In short: Excellent organisation, at the hillyish end of "undulating" In full: Great pre-race info - everything you need. Very friendly on the day. I ran Ashby 20 2 years ago and I think this event is probably as good. It has better scenery and friendlier marshalls (although the legendary Ashby drink station friendliness is still better). My one gripe would be that the water was in cups, and on a hot day that was a bit of a pain. The only mark down on beginner-friendliness was the "broom wagon" at 4 hours would be a bit off-putting, although I note several people recorded times after 4 hours. Excellent hoodie at the end, nice finishing venue too. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Overall OK In full: Car parking a nighmare despite arriving before 9am end up on grass verge 10 mins from hq. Toilets hopelessly inadequate for numbers. School hall was too small for numbers attending. Start area farcical. However, reasonably enjoyed the race due to fellow competitors and the scenery, not forgetting the undulating course Date of review: April 28, 2012
In short: Bedford Harriers set the benchmark In full: A wonderfully organised event, a credit to Bedford Harriers. A challenging course as it's more up/down than flat and featureless. great marshalls, and nice touches having jelly babies and isotonic drink available at the end.
will definitely do it again, cheers, Al (wearing my bright orange hoodie with pride!) Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Great scenery + marshalling on this 20 miler In full: Enjoyed the race very much. The loop format was interesting as I was able to see the leaders coming past me ! On the plus side was the landscape, the marshals ,the Air Cadets on the water stations and the large field in which to fall down after the race. The hoody was good too - one fellow competitor stated it looked like a breakout from Guantanamo on the way back to the car !
Less positive was the distance of the car parking from the start, the size of the main hall (although the congestion was not aided by large club groups feeling the need to 'stake their turf'), toilet provision and the temperature of the showers...brrrh !
In short: Miles 1 to 19 great, shame about the other bits. In full: Miles 0-1: Poor parking – grass banks out of the village. HQ – OK, they are always busy so just plan ahead, no worse than others. Race Start – shambles in short. Reverse filling a narrow road, so obviously nobody wanted to move back so late start and loads of slow runners up front – wasn’t hard to predict. (Fence the pavement off, make everyone walk down it to the back first then fill up that way and have predicted finish markers – easily solved, no?)
Miles 1-19: Beautiful course – scenic, undulating, but not overly hilly and water stations every 3 miles. Excellent marshal’s, all friendly and helpful. Water in polystyrene cups not ideal, but just stop and walk for a couple of seconds worked fine.
Miles 19-20: What a ridiculous finish. Winding narrow alleyways through a housing estate, some single file. Surely this could be improved as it is not what you want at the end of a 20 mile race. Only topped by the draconian marshal at the finish moaning and stopping people taking 2 (small) pieces of fruit rather than 1 – not her fault really, but from an organisation point of view ½ a banana after 20 miles (and £20) is a poor show. Ditch the dodgy orange hoody and push the boat out to a whole banana next year.
Would probably do it again on balance as the course makes it, but the poor start and finish would make me think twice.
In short: Beautiful scenery and fantastic marshalls. In full: This was my first 20 mile race, and Oakley made me really enjoy the experience.
The scenery was really pretty, there was lots of local support, regular water stations on what turned out to be a much hotter day than expected and some fantastic marshalls. Several marshalls towards the end (I must have looked drained by this point!) questionned me to check I was OK. The hills were quite nice, and kept the course interesting. There was nothing overly steep, and I always knew that when I had gone up, I would be going down again soon! The downside was the queueing for the toilets until 9:58 when the race began at 10. We had been queueing for nearly half an hour! Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: My first DNF. In full: I pulled up with cramp and a possible muscle tear at near 16 miles. A big thank you to the spectators and marshalls who looked after me and got me back to the finish. Nice to know your all there.
Will come back next year and finish the job. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: top race by Bedford harriers In full: As far as i am concerned Bedford Harriers always deliver a top race, and yes they did again this year. and as a runner from Milton keynes i will return again in 2013 . ps keep up the good work Date of review: April 1, 2012