In short: Excellent organisation.Very friendly atmosphere. Challenging scenic course. Real sense of achievement when completing the course. Very helpful, friendly, encouraging marshals. Nice group of runner too! Date of review: March 9, 2013
In short: Awesome morning out! In full: First time doing this event and looks as though 2013 was blessed with much better conditions than 2012. Still there were stages where the headwind was really strong and you could only imagine the struggles that last years runners must have had.
Really good atmosphere in the hall before the race; a nice walk to the start line and a prompt start. First 8 miles on really good trails; marshalls everywhere and water stations generously placed with the extra bonus of being in bottles not rubbish plastic cups. Then there is a challenging off road section with some areas of deep mud. I opted for road shoes which were serving me really well, but wished there was a shoe change area at mile 8 to slip on the trail shoes. As it was, I lost both my shoes in a particularly deep muddy area but the marshall dived in and retrieved them - thanks mate.
Hills in the last two miles added to the challenge, a railway bridge to navigate then a quick run round the college sports field before hitting the line.
In the hall there was loads of lovely home made cakes for sale, hot drinks, a sweet stall, raffle and other related stalls. All volunteers were brilliant, the goody bag was very generous and all proceeds went to a local hospice.
A great race, challenging and beautiful course, well organised and superb value for money. My favourite race experience for a long time and superb timing for marathon preparation.
In short: Slick organisation, great route, and raising money for charity! In full: The weather couldn't have been worse but it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the competitors, marshalls and volunteers. Organisation was better than some huge races I have done and the marshalls stuck out miles from anywhere in the driving rain and wind were happy and encouraging to the last! Great offroad route, I enjoyed the mud, and plenty of water and jelly babies! First Aid cover was brilliant and necessary as hypothermia was a real potential, a First Aider even came into the changing rooms just to make sure everyone was ok after they had finished! Tea, coffee and cakes available before and after the race, a free t shirt in the goody bag, and all raising money for a Hospice, so it really doesn't get any better! I'll be back next year for sure! Date of review: May 29, 2012
In short: Lovely run despite the mud! In full: Good race, challenging hill sections. I was able to push myself. The finish should be altered so it's not a flat stop however, nearly took the person out in front of me! Date of review: March 26, 2012
In short: Gorgeous course, fab officials and competitors, dire weather and conditions In full: My first half marathon. Lovely, off road course through varied New Forest scenery. Organisers and marshals wonderful - making me laugh even when ankle deep in mud and paddling along the paths! Daffodils beautiful, water stations plentiful, route clearly marked and easy to follow. I'm very slow, so crossed the finish line very,very wet and was glad that I'd kept a waterproof on and worn hat, long socks and arm warmers. Coffee, care and cakes in the college at the end all excellent. Nice to have a race T shirt! Weather and conditions underfoot cannot possibly be worse next year....... Date of review: March 10, 2012
In short: All off road in a National park - mainly flat - great organisation and facilities In full: Just done it for the second year and knocked 7 minutes off my time. 2012 weather was atrocious but excilerating nevertheless. Flattish forest gravel trails, heathland and then from 10 miles a woody undulating and ultimately fast finish. Plentiful parking, toilets and marshals. A great prep for Brighton marathon. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Wet, windy and surprisingly steep late on In full: Really not the best conditions for running on a road let alone off-road but this course is beautiful even when you are ankle deep in mud or water.
A very well organised event with great marshalling considering the weather. Some quite challenging inclines around mile 11 to spice things up and an interesting railway footbridge right near the end.
I'll definitely be back next year although please let the weather just be a little bit nicer! Date of review: March 5, 2012