In short: Small, fast three-lapper on private roads. In full: Enjoyed this and got a PB. Small event of 3 laps round quiet private roads. Fast downhill section with sharp turn into uphill section was interesting! Perfect conditions - not too hot or cold, no wind. Everything seemed to work very smoothly. Huge Serpie turnout - if there was a mob match, they won it! Date of review: May 14, 2006
In short: I took the correct turn and did a 5k race which I quite enjoyed. In full: I didn't realise that some people went the wrong way at the unmarshalled turn. I screeched to a halt and could see runners going in 3 different directions so was doing an eeeny-meeny-miny-mo in my head when an elderly gent on the path shouted and pointed 'I think it's that way'. Thank you sir!
Otherwise, it was a small low-key run. Quite expensive but you did get a cotton t-shirt, an Asics running radio, pen and some other bits and pieces in the goody bag.
Dead flat course and not crowded so PB potential.
Not much atmosphere - could have done with a PA/music to provide some ra-ra. Date of review: May 12, 2005
In short: Excellent event. Highly recommended. In full: Good venue - plenty of parking, loos, changing. Perfect weather and a dry course. Middle section very scenic - little bridges over the river, open grassland, woods. Mostly flat but a bit twisty and narrow in places to be an ultra fast course (not a complaint!). Very cheerful & encouraging marshalls and a great atmosphere overall. One lap finish on the track. Real running vest plus certificate for finishers and tea and cake after. What more could anyone ask for? Date of review: May 8, 2005
In short: Shocking to have water station withdrawn before all runners had gone through the first lap. In full: I saw markers for miles 1, 4 and 5 - where were the rest? Didn't like running through the busy shopping area. As I approached the water station at the end of lap 1 it was being dismantled - why no water for slower runners on such a warm day? Big hill was good. Would have been nicer to have a stadium finish rather than the dirt path behind it.
In short: Avoid at all costs. For the price, a complete rip-off. In full: This is the cr*ppest event I have ever been stupid enough to enter.
After all the problems reported with lost entries/no response from the organisers, I made sure I got there in plenty of time. Arrived just before 9am and walked once around the registration area looking for the loos. Didn't find them so went to the information point and asked the bloke with the clipboard where they were. He didn't seem very sure and consulted a map before sending me down a path for '100 yards on the left'. 1/3 of a mile later I came to a block of changing rooms/loos - all padlocked shut. Walked back 1/3 of a mile and told the same bloke who made a call. Told me 'someone from the council' would unlock them. Walked back another 1/3 of a mile and formed an orderly queue with all the other mugs. By 9.40am no-one had arrived to unlock them so walked back (yep, 1/3 of a mile again) to the registration area. Asked the same bloke what was going on. Was told the toilet in the cafe (at the registration area) had just been opened instead! They didn't check the facilities they promised were actually available before the runners arrived. They didn't even post a marshall at the locked toilets to send runners back. I then joined the queue for the 1 unisex toilet in the cafe and emerged at 10.15 as the race set off. As I still had no number and had no warm-up I declined to take part.
My observations (in addition to the toilet fiasco) as a spectator: - no changing facilities; - no clock for start/finish; - started late; - wide start area funneled into very narrow path - people being bumped and barged and almost falling over, totally unnecessary in such a small field, could easily be fixed by better course design); - 5 laps for a 10k????? - it's not x-country as advertised here in Events. It's pancake flat, partially on defined paths, partially on short grass; - sparse marshalling on course; - the inadequately marked funnel system for counting laps was a joke - lots of arm-waving, yelling through loudhailers, running after competitors whose number they hadn't got. The lady on the funnel for lap 2 spent much of the lap taking a phone call, completely missing a number of runners; - there were very few supporters, a handful at the start/finish, none on the course; - fortunately, nothing like the advertised 500 limit took part or it would have been chaos. I estimated less than 200.
For a £10/£11 entry, this 'event' is at the expensive end of the 10k market. People on here didn't get race packs. I spoke to people at the race who hadn't received either email or posted packs. The facilities advertised weren't provided. The goody bag was a bar of chocolate - no medal/T-shirt/certificate - nothing.
The only bright spot for me was, as I was leaving, I walked backed along the edge of the course, a litle girl all in pink on a pink bike was cycling along the side of the course singing to the runners:
"Well done, well done, you did your best, well done; "Well done, well done, I'm so impresssed well done......" etc. etc.
I stopped and told her that it was very kind of her to help the runners along like that. She replied that she thought that people who do these things for charity are wonderful. I hope the organisers feel suitably ashamed (but I doubt it).
In short: Nothing special but enjoyed it. In full: Fast course apart from the hill. Quite a few road crossings with no marshalls. Mile markers in a 10k race - why? Good on the day information and announcer. Few more loos wouldn't go amiss - 6 for @ 800 runners. Please include start time in race pack! Date of review: April 10, 2005
In short: Organisation spoiled by shocking loo provision for ladies - 3 only and none worked. Had to fill buckets to flush. Course dull in part. Nice memento. In full: Disgraceful loo provision for ladies. Only 3 and none worked. Had to fill bucket at tap and flush manually. Unsanitary and took forever.
Towpath scenic but half of course is long stretches on very busy dull main roads with no spectators or marshalls. I felt I was running alone much of the time.
Nice memento and got a spot prize too. But where was the beer to go with the glasses? Date of review: April 3, 2005
In short: Challenging but well worth the effort - glorious scenery. Friendly and well-organised. In full: Very enjoyable run on grass, mud, sand, bark, trail in stunning scenery. One big hill and a fair few smaller ones but lots of fast downhills too. Friendly, encouraging marshalls (on such a cold day too). Clockwork organisation. Nice long-sleeve T-shirt. Look out for the 'humourous' signs along the course - made me smile thorugh my gritted teeth! Date of review: January 23, 2005