In short: Nice race on the edge of Oxford In full: This year there were plenty of marshals and the route was very well signed, so no risk of any wrong turns. Excellent race HQ at OXSRAD with showers, cakes etc and lots of useful stuff in the goody bag as well. It's not a completely flat course - the first mile or two seemed slightly uphill - but still good for running a fast time. Date of review: September 8, 2014
In full: Perhaps not the most scenic route, but apart from that everything else is first class. Many thanks to Steve and all the organisers, who had obviously gone to great lengths to ensure that the problem last year was not repeated. Thanks also to all of the marshals and helpers on the day. Aim to be back again next year. Date of review: September 5, 2014
In short: amazing race and super nice atmosphere In full: first time doing this race as missed out last year I'm not a fast runner at all but everyone was very friendly and the marshals did a great job of encouraging you on, the goodie bags were fantastic value and large selection of cake at the end would race again. Date of review: September 1, 2014
In short: A fast, friendly and well-organised 5-miler. In full: Enjoyed last year's race - this year's was even better. Many, many marshals, who all did a wonderful job at instructing and supporting. Superb organisation - very informative updates/ race booklet. Goody bag makes this very worth the money. This year's included a drawstring bag (always useful), mug, water, lucozade, cereal bar, SiS gel, crisps, lots of fruit and a pen (some people got great spot prizes). Course is pretty flat. Not the most interesting or scenic, and there's a bit of twisty-turniness, but it is still a fast course. Excellent cake and coffee to buy. A little playground and lots of green space for kids to play while waiting. This year, they made the time limit greater, making it much more beginner-friendly. Very little I can fault! Looking forward to next year already. Date of review: August 31, 2014
In short: A good race location for a race In full: It was a good race except for the lead cyclist, who miss-routed us, making it, slightly short. It wasn't the the first short one & I'm sure it won't be the last. At least the 25th race will be well remembered and makes me want to go back next year for the full 5 miles, Date of review: September 29, 2013
In short: Small issue with route didn't spoil a good race In full: The bad reviews are pretty harsh. We had an excellent morning and no doubt the organisers will learn from this mistake. That aside the run was good, with excellent pb potential.
We look forward to next years Headington 5 Date of review: September 3, 2013
In short: Race organisers & marshals are human too! In full: OK, no secret about the fact that *something* went wrong with the course directions. I was no less disheartened than anyone else to see two packs of runners joining a part of the course from different directions, meaning that I ran about 90% of the race knowing that I wasn't going to do the full distance.
HOWEVER: I would like to think that anyone who had a grumble or a real issue with this, AND who had stayed to hear the race director's and referee's report and heartfelt apologies, would have given them the benefit of the doubt. They were obviously incredibly embarrassed and saddened by the error (however it came about), and probably aware of how much a decent race can be affected by a few bad RW reviews! It was obvious that the race team, crew, and marshals had all worked very hard on producing a good event and were disappointed not to have been able to deliver their goal.
Surely the test with a new race is not necessarily whether everything goes 100% smoothly first time but rather how any mistakes are dealt with and how lessons are learned for future events. I am sure that anyone who runs the 2014 Headington 5 will be in for a treat, and I would like to think that for this year’s there will be very few who were truly unhappy enough to actually ask for a refund. I certainly won’t be asking for one.
Biggest plusses: excellent goody bag and friendly and encouraging marshals.
Biggest minus: the “pinch-point” at the corner of a field near the start – it was too early on for runners to be spread out, and perhaps tweaks could be made to ensure that there isn’t the same bunching up at that point another year. Date of review: September 2, 2013