In short: Best support I've seen since the Great North In full: Ran this for the first time in 2013. During the autumn the weather had been very unfriendly during every race I ran, but despite the cold wind and rain, plus the cold I'd just picked up from work, I took the route steady. Many people say Stroud is known for it's hills - there are no big hills on this route, as the route heads out towards Gloucester. The route also isn't all in the country, you head through Cainscross, Ebley, Stonehouse, Standish and Whitminster, and the support you have from the locals is fantastic - just like it was at the Great North. Running along the main road and through the industrial estate is a bit depressing, but the steel band playing does relieve it a bit. Afterwards, you get to change and shower in Marling School, which is great considering it takes place on the day the clocks have gone back and can be a little cold. Also despite the fact I was a slow runner, there were plenty of others who were slow as well, so a great race for fun runners. Date of review: November 2, 2013
In short: Great value from a club organised run In full: Windy conditions this year, but that did not really impact too much on what was a well organised run. THe field size is good and the course has great potential for breaking a PB. I would certainly recommend this Date of review: November 2, 2013
In short: Good value, fast and friendly In full: Very well organised race. Big enough to bring out support from local people, I loved the steel band, all the high fives and the cheering. The marshalling and signposting was very efficient, and the event was small enough that you could park on the street within two minutes walk of the start, and then get started without any real hindrance; the roads at first were wide enough for the field to sort itself out over the first couple of miles.
The route was mostly flat, with one steady incline between mile markers 6 and 7, that wasn't especially long or steep, and one or two short rises that are over before you notice them. So it's easy to recommend this race to someone looking for a personal best.
The actual route was a little bit uninspiring, much of it being shared with the constant roar of traffic noise. There were sections against the kerb on busy A roads with just over a metre width coned off for runners. Overtaking there was uncomfortable. The marshalls were kept busy finding spaces for cars to get past at junctions and roundabouts, and the occasional impatient driver made this aspect of the race feel hazardous. The race organisers obviously were aware of this because there were messages about not using headphones on the website and repeated by tannoy at the start. They even went as far as to say that runners seen with headphones would be disqualified. However there were a great many runners wearing headphones, and nobody bothered them. Organisers should either enforce this rule, or simply warn of the dangers and let runners decide for themselves how important it is to be able to hear marshalls' directions.
At £16/18, it was very good value, the cost kept down by giving out only a medal, t shirt, and a bottle of water at the end, and cups of tap water around the course. Most runners are more than happy with that. Date of review: November 1, 2013
In short: Very good event In full: The event was very well organised, on a flattish course, with strong support from residents. Plus the weather was not quite as bad as feared. I'll be back next year Date of review: October 29, 2013