In short: Challenge for a first timer - but worth it! In full: Definitely more cross country than I expected do nowhere near a PB but great feeling to have done it. A lot of rough terrain (ankles took a beating) and BIG LONG HILLS! Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: Billed as a fun run but DEFINITELY not fun run terrain In full: My second year of doing this race. This time parking was in a field near the castle rather than in the castle grounds itself. Not a problem except bit of a nightmare getting out at the end as temp traffic lights at the top of the access road made progress slow. Anyway, ignoring the fun run silliness at the beginning, the course was an excellent x country course with lots of variety and plenty of tough terrain. However I would say very hazardous for the inexperienced runners especially the big field with an adverse camber, long grass hiding tractor ruts divots and rabbit holes, etc. All grist to the mill for this trail runner but I bet there were more than a few twisted ankles and face plants come the end! My only injury an invisible encounter with some invisible stinging insect which left me with a wopping great red swollen thingy on my inner thigh - obviously I wasn't running fast enough!It was a beautiful day and I very much enjoyed running the course. Will definitely be returning next year. Oh, no official timing except for a big digital clock at the finish post. However the timer obviously started with the official race start, and it took me a couple of minutes to get over the start line, so make sure you carry your own timer if you want to log it. As far as I know they don't publish any results on-line. My summary a good quality x country circuit on a beautiful day but novice and road runners watch your step! Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: An extremely challenging course - not an ideal first 10K In full: This was my first official 10k run and I must say I found it gruelling to say the least and not the type of course one would expect for a charity event. I had not banked on so much tough cross country running and was thankful to get round without breaking an ankle! Saying that, I was chuffed to finish in under an hour although I was nowhere near by PB. Good atmosphere and facilities although they could have done with some more portaloos! Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Tough terrain in places - lovely scenery In full: As a first timer this wasn't as bad as I thought is would be. The terrain was varied - down hills, up hills(one big one about 1k long that you had to walk as most other runners were walking), woodland and lumpy fields that I nearly broke my ankle on. Glad I took my own water as runners were waiting while cups were poured out. Great crowd cheering me on to run the last hill just before the finish. Would definitely do again just to see if I could run the big hill next time and improve on my 70mins time. Brilliant scenery and lovely to run past the castle. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Tough undulating course with a killer field at 4k In full: Make no mistakes this is an undulating course but not so that it was impossible. But you do need some off road running in your legs. The start was a bit of a mess and that field was nothing short of dangerous. If Cancer Research are going to run an event here in the future then they need to make sure that everyone knows what they are letting themselves in for. Having said that I loved it and will be back next year! Date of review: September 27, 2009
In short: A very hard course for a charity run. With steep hills and sometimes dangerous running surface. In full: I arrived at Leeds Castle around 8.10am with the race due to start at 9.30. Parking was in a field next to the start/finish line. There was a large tea/coffee/burger van along with an ice cream van for refreshments. Had about 15 portaloos (for 1600 runners) which were the chemical type and became quite disgusting after a few uses.
At around 9.20 things started to get going, with runners being asked to gather by the stage for a warm up session. This lasted for about 15 mins with the majority of people ignoring it! We were then told that we were to start in groups, under 50 mins finishers, 50-60 mins finishers and then the rest. This became a complete shambles with everyone just heading for the start line.
The race got underway with runners moving slowly towards the start line. Eventually I made it through and began to run. It started with a nice down hill grass slope, which then went on to a path, with slight undulations. The supposed group start definitely wasnt adhered to as I started passing walkers after about 1k!
Around the 4k mark we entered a field, and it was terrible!! The grass had been cut to make a temporary route but had been left, so you couldnt see where your feet were landing. And you really needed to see where you were running, because there were ruts, holes, divots, tracks etc which I felt were really dangerous. I nearly went over about half a dozen times, due to my ankles turning on the invisible ruts. Along with this was a very short, but very steep hill.This field must have lasted for at least 1k. And then we went onto a closed road, which was uphill for about another 1k!
It then went downhill for a while with a water station at about the 6.5k mark, where you had to queue up, whilst the water was poured into plastic cups. The race continued, mainly on grass, with many hills, both up and down. There was a particularly steep downhill part which was pretty steep and slippery. At around the 9k mark there was another steep hill, this time going up! There was a 500mtr marker near the crest of the hill so at least I had incentive to pick the speed up a bit. Once over the crest of the hill you could see the finish line, which was downhill, with a nasty sharp bend to get to the finish line (my other half said that a few of the fast finishers went over when trying to navigate this bend). Once over the finish line everyone got a medal, a bottle of water and a fruit bar.
In short: Definitely not boring! In full: Got there early (8am) and didn't have any problems with the traffic at all. Was slightly hacked off with the late start and the announcer who, after banging on for ages that "it wasn't about the time you finished in" said that people predicted to finish in over an hour were "special too", or words to that effect - what exactly did she mean by that?!!
What can I say about the course - up, down, up, up, up; freshly mown grass, holes and was that water station ever coming? When we got off that field and I felt tarmac under my feet again it was a short celebration until we all started heading up the never-ending hill. A very challenging course, yes, but felt like a real achievement when you had finished. And I got a PB! Brilliant. Date of review: September 27, 2009
In short: Very challenging terrain, very cross country with long steep sections. In full: As a first timer I would not have chosen this as my first public 10k, if I had known that multi terrain meant true hilly cross country, with the potential to damage ankles. This is a very challenging course, with some steep start and mid sections and definitely not a course to set yourself the task of achieving a personal best time, as it will take all your effort to run on the terrain. Take water with you as the only water station, except at the end is closer on 7k and not 5k as advertised. If you don't have multi terrain surfaces to practice on, if you can comfortably run between 10k-15k, then you should be okay, but get some hill practice in. Date of review: September 27, 2009