In short: Well organised traditional half marathon In full: I first heard about this race in 1995 and have been meaning to do it ever since (in those days you got a plate for finishing!). Finally in 2015 I got my chance and wasn't disappointed. Excellent organisation, playful course (undulating but no massive hills), great marshals and one of the best-ever goody bags. Marshals are lovely and relentlessly enthusiastic (including the one who was trying to get me to take my allotted piece of flapjack while I was being sick!).
Despite the hills it's a quick course and a couple of my clubmates got pbs. The start is a bit of a scramble but after half a mile the pack stretches out allowing for some good racing. Wasn't keen on the long drag up the Chesterfield road at miles 11/12 but it was the same for everyone so I can't complain!
The race goes through a wide mix of scenery in a lesser-visited part of Derbyshire. Cresswell Crags (cavemen) and Bolsover Castle (English Heritage) are nearby so why not run and make a day out of it? Date of review: November 25, 2015
In short: Just wonderful In full: After hanging up my marathon shoes 10 years ago I don't know what made me enter Snowdon but I'm so glad I did. Smooth and low-key organisation keeps race stress to a minium, and the lovely organisers, marshalls, crowds, runners and locals mean that you can really enjoy your race. A relatively small field for a marathon meant that I crossed the start line in 15 seconds and you never have to dodge other runners. Crowds are fairly minimal outside the towns but where they do exist they are noisy and fun. A special mention must go to the 'Tour de France Yorkshire'-style crowds in Beddgelert who are mental.
I had a great race - it really isn't too bad until the 22 mile and *that* hill - and the downhill finish is awesome - did my fastest 1.5 miles right at the end!
Frequent water stations, many (but not all?) with isotonic drinks and gels. There is also food at the end but I didn't quite feel like it so not sure what that was like.
Great t-shirt and memento. Overall a brilliant race, not as scary as some make out. Didn't quite get my 3:45 but it's such a fab race that for once it didn't matter. Date of review: October 30, 2014
In short: Superb and friendly 10k run - with the last 5k virtually all downhill! In full: These sort of races are the backbone - and the heritage - of British roadrunning and it's a shame that they are being squeezed out of existence due to the rise of big city events and Parkruns and police/council requirements in terms of road use. Anyway, this is a fab, well organised race with a lovely atmosphere. Unrelentingly uphill for the first 4.25 km then pretty much downhill all the way from there. My mile splits varied between 10m/m and 6.56 m/m which gives an indication of the terrain!
Very scenic, interesting and virtually traffic-free course and a cake sale in the hall! Good quality technical tee afterwards which is nice enough to wear again for training. Excellent children's fun run with a good quality medal What's not to like?
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