In short: Works well for an end of year race but not a great event for beginners In full: I think Ultraflynn sums up my sentiments pretty much though I would downgrade the course marking from excellent to quite good. There were several places where you had to look a little too hard for those signs and a couple where an extra one wouldnt have gone amiss. Seems too many people on this site reporting that they went a little astray, and shouldnt be happening on a well organised race. Not sure about its status as a trail race, but the last 5 miles seemed to become an obstacle race - clambering under a low bridge and climbing through a tree seemed inappropriate at that point.
I didnt see any tea or coffee at the end - plenty of bananas though. Have to say I'd quite like to have seen the medals as they tend to last longer than tshirts, (that shrink deteriorate and a pain to store), and shot glasses (which are prone to breaking and not much use to non-drinkers). I suppose the people on this site might feel slightly annoyed since the listing did say something about a medal but its difficult to comment further if the organizers didnt want to update the listing.
The marshals were friendly enough though I thought the walkers and residents seemed more chipper so that was a nice touch. You cant dispute the scenery, it was glorious. As for the weather, the consensus was that it was pretty much perfect for the time of the year. The cold start kept a lot of the mud frozen at the beginning. Not much was on the road so trail shoes were essential. Of course as the race progressed and things warmed up, those muddy paths became more common. No wind, that was a blessing!
My major criticism on the race day was I think they should have had a marshal positioned in the marshland. The race advert was encouraging new ultra runners and having included quite a dangerous area in the race unsupervised seems very poor, particulary for novices. I dont think waiting for an accident to happen is any excuse for the omission.
So overall, I was not over enanamoured by the experience. I've enjoyed many more races than this but it doesnt rank as the worst - just another day at "the office" I'm afraid. Date of review: December 31, 2008
In short: Kept my word and returned for a second year In full: Its not an easy 10K and not one suited for PBs. The hills are not pleasant, especially the 1st one which doubles up for the third as well. If you can run it twice, you can smile at a job well done. But sometimes its good to run a challenging 10k to help you build for a better PB.
I find the organisation amongst the better ones I've been too and I've found the marshals friendly and encouraging along the route. The race has a special place for me and I'm sure I'll be doing it again in the future. Date of review: June 1, 2008
In short: Not one of my favourite races but it could be improved In full: Didn’t understand why there was no map of the course before the event. Three laps with a pretty unfriendly hill forming one side of a triangular course doesn’t strike me as particularly hard to draw. And definitely not one for PBs.
Disappointed with the low turn out, but with three races in the local area going on, this one suffered. On the plus side, cant fault the friendliness of the marshals who were quite supportive.
In short: not a bad race but terrible medal! In full: Pulled out the stops to come to this one, breaking the habit of 1 race a month. Not a bad course, though there is a part of each lap (3 in total) that is slightly upwards, followd by a steeper down part, so not as flat as some races I've been to. Plenty of marshalls and they were friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiatic. With the roads to be crossed, I never felt worried about the traffic.
Some bars and a drink of water at the end was appreciated. However, very disappointed about the medal. Some basic piece of tin with a sponsor's ribbon - first time I've received something with no date on it, which saddened me. It may seem trivial, but its the little things that add to the experience.
Still, conditions were perfect and I'll probably do it again next year as I raised my pb by another 40 secs :) Date of review: October 7, 2007
In short: Good enough if you want a consistent series to attend In full: Enjoyed this one, even though I had to go through the psychological barrier of doing (3!) laps.
On the downside, those plastic lap barriers need some more staking. Its a windy course and they bowed out quite a bit. It would be cheap to fix (buy more stakes). They became more than a hinderance when on the final lap when you are tired. The only other downer was the start and finish lines: The start was far too congested and bottlenecked; and the extra little bit at the end of the three laps to the finish - it just knocked the wind out of my sails a bit, I know it was on the map but still...
However plenty of positives: professionally run; the stewards were amiable and helpful; mostly a flat course with plenty of grass to run on; reasonable goodie bag at the end with bottled water on hand.
I did a PB with this race and hope to better it in October :) Date of review: August 12, 2007
In short: Back after 18 years and this was a great race to start with. In full: Just finished my first race in 18 years and it was a challenge but a very rewarding one. I discovered I ran faster in this than in my last 12 months of training runs - go figure. (despite those b*****d hills which are the bane of my life, watch out there is one very near the start and you do it twice!!!!). Be warned this is a June event and it was very hot as well so the finish line in the shade was a nice touch. But you must keep your fluids up before the race.
The atmosphere was great and I was very impressed with the organisation both before and during the event. Everyone seemed relaxed and good humoured. We even discovered a few friends were participating as well which made our day.
For anyone in the area, I would heartily recommend this, but book early. Word is getting out that this is a good race to be in. I'm certainly motivated to enter next year and I have a benchmark time to beat!!!! :) Date of review: June 3, 2007