In short: Most hilly road HM I've done...perhaps In full: First time for on this one. Wow, was it hilly. Tough climbs start after quarter mile and go on and on! You can't get any joy from the downhills as they are too darned steep! The first half of this half is incredibly challenging; I ran the notoriously hilly Basingstoke half a few weeks ago but Marlow puts that course to flat shame! Fortunately the second half of the course is a bit kinder. I'm not complaining - I loved it but it's hard. Race HQ all seemed good to me. I entered on the day with no issues. Start was quite narrow and a bit slow but to be honest with those impending hills who really cares? Course is rural and would be very scenic if not for the fog on the day. Support therefore sparse but enthusiastic. Numerous supportive marshals along the entire route. Happy to receive my spot prize at the end and rest my legs. Will be back next year to improve on my dreadful time by conserving some energy for the second half.
Good work Marlow Striders. Thanks.
(PS to the marshal with the stop/go sign who took umbrage when I said "thank you Mr Lollipop man", I'm sorry as it was supposed to be light-hearted and no offence intended) Date of review: November 2, 2015
In short: Continues to be a cracker In full: Great rural hilly course. One of the most challenging road HMs I've run but not too extreme. Getting out of Amazingstoke is a definite plus. So was the excellent support in the villages, random scarecrow supporters and the local running club posting motivational placards along with music on the toughest hills. Cracking fast last 3m.
My usual v minor winges: - please post number as it just reduces a little stress on race day - please give t-shirts out at end (if you have no spectators and no bag drop you are stuff - unless you double up tops!) - would love to see that near-90 degree turn into the final straight changed - £30 entry fee is top end but it's v popular so I cant blame you.
In short: Superb event - in spite of the atrocious weather In full: Simply the best 20 miler around. Great challenging course. Fast finish. Water, gels and sweets at all stations. Orange squash and chocolate at end. Great medal. Doddle to park. No congestion due to wide 3 mile start. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Continues to be one of the best races of the year In full: I've said it all before in previous years. Great HQ, great organisation and a fantastically challenging course. I wouldn't fancy the repetition of those hills on the marathon so well done to those guys. Will be back next year. Date of review: March 9, 2015
In short: Cracking inaugural event - would highly recommend In full: Very impressed by this one. Arrived at the race HQ to find loads of toilets, excellent bag drop and efficient PA updates. It is probably the smoothest best organised event I have been to.
In terms of the course, it heads straight out of town into the country so support was thin, as expected. It was also rather quiet but that doesn't bother me. If the website had a course profile chart, I missed it. This was a pity as the first 10k were flat as a pancake whilst the second half was pretty bumpy.
All in all a very good race. Nice medal (not sure why someone below didn't like it). It was a pricey event but that cost did shine through in the terrific organisation. Date of review: March 9, 2015
In short: Bumpy with hills, cluttered start In full: Pros: scenic rural hilly course that really tests you with no sustained periods on the flat. Out of town. Nice marshals. Decent technical t-shirt.
Cons: parking (plan it well before arriving as you will have a walk), therefore numbers really should be posted. Very cluttered start in the park and for some time after, No water until mile 5. Traffic on roads in places. Naff medal.
I really enjoyed the course with the undulations. Reminded me a lot of St Albans half (large park cluttered start, rural course crossing motorway and lots of hills). Number collection was easy (but who wants to do it). The course is better than the flattish roadies. Date of review: February 2, 2015
In short: Excellent well-organised event and speedy circuit In full: Still a favourite. Great organisation. Decent food stalls at end. Love the course. A few small hills in the first half. Fast last 5m. Decent support. Date of review: May 19, 2014
In short: Great off-roader, fast second half In full: A great low-key event mixing walkers (earlier set-off) and runners starting at the Avebury Stone circle and finishing at Stonehenge. First half is hilly, challenging and scenic. Second half is fast across the plains on hard track so negative split likely. The finish has moved which is fine except for the road crossing right at the finish. I didn't like that much. Water stations galore. Friendly marshals. A great last few miles when you see the henge in front of you. Date of review: May 6, 2014
In short: Great weather, improved course In full: The Fleet Half Marathon course has changed more than any other race I've known over the years. I think at last, the current one is the best. The start in Reading Rd North is vastly better than the old Leawood Road/Merivale mess. The number of right-angled turns in quick succession is better (although still more than any other HM I've run I think). It's still cluttered for the first mile but it's much, much better. Doing Fleet High Street twice was great for crowd support and it meant half the race was run before you left the town.
Rural support was good (especially by the pubs)
Drink stations were cluttered made worse by the heat. Still need tables on both sides of road where there is full closures.
Support was excellent. As was organisation.
But my run was dreadful (my fault) as was the tuppenny medal at the end.
Continues to be an excellent event. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Excellent event again In full: Great location, great organisation. Continues to be an excellent event. Good for newcomers to off-road events as no really muddy soft-under-foot areas. Good hard-packed paths. Decent challenging hills but also numerous fast sections. Plenty of parking, toilets and showers. Date of review: February 24, 2014