In short: Hard Work rewarded by amazing views In full: Having previously completed a few XC half marathons I came to North Devon AONB Half Marathon with high expectations in terms of performance and results. My thoughts of a PB disapeared at around the 6 mile point.
The event is organised with the full marathon runners starting ~ 15 min prior to the Half. The 1st few miles are relativly easy, offers some amazing views and can be ran with only a few stops (for gates, etc). A well marshalled beach run section is hard going but over quickly. This leads onto the 1st major set of climbs and some steps, making running very tricky if your picking your way past walking marathon back markers. The last 6 or so miles of the course is a mixture of fell, gravel, more steps and is very tough.
The entire route is well marked and marshalled. Water and snack stations are placed about every 3 miles of so (very much needed as it was 28C when I did it in 2011 and apparently 31C in 2010). The marshall's were very supportive and full of enthusiasem.
The event attracts decent supporting crowds and is well support by local buisnesses. Cream tea at the finish and a nicely designed medal. Only one down side, post race winners awards were less generous than last years, even though there were more runners. Only one team award fot 1st place team, even though the event is very well attended by club runners. Also the annoucer really needed a mic or tannoy as you could barely hear him.
Overall, top race which will only become more popular with time if they can maintain this standard of organisation. Up there with the Needles XC half in terms of views and challenge. Recommended to all levels of XC runners, from Fell to recreational. Date of review: July 1, 2011