In short: Tough course but well worth the effort In full: Plenty of nearby parking, very well organised, plenty of support, friendly marshals and a very nice long sleeve shirt. Date of review: June 27, 2005
In short: Loved it! In full: Although I was kind of looking forward to this race, I arrived feeling quite nervous because I hadn't done a 10k since January and hardly any speed work all year due to longer distance training. But there was something very calming about the atmosphere.
The course is beautiful, and although mostly gravel, it was kinder to the legs than road.
I finished in 48.24 which is just 1 second outside my PB, and that PB goes back to late 2003!
Every finisher got an Oak tree...no, really!! In fact mine is already planted in the garden.
The organisers (Tetbury Royals) should be very proud of themselves!
I'll definitely be back next year. Date of review: June 20, 2005
In short: It's impossible to sum this race up into one line! In full: I ran this for the first time last year and even though it's one of the toughest ultras on road I went back for more this year, and knocked 36 minutes off last year's time!
The organisation and support was fantastic and runners are made to feel really special, before during and after the race.
And yes...everything hurts, but the experience more than makes up for it.
The icing on the cake for me this year was winning my category!
In short: I really enjoyed this one! In full: It's not very often that you get the chance to have your own drinks put out at water stations, so I was really pleased that this facility was offered here, except my drink was put 3 stations on from where I'd asked it to be, but this is the only 'organisational tighten up' I can suggest. Everthing else was great.
The course was lovely, mostly on peaceful country roads.
There were marshals aplenty and they were all happy, smiling and encouraging.
Very reasonably priced long sleeved tshirts...in ALL sizes too!
All in all, a good event and well worth the trip from Bristol. Date of review: May 16, 2005
In short: A highlight in my race calender In full: This is the third year I've run this race and it gets better every time.
The only gripe I have is with having to collect my number and chip pre race day. I don't really know why this is necessary.
And yes, it is a two lap half, but the course is interesting enough for this not to be a problem, it also means that there is always lots of support around the course, particularly through the city centre, which is quite special.
I find some of the undulations hard work but the downhills compensate quite well.
The track finish is simply great!
The t shirt design is tasteful and they come in all sizes...even small for us girlies!
And finally, the medal is interesting and changes colour every year so I'll keep going back til I get the full set. Date of review: May 5, 2005
In short: It was so cold that I very nearly didn't do the race...but I'm glad I did now In full: I arrived in Leicester to see snow on rooftops and snowmen in gardens. Got to the race start and it felt icy cold. Very nearly got in the car and left the race, partly because I knew the conditions were not favourable for my asthma. But I went to the start line and thought that I could always drop out at the half. The first half of the course was not as tough as I thought it would be and wondered why the course was considered to be 'one of the toughest', but then my training ground is very hilly anyway so I came to the conclusion that everyone was just a bit soft in the Midlands....until the second half of the race! The hills took everything out of my legs, and then some. It was pure grit and determination that got me to the finish line because every ounce of energy had gone. It was intended as a last long training run for my next marathon in Calvia, Mallorca in 3 weeks time so I was happy with 4.20. I just hope that hill work pays off! Total respect to the marshals and supporters for cheerfully standing out in the cold for such a long time!! Date of review: November 22, 2004
In short: Tough, but worth the effort In full: I used this race as hill training in my marathon schedule and I don't know if I'd want to out and out race this one without an oxygen tank half way up each hill! The weather could've been better but that was out of anyone's control and there were plenty of black bin liners being handed out to anyone who needed them at the start.
The organisers did a great job and the marshals were all very supportive and happy, despite having to stand in the rain for 2 to 3 hours.
The only small gripe I've got is that I was handed a goody bag and told it contained a small t shirt, when in fact it contained a large one...oh well, I've got another night shirt. Date of review: November 8, 2004
In short: Worth the experience In full: This is a race that I wanted to do just the once, like GNR, purely for the experience of running such a large event. The '3 wave' starts worked really well...I don't know why they didn't do the same at GNR! The support was brilliant and the goody bags were up to the usual high standard. I was lucky enough to be able to walk to the start as I was staying with a friend, but if you drove in you had to put up with the very slow exit....but that's to be expected from such a large event. The only reason for me not doing it again is that I only wanted to do it the once, and as I had such a good race I don't feel the need to go back and put right. Date of review: October 11, 2004
In short: Improving every year In full: The timing of the start was an improvement on last year, although catching up with and having to weave through the slower half marathoners was not ideal. Running through the Castle grounds was a nice touch although the cobbles were tough on the legs, especially the third time for the marathoners! Also, the weather conditions made them slippery so the grass was a safer option...apologies to the castle groundsmen. Gold stars to each and every marshal for standing out in those conditions for such a long time. Also the Police did a great job with the traffic and total respect to the spectators for supporting in the rain. I would have enjoyed the course a lot more if I'd have felt better but the Millennium Stadium finish was a big lift at the end on 26 traumatic miles. The convenient baggage storage and lack of toilet queues all made for a stress-free start. The goody bags, medal and t shirt topped the whole event off nicely.
Thanks...and I will be back. Date of review: October 4, 2004