In short: Excellent race - would make a good introduction to trail running In full: I really enjoyed this race. A mixture of fields, woodland, toe-path, tracks and road. It was more challenging than I had expected with many short but challenging inclines. Early into the race these became "bottle-necks" as some walked slowing those behind - so don't expect a PB.
Organisation was good, friendly Marshalls, water station at 3 miles, nice t-shirt - what more could you ask for on a late summer Sunday morning?
Thanks to all the organisers. I'll be back next year! Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: Great fun, evil hills, nice atmosphere In full: This race keeps getting better on the organisation front, and the weather seems to improve every year too! A challenging mixture of trails/fields/roads and some horrible short sharp climbs, all set in some lovely scenery. A fun event and a great day out. Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: Great fun in Yorkshire In full: Thought I'd give a bit of off road running a try as I mainly run on roads. What great fun, a challenging course with a mix of all types of surface and scenery plus some punishing sharp climbs. Well marked out and Marshalled, great T shirt. I really enjoyed the whole experience. Thankyou Alice. Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: A bit of every terrain possible In full: Fantastic Race, fields, canal paths, roads, woodland, cobbles, mud, grass, pavement... you get the idea. Road shoes fine if it's dry and you are sure footed, otherwise go for trail. If you have a poor sense of direction, a quick look at the excellent map on the website will save tears at the end. Brilliant Cause. Good goody bag and t shirt too. Date of review: October 23, 2009
In short: Tough, but fun! In full: Those hills don't get any easier! But a very enjoyable event, nicely organised. I spent less time queueing to get out of the first field this year, which helped, but some of those hilly bits are hard work for a soft townie! Still, that just added to the feeling of accomplishment at the finish, and the feeling of entitlement when faced with a piece of pecan pie in one of Hebden Bridge's fine teashops later. A fun day out, and it didn't even rain this time! Date of review: September 1, 2009
In short: Strenuous but scenic slog around the hills of Hebden Bridge In full: So, how do you go about breaking a seasoned 10k road race runner? Swap the nice flat roads and footpaths around York that he's used to the calf-burning hills and valleys around Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Alice's Run, aka Fellrunning for Beginners, is organised by Epilepsy Action and is described as a mixed terrain 10k race race perfect for serious runners and beginners, which puts me in mind of some nice rolling roads, a couple of dramatic hills, plus the odd muddy trail to splash down. As you may be guessing, I may have been slightly naive about this. Getting out of the starting field, I was worried about whether I'd get close to my PB at all, as there was a large bottleneck to get through before hitting a stretch of canal path with no chance of overtaking. However, after seeing the first almost vertical hill up the side of the valley, my thoughts were "Blow that", or something similar at least.
This is very much a course for enjoying the view, as because most of the hills you have to walk up to stand a chance of making it to the top of alive, not to mention numerous stiles, boggy trails, and on one memorable occasion, a huge felled tree to climb over to punish tired legs, it's very hard to pick up speed for any real length of time. This shouldn't be seen as a complaint though, as what scenery it was, as we were led from down by the waterside up to lofty heights amongst the clouds, and back down again through woodland trails and over scenic stone bridges. I still think that if Alice had actually used this as a training course, she was either half mountain goat and had thighs like tree-trunks, else possessing a fairly healthy masochistic streak, but it's very much a race to enjoy, even if you do end up cursing like a sailor halfway around.
The organisation was very good as well, with 300+ runners being herded around by good signage and a brilliant team of friendly marshalls, although a drinks station halfway wouldn't have gone amiss. Well-stocked goodybags and tshirts were handed out at the end though, as well as a nice awards event for the winners (Chris Miller came away with the fastest time, with a sickeningly quick 34:58). Me? I came away with a comfortable 51:47 and a promise to bring fellrunning shoes when I inevitably sign up again next year.
(Cross posted at http://fartlekingabout.blogspot.com)
Race results at http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/alicesrun.html Date of review: August 31, 2009
In short: A hilly mudfest but still managable for a beginner. In full: The exit of the field wasn't as bad as predicted, but I was right at the back ;). However, the single track, after about a mile which was cobbled, slippy and near vertical was the worst, impossible to run, especially with people stopping to walk and no way of safely getting past. Lots of off road which was a little daunting for a boring road runner, but still managed it. Most marshalls were great but very little (ie one person) local support was disappointing especially as I was running alone (I repeat, I was at the back!). Date of review: August 30, 2009
In short: Enjoyable and varied terraine In full: Good organisation. Good signposting. Good marsahlling on the course. I understand at the end of the race there was a marshall missisng to direct us into the field! It was good though to see some of my fellow Stadium Runners filling the gap! Thanks to the organisers. Date of review: August 30, 2009