In short: If you like mud and hills, this is Valhalla! In full: Challenging multi-terrain (though mostly trails and fields) race with brutal hills, fast descents, technical sections, and lots and lots of mud. Impeccably organised in beautiful scenery, and a total bargain to boot. Date of review: February 16, 2013
In short: Flat + fast! Plan your PB charge here! In full: Really well-organised and friendly half-marathon that is made for both club runners looking for an event to plan a PB spurt, as well as novice runners looking for a good bargain event in a nice place to take those first tentative steps at longer distances.
Two long laps + some extras before and after the laps on pancake-flat seafront tarmac. Yes, the wind does get up, but it helps as much as it hinders. It's a nice place for a half-marathon as it combines scenery with accessibility: families who are there to attend have a raft of activities they can do and a few local cafes to attend while the loved ones are struggling around. Date of review: July 15, 2012
In short: Challenging - but incredibly rewarding - trail half marathon in beautiful scenery In full: Magnificent race through some gorgeous places. Difficult! Hills with hills on top, breakneck downhill segments, stony trails, tree roots all over the track, the race had everything! The organisation and pre-race information was impeccable, and the atmosphere was faultless. Date of review: July 1, 2012
In short: Beautiful two-lapper with a couple of stinging hills. In full: Two laps of the Valehouse reservoir on a nice July night sounds like a cracking idea - as 240 finishers agreed, leading to a bit of organisational confusion (which was well-handled!) and a cramped start. If I was going to offer one suggestion - finish up the start lane and start on top of the dam that opens up the lap.
Apart from that, I have no complaints! Beautiful scenery, well-marshalled, surfaces that are very 'runnable', and a good souvenir add up to an event of high-value. The hill in the first third of each lap is a real toughie and sapped any PB out of me the second time around, but it might be a lot simpler for a better runner.
In short: Incredible scenery but difficult race In full: Low-to-zero PB potential for this, a mostly rutted-trail race in some spectacular hillside location. The first four kilometres will frustrate any runner used to roads and light trails with the plethora of jutting path rocks, bogs, water, and bumps. After that the path settles and the race becomes a pleasant series of undulations and more polite tracks alongside some spectacular picnicking spots. The early race congestion was more of a sign of the race's unexpected popularity combined with the fantastic weather rather than wayward planning; regardless, it was still a bit dispiriting when trying to make an early move to be boxed in for nearly a kilometre!
This all said: REALLY well organised and marshalled, phenomenal atmosphere, and a truly beautiful location. Just don't go expecting to crack any pots. Date of review: May 24, 2012