In short: Soul to Sole....A day in rural Hickling is beneficial in more ways than one! In full: On a fair weather day (which we were blessed with in 2013), you can't beat a day out here. It's a good number of years since I ran the longer distance here (it used to be around 8 miles), so gave it a go again and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not too big a field, so it never got crowded on the canal towpath, yet I never felt isolated either. It is a pancake flat course, so if you're after a PB it's a good one to do...but, they're 'country miles', so bear that in mind. Majority of the route is along the canal towpath, and you return the same way as you set out, but with a loop built into the route which means that you don't see the leaders coming back at you and therefore potential collisions (and tumbles into the canal!!), are avoided. The Swans were keeping themselves to the water today, so no bother there (though I do re-call them, as others have duly noted, being a bit menacing back in the 8-miler days!).
Being rural, the Canal is flanked by fields and trees, so it's all pretty pleasant...just mind your head on the low bridge! Marshalls were cheery and enough of them in the right places, and as befits a race held alongside a Country Fair, a bottle of beer awaited finishers in the goody bag at the end.
It was nice to spend some time enjoying the attractions of the fair after the race and Especially not to be missed were the Dako Flying Angels male Gymnastics Display Team...these guys are good!
All in all, good to quit the Urban Rat Race for a few hours and run on a quiet, mainly traffic-free course.
Just one more point to mention...winners take all here, ie, if a vet comes in the top 3, they take away main prize plus category prize, so that might be a bone of contention for some.
In short: OK but lonely along the tow path if you're not up with the winners In full: Entered this with two friends. Weather awful. I came in at the back (expected)but 5 mile marker had disappeared and so had most of the marshalls on the way back. We were brought in at the wrong place and ended up running 7.2 miles in the end! No one at the finishing line to congratulate you - but my friends were there for me. No medals or t-shirts just a cup of tea and cake in the WI tent. Overall felt disappointed and would not do it again. Shame about the weather. Date of review: June 13, 2011
In short: Great atmosphere, shame about the weather, would do it again. In full: A great community race which welcomed outsiders. It was not just the runners of the parish organising the event, everyone pulled together to help with race registration or mashalling. All marshalls were encouraging and took time to stand in the rain with a smile on their face as you ran past. The course pretty flat, along the tow path and back. A good race for anyone with family or supporters as the race started and finished at the country fair so plenty for people to do whilst hanging around. I hope to go back next year. Date of review: June 12, 2011
In short: A most enjoyable run, combined with a great day out at the Hickling Fair In full: As always a well organised event, maybe a risk assessment required on the nesting swans...thought they were going to get me. My GPS maybe wrong but 7 miles was the distance! Marshalls excellent and friendly as ever, well worth putting in your diary, Date of review: June 14, 2010
In short: relatively small turnout, and therefore mainly club runners and seasoned pros (I am neither). start was fast and for the none club runners/seasoned pros felt a bit daunting, however you found your own space and good support around the course, In full: This is a perfect race for beginners/non club runners considering it is relatively flat, a good challenging distance and quick to better your minute mile rate! Watch out for the swans along the canal though! Increased local advertising would increase the number of beginners. Although mainly serious runners, all are friendly and supportive as were the marshalls. I took the whole family and we spent most of the day there as the country fayre kept us all entertained, fed and watered. An excellent day out enjoyed by all. Date of review: June 14, 2010
In short: I'll be back In full: Great feel to the race. Hot - and trashed legs from Edinburgh didnt help the time - but that wasnt really important. Could have done with a beer tent and a BBQ and I would have been there all day! So come on everyone - this race deserves a bigger entry - loved it! Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Lovely country. Great organisation. In full: What a gem. A great day out. Hot this year, but, there were extra water stations on the route manned by friendly marshals. Nesting Swans on the final stretch along the canal towpath, made it a very pretty sight. No medals but tea and cake were well appreciated. Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: June 14, 2009