In short: Undulating? Ha! In full: I probably underestimated this course - described as "undulating", it's positively "hilly". This, combined with the sticky ground, did make it tough going in places. If you like that sort of thing, you'll love it. If you're hoping for a fast time, this probably isn't for you.
It was well organised, with nice views and scenery. Not much of a goodie bag at the end but a nice Sunday morning yomp all the same. Date of review: February 11, 2015
In short: Well organized friendly race In full: This ticked all the boxes. Parking close to the start/finish, chip timing, plenty of helpful marshals, two water stations, water and bananas at the end, and a hut selling burgers and hot drinks. Course itself was very hard, and a ton of mud on your shoes made it harder. But it was pleasant, traffic-free for the most part. I'll be back next year. Date of review: January 26, 2015
In short: Accurately measured non-tarmac race but with v.little PB potential and without the scenery of the Denbies 10. OK as a training run; fellow competitors were not super friendly In full: Well marshalled well by friendly volunteers although the toilets were inadequate. As for scenery it seemed pretty samey to me (you've seen one field you have seen them all) and I prefer the Denbies 10miler for that reason. Plus I don't like meandering final mile routes in a course. This one's latter stages had a about a 1200 meet stretch at the end that was like a horseshoe in shape; Downhill then you have to come back up on yourself for about 400-450m going uphill. Date of review: January 26, 2015
In short: Fabulous morning in the countryside. In full: Cracking organisation, great cheery marshalls, plenty of bottled water and bananas at the end, fairly standard medal which for the cost of entry, I have no issues with. The real prize is in the running of the course. Quick downhills, muddy uphills. Hard race but adds to the satisfaction of finishing. Don't expect a PB, just run and enjoy a morning in the countryside. Date of review: January 25, 2015
In short: Great race - hillier than you expect! In full: The Vale Gallop takes in tracks and field margins on private land and affords nice views of the North Downs. Organisation is excellent and course marking very good. It was a dry one this year - trainers would have sufficed, but trail shoes were okay. Add 10-15% to your road 10k time - it is that hilly. A very good local-ish race, with some fast runners at the front (the winner did it in around 38:30 - not too shabby on this course). Recommended! Date of review: March 9, 2014
In short: Lovely run in the countryside In full: Exploring paths and trails runners are not normally permitted on. Everything you would ever want at a race was there. Easy number pick up, clear signage, helpful, cheery marshals, and a bacon butty van with big cups of tea :0). Lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. Date of review: March 10, 2013
In short: Great chance to see new vantage points on challenging run In full: All very well-organised, compact and effective starting area, with gloriously basic-but-adequate facilities. The 10k went off on time - to the second, which is how it should be. Plenty of hills and mud out on the course, proper cross-country. Perfectly obvious signage (the small number that went off-course should pay more attention!) and marshals where required. It was great to work out where you where in relation to the footpaths and byways that you can normally go on - this race takes you well off-road and on to fields that you can't normally go on, with great vantage points to match. Good finish gantry with big digital clock and nice area for drinks/banana/post race chat. The tea/bacon butty stand was a good idea too. Saw a few familiar faces and some new ones. Everyone very friendly. I did 46 minutes and would normally do 40 or so on a flattish course, giving you some idea of the number of hills/amount of mud. Great race - thanks to the organisers and all the marshals! Date of review: March 10, 2013