In short: cracking race to keep you good over Christmas In full: having missed it last year due to the weather, i last did this in 2010 when for the start you were walked out the back onto the road. Could have done with that this year as the start outside the clubhouse was very cramped and lots of people were edging between cars before passing through the start. That said, the rest of the run for me was really good. Great route and plenty of views. I had forgotten how undulating the course was, and felt the hill at mile 11....but the run down Tower lane after that was just what i needed. The finish was a little cramped though, with lots of people milling around rather than clearing the way. A reasonable goody bag and decent medal. i'll be looking to do it again next year. Date of review: January 29, 2014
In short: Great race, well organised, avoidable baggage problems which won't happen again I'm sure. In full: This is the second year I've done this race (last time 2012). It was cancelled in 2013 due to the weather, but came back this year. It is a lovely well organised event, which is on undulating roads in the countryside. The main hill comes near the end, but there is a great run down to the finish...
Although the race itself was well organised, there were a number of problems at the finish. Firstly, the medals were on a separate stand which I couldn't see because of crowding, and I assumed it was in the bag, so I had to return to the finish from the baggage area against the flow of traffic to get hold of one. This may have been my inattention, but I was exhausted and it would have been easier if they had been placed in bags.
Secondly, the baggage was poorly organised. I was looking at an hour and a half wait to get the baggage while standing in the cold. I retreated to the clubhouse to drink tea until the line disappeared. Not immediately clear what happened, and sad to hear that the volunteers got direct abuse from some runners, but this needs looking at for future years (It didn't happen in 2012). If it had been raining it would have been an appalling day. That said, the organisers have addressed this in a follow-up email to all participants and I am reassured that it won't happen again.
I have no hesitation in signing up again for 2015! Date of review: January 23, 2014
In short: Fabulous race as usual In full: Superb course, superb weather, great atmosphere amongst runners. Does seem like organisation was lacking a little bit this year, but I think people need to accept that you are running a club organised non-profit making event. Arrived early with 2 fellow runners at 9:25, just in time to park at club; so had no need to use bag drop. The start area was conjested and the first mile especially was slow, as numerous 2hr+ runners had positioned themselves in the front 30% of the field. The route was challenging as usual, especially the slow climb from miles 8 to 11, but the last downhill 2 miles are superb! I understand peoples obeservations about the finish area, and that people were hanging around; however through waiting over 10minutes for a friend to finish I can definitively say that most people were waiting outside the fenced area in very muddy grass, and not inside the finish area. Got back to the club; and could see the baggage queues - in previous years the baggage has been in the same place, and there have been no problems, so hopefully just a one off. Had a complimentary coffee and jaffa cake from the fabulous old ladies in the tea room at the back of the club, and left. Still a great race; and I have no doubt the baggage issue will be sorted for next year. I would still love water bottles rather than cups though; I needed to walk through the drink stations 3 times! Date of review: January 21, 2014
In short: Great start to the year In full: This race is a favourite of mine and this was the 5th time I'd done it over the last 10 years. Fantastic conditions this year and a great course as always. The start was a bit congested. I think they should assemble people on the car park before walking round to start the race from the road. I wasn't affected by the baggage drop issues myself but saw the queue. I was surprised as in previous years th baggage drop has been superb so presume this is down to a change in personel and will be sorted for next year. The park & ride is 1.6mile away which is perfect for a warm up/cool down rather than bothering with a bus. Date of review: January 21, 2014
In short: Scenic race with PB potential In full: This is a nice, friendly race. All those country lanes require a large force of marshalls and these were very well organised. I didn't use the bag drop so can't comment, but the finish was pretty disorganised. Likewise the start, with a large crowd of people in the car park filtering through the starting arch. It's practically impossible to position yourself according to your expected finish time. The chip timing helped but I still had to squeeze past a lot of runners in the first 3 miles. These isn't a criticism as such, but something to be aware of if every last second counts to you. Overall a good experience, though, and thanks to the organisers and the many volunteers. Date of review: January 21, 2014