In short: Lovely XC blast in beautiful Chilterns HIlls! In full: I really like this race - beautiful surroundings and I like hills - if anything too much flat at the start for my liking!! You can't really complain about the hills - the race IS in the Chiltern Hills AONB after all - it'd be pretty ticky to organise an XC race near Amersham without one or two involved! This forum gives a fair idea as well...
As for the ploughed field - it is billed as a XC race and it goes across farmland. The farmer aint gonna organise his time around the race!(it did make me retch and lose a couple of places though, so I kinda wish he hadn't!!). Mind you, we were warned over the PA several times as well...
A bit of recceing beforehand and a look at the map showed where to get into position after the start before it became narrow. Some of the single track sections, could have been a bit tricky if you were part of a big group I guess, but again, this comes with the territory (literally!).
I agree the car parking could have been a bit better directed though, especially if you've not pre-entered (the instructions with the race info were OK) and I think CH were a bit mean with the T-shirts for those entering on the day, especially as there was loads left.
In short: Much improvement needed! In full: What a let down the Amersham 5 proved to be. Non existant signs to park or to the cricket club. A route which was an old fashioned X-country affair but with no mention of the extreme nature of the terrain or hills both of which were prohibitive to beginners. This should have been indicated as a hilly race. The start was ill conceived. Why have such a severe bottle-neck within 400 metres of the start? With a bit more thought and a lap or two of the field the runners could have been more evenly spread to reduce the waiting time to funnel onto the path. The ploughed field was unacceptably dangerous underfoot, one of many places where passing was nigh on impossible. The marshals were amongst the most unresponsive and uninvolved I've seen and the fact that Chiltern Harriers were not prepared to give finishers who had registered on the day a momento of the effort involved in completing a demanding course was hugely disappointing. My friend and colleague who had travelled from Essex to run politely asked if he could have a T-shirt as a keepsake as there was a pile left on the tables. He was informed that this year's T-shirts were not being given away or sold. However he was informed that we could have last years for £4!!! For a club who must have reasonable levels of affluence in such a geographical position this all made for an unpleasant and resentful conclusion to the day. Surely a massed produced mug or medal or last years T-shirt isn't too much?
In short: A mere molehill In full: Great scenery, brill marshalls, super weather, suggest some sort of ski-lift for 'that' hill!! Would be good to have some easy access water at the end! Will do it again for sure. Date of review: September 18, 2006
In short: 3rd year I've run it and as usual very well organised and friendly. Much warmer this year so could be an argument for water at some point but very enjoyable despite THE HILL Date of review: September 17, 2006