In short: Beautiful Pain In full: The scenery was absolutely beautiful- It was worth the walk up the hill(s) to appreciate it. Nice support, decent goody bag and medal. Definitely NOT a PB race, it's so ridiculously steep in places. The downhills are fast and fun, especially if you do plane wings with your arms and make the noises...not that I did that, of course... Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: Lovely day, friendly runners In full: I ran this race last Sunday, though at the time 'never again' but afer doing a city half yesterday I really believe I actually prefer trail runs. With a lot more hill training I'll be back for this one again next year
If few more marshalls next year would be a real help
In short: A Fantastic Trail Race In full: Walked the hills, raced the descents and enjoyed everything about this half-marathon. Had booked into the marathon, but didn't do enough training, so instead of winging the 26-miler transferred over to the half (and got the t-shirt) and enjoyed the distance. Marshalling was good and the mistake/slip up at the bbeginning meant we were in the lead for a short while, only to be overtaken by the eventual leaders. It's nice to run with these athletes once in a while. Suggestion for next year: Run the last 13 miles of this years marathon as the half-marathon next year so us back of packers who aren't as hard as nails get to see what the marathoners did this year!! Date of review: September 12, 2011
In short: Wonderful run through forests and by river, with a slight mix up at start not detracting In full: This was my first trail run, and couldn't have wished for a better day or scenary. All seemed well organised at start, though slightly worried about 3min verbal turn by turn walkthrough of the route by the announcer while waiting at start (were all trail runners expected to remember this??). Again, not sure what happened at the start, first turning was missed, and 200 runners did their best impression of flock of sheep. Had to laugh at the people by road cheering us on going one way, then seeing us again 2 mins later going back again. Prob not such a laughing matter for the racers though...
One steep hill with steps, amazing scenary, lots of steady downhill, a few wild runs down and an interesting course which (generally) I found well signed. Will try to be back again for whole thing.
Everyone very friendly, lots of surprised walkers cheered us on, but second the comment elsewhere here about the complete morons throwing water bottles into the forest and laughing.
Finished off with a few refreshing ciders and great lunch in the Saracans Head by the river in Symonds Yat in the sun - wonderful Date of review: September 9, 2011
In short: Great race in lovely surroundings In full: This was a really good run. Nearly all of it was in the forest,so we kept out of the glare of the sun and were relatively cool. It was friendly and well organised. The front runners missed a turn early on and did a bit extra, but other than that I am not aware of any great problems. Fairly tough climb up from the river to Symonds Yat. Date of review: September 6, 2011
In short: A classic race in the making In full: People have already commented on the missing marshal/ lack of signage at the beginning of the race which added half a mile and some confusion. This was an unfortunate mistake and should not have happened but did little to detract from a great race and is something that is easily remedied for next year. The sunny weather obviously added to the day, but I believe the race has the making of a classic. Stunning route in beautiful countryside, friendly atmosphere, great marshalling at the water stops, and those challenging climbs! My wife has never run with wild boar before and was a highlight of her day! Great medal, quality, well fitting technical t- shirt (at a cost for half marathon runners) and a goody bag I think a bit of a bargain. One of the stand–out races I have done this year. Would definitely recommend it. Date of review: September 6, 2011
In short: Hard going and with few tweaks could be really good In full: Overall, thought it was a good race. But with some extra marshalls could be a lot better. Felt very sorry for the lead runners who weren't directed at the first turn and ended up doing extra. Nearly missed a turn myself but the lovely runner behind me got me back on track. Am really tired today - those hills were hard and really highlighted gaps in my training! Goody bag and medal were fine and thought it was a good atmosphere all the way around (fellow runners were friendly and chatty and the marshalls were friendly and encouraging). Nice welcome at the finish :-) Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Absolutely nails but good route. Poorly marshalled, though. In full: This is extremely hard with some insanely steep parts. Cracking scenery, other runners very friendly and welcoming but the marshalling was awful; the whole race had to turn back near the start, adding 1/2 mile to the total distance. Let's face it, it was long enough anyway... Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Great Race but very tough hills!!! In full: Not sure what led to the entire field going 0.5 mile in the wrong direction, think a key sign or marshal was not in the right place, over a half marathon this is not too much of an issue, for the marathoners on this course it would have been a killer. There were a few other spots (like the top of the steps) where a marshal rather than a sign would have been better, had to rely on a lady having a picnic to point me in the right direction!
Having said that despite recovering from a cold and not really being able to run at my usual pace I really enjoyed it. The scenery was great, the trails were firm underfoot (road shoes are fine) and the climbs are as you would expect from any trail run, quadbusting!!!
You expect a few hiccups at a first time event, if these can be ironed out this could be a classic and I would definitely recommend it.
One issue that I do have with running trails, and only relates to a very small minority of runners, is the selfish and careless attitude regarding water bottles/cups. I appreciate people may not want to carry a bottle/cup that is fine, but when you discard it please aim for the bin or the path as close to the bin as you can get so the marshals can easily clear the litter up. I saw a couple of idiots today chucking bottles right into the forest, our cities are polluted and littered enough, don't ruin our beautiful Great British Countryside or the reputation of the race by this thoughtless behaviour (rant over!) Date of review: September 4, 2011