In short: Well organised, friendly and challenging 10k trail run In full: Sharon Bryan and the team from Hatch Warren Runners did a fab job with this inaugural run. It was well organised with a great atmosphere. The terrain was challenging without being gruelling and the sun shone pretty much the whole way after a night of rain. Will definitely sign up again. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Fast, flat course, excellent organisation and enthusiastic marshalls In full: This is the second time I've run the Barnstaple HM. The weather was a little windy this year, but the rain more or less held off so conditions were pretty good for it. The course is flat (some undulation coming out of Fremington Quay and along the road before rejoining the Tarka Trail) and great PB potential. It ran smoothy and all the marshalls were enthusiastic and gave words of encouragement as we went past. Quite a few locals on the route too, although the 5 miles or so back along the Tarka trail was mentally tough as there was no support and it seems to stretch on forever. Nice medal at the end, and the T shirt was given out before the race and is technical and a decent female fit. Definitely a race I'll put in my diary for each year - especially as I got a PB! Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Superb organisation for a community led event In full: The good folk of Ealing have a gem of a race snaking through their streets & parks that they should truly feel proud of.
The organisation is seamless and the volunteers both knowledgeable and helpful. I love that the local community comes out in force to cheer on the runners, with some of the churches along the route manning water stations.
Easily my favourite race of the year and long may it continue. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Lovely race, except for the hill at the end In full: Lovely stroll along the coast but a huge hill at mile 12.5 that is a sprint finish killer. May well do it next year. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Glorious off road 10k with a few hills. In full: Event had 3 classes, 5k, 10k and 10k cani-cross. I did the cani-cross with Beans. The cani-cross race stared 5 minutes behind the 10k main race. Three major climbs but super views over Dorset at the top. Water at 2.5 and 7.5k. A kits bag at the finish with a water bottle. Plenty of marshals on the course. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Another great run from the Great Run team In full: I thought the whole event was very slick in its operation; obviously the organisers have lifted the entire planning section from other ‘Great Run’ events and plonked it in Bristol.
The start area was well organised, and all the volunteers were very helpful. This was particularly noteworthy because I'd managed to leave home without my race number, something that was very quickly sorted by a very nice lady on the event information desk.
Bag drop was good and controlled by some very polite young people from the air cadets who called everyone sir or Ma’am. They stamped your number to indicate that you’d dropped off a bag and checked your bib number against the tag on the bag to ensure you only picked up your own bag.
I particularly appreciated the staggered start by using 'Waves', I thought that this reduced congestion on the course and allowed the other athletes to get the racing hares out of the way and so enhance everyone’s experience. As always you get athletes in the wrong pen/wave dependent on predicted finish times, however I started at the rear of the first wave and didn’t notice too many people falling behind so it must have worked well.
The course was OK, although if I was to criticise it would be the number of twists and turns, however I accept that it's a city event and these things are to be expected. There was a short section on cobblestone which once wet were challenging but running out under the suspension bridge was a nice touch. The course is advertised as fast and flat, it’s be noted that there were one or two ‘rises’ but nothing you could actually call a hill.
I will admit that had the race ben any more expensive then I probably wouldn’t have entered, which would have been a shame because all in all I thought it was a very well put together event. It has to be remembered that there was an awful lot of road closures in order to get the route through the city centre which goes some way to explaining the cost.
In short: Nice run, well run, let's do it again in 2017 In full: Just wanted to say a big thank you for a lovely day. I feel it went very well and your "hatchers" were splendid in all their efforts and support all around the course. Well done to you and all. Great atmosphere, brilliantly marshalled by the Hatchers. A superb 1st effort and long may it continue. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Potentially very good. Ruined by crap organisation. In full: I won't go into the problems with getting there - no need to repeat. Started late so felt like I rushed it. Shame it was so badly organised as the route itself was quite good and lots of local support. Not sure I would do this one again - unless the organisers get their act together. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: 2 hills too far In full: A decent set up, lots of parking if you get there in good time. Secure bag drop, changing rooms, and a warm up en-masse. The course is a two lap half marathon, through leafy suburb with small parks and a canal as constant features. The two complaints for me are, the hill at the 5 & 11 mile point is just unnecessary.Its a good lace for people to cheer, but no fun as a runner, especially second time around, so no chance of a PB.
The other complaint may show whats changed from 20 years ago when i first ran races. There are clearly defined starting brackets with visible signs for runners to line up, in this race there were way too many people either deluding theirselves, or just plain ignoring them. In the first 3 miles i overtook people who i saw finish 30 mins after me, and people walking already. Come on guys & girls you're blocking the narrow paths by being selfish, stop it. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: The race itself - great Before and after - appalling In full: The organisers completely cocked up the traffic arrangements and have compounded their error by handling the post-event fury so ineptly. This is a great shame because the actual race is a good one and the support throughout the town was excellent. They won't get many returning runners next year though, following this shambles. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Other race organisers should take a page out of LBRC's book - this is how a race should be marshalled. In full: The organisation of this race is exemplary. They have gathered together so many volunteers who do their job in a friendly and efficient manner. From the time you arrive and are guided to your car parking space you know you're in safe hands. The marshals on the course are very vocal and supportive, which over this undulating 10 miles is a real help. The most impressive organisation is the way runners are marshalled over couple of fairly busy roads - loads of marshals ensuring the runners cross safely and without having to worry about the traffic themselves.
This was the second year I have entered this race and it did seem hillier than I remember. Still, whilst the course is 'lumpy', with its infamous sting in the tail around mile 9, it is still possible to run a good time.
The finishers technical t-shirt is good quality and very comfortable to sea, you could end up paying much more than the entry fee for a similar quality shirt in a store. Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Superb friendly trail race In full: Brilliant race, superbly organised and the marshals were fantastic. The course was brutal, absolutely beautiful but brutal. Perfect for trail runners and a great introduction for a beginner like me. Will be back next year Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Tough but very friendly welcoming race In full: Well organised tough Trail run with exceptional marshals and a great friendly atmosphere will be back next year even though it broke me?? Date of review: September 26, 2016
In short: Mildly testing run around Her Majesty's back garden. Fantastic but let down by a traffic light! In full: All the great organisation in the world didn't stop some idiot putting in 3 way phased temporary traffic light on the approach to the car park. An hour and 20 minutes to drive and park from Maidenhead which is 7 miles away. Out of the car and into the pen and off we went. Given I didn't even feel like getting out of bed the morning of the race I'm glad I did. Great crowds (although far between groups), start and finish is stunning and the bit in between is on the upper end of beautifully scenic. Liked the water bottles and targets for the bins. Loos didn't seem too overcrowded. Seemed like fairly good facilities, but I had to shoot off pretty quick at the end so didn't really check them out. Won't say it is an all time favourite yet, but I'll do it again. Definitely. Date of review: September 25, 2016
In short: Deserves its reputation In full: I ran Ealing for the first time last year and was impressed enough to sign up for this year right away. The race didn't disappoint. The race takes place around the roads of Ealing (it's one of the few closed road events in London) which is a pleasant enough leafy suburb, and diverts through a couple of parks. If you want beautiful scenery you won't find it here, but it's nice enough for a London race. The course is undulating - there are a couple of climbs but you can easily make up the time on the downhill sections. I set a PB last year and I set a new PB in this year's event, so it's definitely possible. Water stations are mostly at Ealing's churches and volunteers are enthusiastic. Water is in bottles, too. There are also plenty of children in the crowd handing out sweets and high fives in equal measure. Crowd support is very good - the best I've encountered in a half marathon - and the local community really does get involved. Some offered musical accompaniement on the way around; others handed out orange slices and Haribo. Race numbers arrive in the post (if you entered in good time) and had your name on this year so specators could give you extra encouragement. The race also has pacers to help you smash that PB. The bag check is pretty much the best I've encountered in any race. There were plenty of toilets in the start area too. I really can't fault it as a race. It isn't the cheapest race and you don't get a free shirt, but then they are covering the cost of the road closures. Beyond that, I definitely recommend it. Date of review: September 25, 2016