In short: Stunning scenery, hard climbs. Well worth it. In full: It was wet for the weeks preceding, the event was almost called off. On the day it was dry but going downhill at full speed impossible due to slippery mud and wet rocks. As my first half I thoroughly enjoyed it and there was a good atmosphere. Hard to find the registration/check-in point. The refreshments at the end were good and a decent goody bag. All in all 8/10. Date of review: September 14, 2012
In short: Race set in stunning scenery but let down by poor organisation In full: This race has the potential to be something special. It takes place in the world famous Cheddar Gorge and provides a demanding course - but it was let down by poor organisation. The registration is difficult to find due obscure sign posting and the reg itself is perched on the side of a steep hill, accessible only by rough tracks. The start is another 10 minute climb up a rocky path - spectators with pushchairs and wheelchair users forget it. The start of the half marathon was almost 15 minutes late, with runners in other distances waiting longer for their starts. The sign posting out on the course was confusing. I ran an extra two and a half miles up a valley - followed by four others - because the half marathon sign was flapping around in the wind. At other points the race route signs for outward and return parts of the course weren't distinguishable. I encountered other runners who were equally baffled. The problem was compounded by a lack of marshals. At the finish runners had to help themselves to goody bags. For £25 (on the day) I expected a lot more. The organisers have a lot to learn before next year. I hope they take the criticism onboard. Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: Challenging course, wonderful location. Slightly random organisation. In full: This had potential to be an absolutely wonderful race in an incredible location. As a new event this year there are bound to have been a few niggles to resolve though...
The course was tough, with plenty of variety in the scenery (which offered very few glimpses of Cheddar Gorge itself), but I felt it didn't make the most of the potential of the area. Three switchback sections - including one so narrow that runners almost collided when passing, and another near the end that was unmarshalled and appeared to be there purely to make up the distance - were demoralising. Many of the wooded sections were very poorly signed and I spoke to several runners who had gone off course and could find no marshalls to set them back on track.
Feed stations were frequent and exemplary in the variety of snacks on offer - a welcome sight on a baking hot strength-sapping day!
Lastly, the start and finish areas were both a bit random. The uphill walk from registration to start, followed by race briefings, was leisurely and untroubled by punctuality! The Half started nearly 15 minutes late. The finish area back at the registration station was also a little haphazard. The finish line was not clearly marked and the handing out of t-shirts and goody bags was also a little disorganized. Despite having ordered and paid for my t-shirt in advance, there were none left in my size. The food though, was again excellent!
All in all a great race for those who like scenic but tough multiterrain courses, but a few teething troubles still to resolve.
In short: trail running at its best In full: A challenging course through fantastic countryside. Brilliant terrain to get stuck into - something for everyone, from incredibly technical climbs and decents to sweeping grassy trails along the top of the Gorge, and over 1600 ft of elevation gain thrown in for good measure! Atmosphere was friendly, and the event well organised and course-marked. Nice to have some new trail events in this region of the country. Would definitely recommend. Date of review: July 15, 2012
In full: An extremely tough run over a variety of terrains none of which are easy. Difficult to get into a rythmn because of the uncertainty underfoot. Not for the faint hearted with some lung busting climbs (nearly 2km in one go?). Scenery is awesome and interesting would do again but wear fell running shoes next time! Date of review: July 13, 2012
In short: A wild course for runners who enjoy a challenge. I loved every inch of the track. I would highly recommend this race. In full: This course was simply awesome! The track was crazy and will satisfy runners that are looking for a challenge. I loved it!! The event is relatively small but it created a seriously friendly atmosphere. The village in-which the race is set offered a pleasant day out with beautify scenery, quint shops and village pubs. I had a wicked day and I'll be back to run it in the future. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. Date of review: July 10, 2012
In short: Tough but beautiful race In full: The course is very tough with steep uphill and downhill sections, also lots of places where overtaking isn't possible, so no potential for a PB. My PB is 1:42 but this event was 2:10. Course has some very beautiful sections around the top of the gorge and through summer meadows and woodland which helps to take your mind off the hard running. Terrain was mostly muddy or grassy so off-road shoes are the best option. Nice small friendly event. Date of review: July 10, 2012
In full: billiant loved it, just getting to registration and starting line was a triump in itself but defferently worth the effort. gorgeous views of the gorge very technical in places some steep climbs and vary muddy in places but with the rain recently thats to be expected. defiantly will be back for the marathon in september
In short: Full marks for not cancelling In full: Trail running at its scary best (was it fell running?) Brutal at times but flowing at others, the course had probably had 36 hours of rain on it before the start but wasn't actually too bad. Hope everyone finished before the tennis. Date of review: July 8, 2012