In short: Windy, windy and yet more wind!.. In full: Probably the windiest GSR that I've done, but don't care as I got a much coverted PB!.. Very expensive, but is televised and you get a very decent goodie bag and a nice medal at the end. Also managed to see the eventual winners whilst at 10K, loads of crowd support and local to my Dad's place, so very handy. All in all, worth doing as it is shorter than a half so can be attacked, but just watch out for the wind!.. ;-) Date of review: November 1, 2013
In short: As good as the London Marathon. In full: From baggage drop off to toilets, then starting pens for runners, all ran like clock work. Perfect day for the race, bright and warm. Massive crowd support, amazing atmosphere, mile markers and drink stations, charity cheer stations, all made for a special race... The food and fitness festival was good, very busy, but the finish area is near the large lake in the park and was lovely to chill-out in the gorgeous grounds. Loved it and would run it again if I got a ballot place. Hoping for more luck than the other London race!.. ;-) Date of review: October 6, 2013
In short: Toughest marathon in the South. In full: It certainly earned it's reputation for being the 'Toughest marathon in the South' this year for me, as I really struggled with cramping calves after half way and had to slow to a jog for the rest of the way or, even walking!.. Glad to have had Monday off to recoup and repair. Ace course though so may well be back next year... Date of review: September 22, 2013
In short: Beautiful run in a stunning location. In full: Wellington College is such a beautiful setting for a run which has it all. Both races (5K and 10K) start off on a field, which winds it way around to the first refreshments area with crowd support, then path, back to grass and through woods. All very nice, with a pond or two thrown in, then back to path and track before you are back to the field again where the 5K finishes, or a lap of the field and onto the second lap for the 10K runners. The grounds are so well kept and traffic free, it is a real delight but a little disheartening at the start of the second lap, but it is the only way to keep 10K inside the college grounds and on such a sunny day there was no fear of having to dodge traffic. Thank you Samaratans for a really enjoyable event. Date of review: June 30, 2013
In short: A gem of a race tucked out of the away from traffic. In full: This is a lovely, challenging race. I have left out the word 'but' in this opening sentence, because had it not been challenging, it may not draw the crowds in… The course starts off on quite roads and along tracks, then runs up and over Crazies Hill, making the ascents Playful and the descents a pleasure. Adding in the countryside setting, I rate this run very highly and it even has a grassy finish which I very much like. All of these things take it away from being just another one of those road races, to something a little bit special, not just because I got a PB... Honest!.. Lots of water stops along the way, manned by smiley brownies and more of the same back at the finish area with cakes and hot drinks. All very nice and a good way to guarantee a return visit next year. Date of review: June 12, 2013
In short: Lovely run through the woods. In full: If you like trail running and hills, then this is the run for you. I do, especially when the weather is perfect for running, cool and sunny!.. There was some good crowd support and only 109 runners, so was very low-key this month; but expecting more runners next month when we do it all over again. Enjoyable for the tougher, off-road runner, certainly not for the faint-hearted amongst you... You know who you are... LOL :0) Date of review: May 24, 2013
In short: Lovely, sunny day for a tour of Woodley!.. In full: I really enjoyed this run and I have done quite a few 10Ks in my time. I rate this one very highly as the organisation was smooth, the location was a lovely field with plenty of room to warm up on and plenty for the children to do, with a swing park etc and a BBQ. Children’s race was well organised and was well supported by all, as it was before the 'main event' and so gave us something to watch at cheer at. The main 10K was excellent, with a relaxed start on the field, with the widest start line I have seen in a long time, meaning more runners could start nearer the front which really benefited me and was one of the reasons I managed to get a PB!.. There were not too many bottle necks from my perspective, which gave me a clear run through, all the way to the finish. The run was all road, but was fine for me and was quite reminiscent of the Yateley 10K series coming up soon. Over all, recommended by me. Hope to return next year for more of the same. Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: Summertime fun in the sun!.. In full: A sunny day at long last. It may have been a little warm for running, or a shock to the system but can't complain as I managed to just get a PB by a few seconds. The race was well organised and really enjoyed my first outing at Shinfield 10K. It had a nice feel to it, with the Mayday Fete and the Brass Band; but what made the event for us was the children's races, which made a morning of it instead of rushing off after the run was done. Well done RRR, we'll be back next year. Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Dancing on mud!.. In full: Can't predict or even order the weather for the day, so had to make do with a wet run. It did not dampen the spirits though one little bit, even with the hills thrown in (this is not a flat run by any means) and the constant drizzle. Marshals were excellent and crowd support on such a horrid day was lovely, really kept me going.
The 'not-so-much' fun was as we entered the finish area, the ground was a total quagmire, but the organisers had put out mats at the worst spot for us to run on. Just after finishing, however, it really was a case of 'dancing on mud'as we slithered to the 'de-chipping area' and beyond. Then it was the obligatory medal and 'goody bag', which wasn't too bad. Also bottles of water and sports drinks for all finishers. Dry next year please!.. ;-) Date of review: March 17, 2013
In short: This aint no flat, road marathon... In full: If you want to enter your first marathon, where the organisers have it bang on, then this is the one for you but be warned, this is no flat, monotonous road race, but a grown-up trail run with magnificent scenery and wildlife on the North Downs between Farnham and Guilford. Epic!..
I found it tough going this year, but the crowd support, marshals and the trails just keeps you going so, in short, this is the toughest marathon you'll do in the area. If you are a trail runner, you'll love this for the variety of terrain and has enough hills and potentially mud if it were a wet day, to keep you interested. Thoroughly recommend this one. Maybe it will be a wet one next year to make it even more challenging. :-) Date of review: September 17, 2012