tech shirt for the first 50 men & women. I believe that the correct decision was made in postponing the race by 2 weeks, the amount of snow that was covering the midlands on the original weekend would have prevented many entrants getting to the start, thank you for making that call and for rearranging the date so quickly, it's was much appreciated! Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Why Is This Postponed???? In full: so, most of the review is based on previous years, but for some reason this years race has been postponed, apparently this is due to the weather, this decision was made with less than 24hours to the start!! I ran most of the course shortly after this decision was made, it was perfectly runnable, I also ran it the day the race was meant to happen, it was very runnable, however it was cold. I have heard to many rumours of not being able to marshall this sufficiently as marshalls wouldn't come out as they would get cold.... This is a trails run, not a road race, a centimetre or two of snow really isnt an issue, but i guess cold feet and hands are. Come on Rotary club, sort yourselves out, this is a good race but needs to be organised by runners, really poor decision to cancel this, and still no new proposed date Date of review: March 24, 2013