In short: Lovely setting, challenging course ... but signage needs improving In full: Having read the previous comments, I think that the only 'crime' of the organisers was to call this a 10k and affiliate it with England Athletics, and thus get their race compared with 10k road races. Had they called it a 'fell race' only the comment about the waymarking would have been valid.
Now, I don't road race. I don't enjoy it and can't see the point of pounding round on tarmac to take 1 second off some pb. However, I *love* fell running. Now, in fellrunning, tricky descents, no toilets, and no prize/goodby bag at the end are the norm. We race for the cerebral challenge, the scenery, the difficulty and maybe a bit of pothunting. So I can only look at this race from a fellrunner's point of view, and really, the only comment I'd make was that the signposting in the first mile needed improving (I did 7.11 miles, and by the look of things added about a mile to the course.
Apart from that ... I felt that the 2 mile grind along the canal was a bit unescessary, as I don't like flat, but hey, I'm not the race organiser, so maybe it was unavoidable.
Having organised races in the past, I know how expensive it can be to put a race on, so I didn't expect a goody bag for that price.
Anyway, hats off to the organisers bringing more people to a very sweet fete and running a nice race in a lovely setting. Hopefully, they'll read this comments and appreciate that most people enjoyed the race but that if they want to put this one on the calendar, they've got to improve their signage (actually, only in one place, but it only takes one sign to spoil someone's race) and maybe present it as a fell race not a 10k so as not to give any roadrunners a nasty shock! Mind you, the race details were clear that it was an offroad 10k, so given the area it was in, I'm not sure what people were expecting!
In short: Although classified as a fell race, more a v. hilly road race with a bit of off road (tracks and fields, nothing knarly) In full: Great race in a lovely setting. Ideal as a 'first fell race' for novices, or a chance to really race hard for the others - quite a lot of road for a fell race, but still some nice off road sections - pretty area as well. The final downhill is, er, special, but remember - it doesn't finish at the bottom of the hill (hint!!!). Support from the village in the final 150 metres to the market square is magnificient - the spectacle of utterly knackered runners who assumed that the race finished at the bottom of the hill, battling for position on loooong the final straight, must be hilarious. Date of review: June 6, 2008
In short: Superb organisation, tough course but welcoming of all standards - why can't all races be like this? In full: Shame about the weather this year but doesn't detract from what is a super little race. Excellent organisation, nice touches (bun + tea + medal + tshirt at the end), great marshalling, not too crowded. The last half a mile is a bit nerve-wracking traffic-wise, but short of stopping traffic, I'm not sure what can be done about this. Masseurs at the race HQ were very welcome! Date of review: November 27, 2006