In short: Another great race in the sunshine In full: My third year and sunny again, the race was well organised as always on a fast flat route. I was especially chuffed as I won a spot prize. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Great race In full: Excellent value race with a few twists along the route. It's all off road on footpaths and tracks, including through slurry on a farm and over an equestrian site - including jumps. A great fun race with no expensive an unecessary extras - if you're looking for goody bags and crowds it's not for you. If on the other hand you like a fun morning out in some lovely countryside with supportive marshalls and homemade cakes afterwards then sign up! Date of review: November 27, 2011
In short: Good debut on a decent flat course. In full: I'll statrt by saying I enjoyed the race, although I think selling it as secenic is pushing it a bit. While there was a good bit over Magdelen Bridge and down the high street that was pure old Oxford a lotwas through residential areas and on the cycle path by the rind road.
I though some parts of the route hadn't really been thought through. The start and through the mini plant were great, wide roads with plenty of space. Then down through Headington, on closed roads was good, but once it got to the city centre runners were supposed to be on the pavements, but there was a lot of competition for space from pedestrians. I saw one elderly couple trying to get onto a bus nearly get taken out by a runner. Then at the end, having to cross the course to exit the car park lead to queues. That said I don't know how they could have avoided the latter issue as there's not another route around.
Another difficult spot was where the route cross Clowley road and again runners were competing with pedestrians for space. The marshalls were doing a great job of keeping the traffic back but it looked like it could easily have turned into chaos.
The organisation all seemed good and I didn't have any issue with unreasonable toilet queues, although if it gets any bigger they might what do add in portaloos.
The drinks stations were well placed and well staffed. I liked that water was in bottles, although I always think it's a shame as so much is wasted - perhaps smaller ones next year?
The support was great, lots of cheering and people offering sweets and water along the course.
I liked the finish in the stadium, it made the cheering sound really loud!
I'll be back next year unless it gets too big! Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Excellent race again In full: Another excellent race on a beautiful day! I really enjoy this race, it's fast and flat on open but very quiet rural roads. There's little crowd support outside the villages but when you go through them the spectators were very good and there are friendly marshalls throughout. The scouts handing out water were doing a great job making sure everyone had as many cups as they needed.
This is a great low key event with no issues around parking or toilet queues and a nice bit of grass to relax on after the run. I also like getting a mug rather than another t-shirt or medal that has no practical use.
In short: Good fast race In full: There's a lot to like with this race, fast flat course that's either off road or on quiet roads, the organisation is great with ample parking close to the start finish and no queues for the loo or bags. The marshalls were all friendly and encouraging despite the cold. There's little crowd support on the course but as it's such a fast race that didn't seem to be an issue.
It is a fairly clubby race but not in a bad way. It's just a shame there's no goody bag just a t-shirt. Also a shame that the start was delayed due to ice on some of the roads, but better to be safe than sorry!
All in all it's definately worth doing and I'll be back next year! Date of review: December 12, 2010
In short: The best race I've ever done.... In full: ...also the coldest!
It seemed like a silly idea to have entered a race with bogs and hills when I arrived and it was -2 but the race made up for that and you soon forgot the cold as the hills got harder and steeper. Almost everyone seemed to resort to walking some of them. Then there were the water features, I you remebered about the cold! The final hardship was the run on sand just when all your muscles were wanting a rest.
A hugely fun and enjoyable race and I'll to it again next year. There are some things the organisers could improve on - the loos were awful most didn't flush so they soon became full up and unusable. plus the start was late meaning a lot of standing about in the cold. But the finish funnel was very well organised and the goody bag one of the best I've had so that made up for it. Date of review: November 28, 2010
In short: A tough race witha goody bag that makes it worth it! In full: While there are no really big hills in this race it would still describe it as hilly as there are so many short off road hills that your legs know about it! Add to that 2 long slow climbs up a tarmac drive that sap any strength that you have make this race tough but fun. It's set in beautiful surroundings in a country park so no traffic to worry about.
The goody bag is excellent and the cake stand at the finish looked very tempting. It was only a very small field (122) yet I never felt lonely and there was a good atmospehere. Definately worth doing. Date of review: October 3, 2010
In short: Good value scenic race In full: A lovely road half run through scenic Wiltshire countryside. The low cost is reflected in a the basic natuer of the start finish but this is not a problem as much of that tends to be wasted on me. The small entry meant that there was no queuing for loos etc and the fact that the start was not time banded was again not an issue as there were too few people to cause congestion.
Once the reace started it quickly turned out of town and into the countryside sticking to mainly quiet roads. The little traffic that passed did not cause a problem. The route is undulating with one big slow hill into a headwind at 4 miles that certainly woke the muscles up! Drinks stations were frequent and while there was little crowd support those who were there were friendly and encouraging. The marshalling was excellent throughout.
In summary it's well worth doing for the good value, the lack of crowds and traffic that typify bigger events and the friendly nature of the race. See you next year! Date of review: August 29, 2010
In short: A lovely race in a lovely park! In full: Challenging but fun!
The race was small and seemed very well organised, there was no queuing and we got away right on time. The course is 2 laps run through the park on tracks and trails, luckily it was dry as I can imagine it would be a very different race in the wet.
Lots of the route goes through wooded areas and some parts are single file. This didn't seem to cause problems as there were places to pass and the entry was small so the route was not congested with runners. It seemed quite gentle until a couple of very short sharp hills at around the 5/6 mile point (it was hard to tell as there were no mile markers). They were hard on the first lap and harder on the second.
As the route is out in the park there was little crowd support but what people were about were encouraging and the marshalls were friendly. My only small issue was with the water stations, they only seemed to be manned by 2 people and they didnt seem to be able to get the water poured out quick enough.
Although it was dominated by club runners the atmosphere was very welcoming and chatty and there were plenty of people out at the finish line cheering people in.
Overall it's definately worth running, a little expensive as there is no goody bag etc and just a medal but the price is worth paying for the scenery and the route through the park. Lots of people said it came up long on their GPS's but I thought it went by so quickly it could have been shorter than 13.1 miles!!