In short: Terrific race for the flat and off road In full: On a classic autumn morning, but still vest weather, the race set out fast and flat along the canal - quickly finding a rhythm as the front runners snake out over the first 6 miles. Then a sharp right and cow dung was an indicator of the incline to come, a gradual then sharp shift upwards for a good mile; this was good after the even start. It reminded me of a roller coaster which grnds you up hill before throwing you down and left and right and down, down again! the mud was ok and not too slippy either - brilliant! The final 3 / 4 miles back along the canal tests the quads and glutes after being off road, but it was all faultless. Markings and marshalls and finish were seamless and a Big well Done to all at Dirt Half - thank you! Date of review: November 18, 2013
In short: A great half marathon In full: Great loos, space to stretch and spacious line up. Sudden start from a funny marshall with a microphone! It encourages pace by its flat and wide spaces, great support and kind marshalling. It's not entirely flat as miles 10 and 11 demonstrate, but if you have the legs and stamina a pb is yours cos the last mile is a dream downhill. Terrific goody bag, and baggage, car park exit gives free smiles for the drive home. Really well done Chippenham! Date of review: September 20, 2013
In short: charming and welcoming In full: A lovely morning spent in the (hot) surroundings of Richmond Park - went out too fast, and the benefits of Know Your Course should have been heeded today; I blame the 'first lady' for encouraging the pace! I met a lot of lovely people on course, and the marshalls and masseuse at the finish were so kind(ish)! This is a great secret race and I would do it again - had MK the next day, so I kept a bit back; great goodies, great donut 'borrowed' from a picnic and a great race. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Outstanding organisation In full: May I first say a huge thanks to our pacer, Trinity, for keeping us regular for the 3.45 finish; and to Tim who I didn't finish with, but hope you're not disappointed - you did really well and should be proud to run all the way :-) The race was fabulous, after last years teething problems - baggage especially was immaculate. The water stations were more than adequate for me, and whilst some of the public strayed I don't think its part of the marathon remit to order kids and bikes off the route - be serious! The stadium was uplifting, and "yes" the weather made this memorable, hats off to the organisers for making the changes to put this race on the map! Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: A special set of races for all comers In full: This review regards the 2013 Easter Runs. We travelled over from Colchester to participate in the above, and we're so glad to have competed in all 4 events. The first was the 10k which was relatively flat, albeit the wind against hurts the pb potential; finishing with some top class athletes though made me feel pretty good. The following day, another walk to the start (if you have no car and the buses are one per hour this is what you do)warmed us up for the 4.75m x-country - the younger races precede a thrilling run round dunes and tracks and sand and stone. A virtual rollercoaster! Similar format the 3rd day was the 2-mile relay again on a x-country footing, but a pure sprint; wind was again a problem as it sent temperatures to almost freezing. But so very inclusive. Walking back, the timekeeper stopped and gave us a lift! Final day, Easter Monday, was the half marathon from the 'capital' and the fresh breeze still very apparent; nevertheless, the top athletes made it look easy - run on roads and against the sea front it was a great morning's work. Competing in all 4 events made me 2nd in the over-50's. This and the great friends made over Easter (Jacko and Tom) made this a trip we want to do again - Martyn and Laura say a huge thanks to the organisers x Date of review: April 4, 2013
In short: tougher than it looks In full: The stadium start and finish usually provides a few more smiles, and this helped the 'speedy' finish too. Shame about no baggage, given the size of the venue, but not sure about the comment earlier re "be prepared to lose it". Also the High St section is excellent, and given its one-way, you'll not get cars coming at you! The hills and undulation make it a real challenge and cars are pretty common these days. The results were out in good time and I was pleased with mine given I had run there to start with! Happy Days - well done organisers; you've pleased most of the people! Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: very nice local race for all comers In full: 2nd year of running and again well worth the trip from Essex - well organised and inclusive. Managed to find a pb for Mrs Foon which earned lots of points for me! Thanks again Winslow. Date of review: March 12, 2013
In short: given the snow - unique In full: A bit late in reporting, but also wanted to show my appreciation to the club for ensuring that the event not only went ahead, but was efficiently organised with a smile and a feeling that there was no 'weather'! To the men and women who not only ran, but ran in vest and shorts. To the men and women who lived up to their titles as the UK's best marshalls. To everyone who finished, and hobbled and leapt and cracked the ice at some point - well done. Loved it! Date of review: February 1, 2013
In short: Disappointing In full: I have left my views for a week to see how I feel after reflection; still disappointed with a number of factors FatFeet could control, eager for another challenge, but most of all - warm.
Parking over one mile away was known, but for the toilets to be locked on arrival and then no facilities at the start was awful - seeing men and women alike peeing in the trees was surely avoidable.
The race itself was made tougher by the rain and consequent wet feet, mud between the toes, frozen fingers and chafing for the first time - how sore is that!
I over cooked it and finished a good 20 minutes from a reasonable estimate, but no moans about the course - it is challenging and needs to be marketed as such; it should attract more runners that way.
The finish came and I dreamt of achievment, a shuttle back to the car park, change in warm clothes and pick up partners warm clothes and shuttle back - I had an hour to do this.
BUT - a small tent, small bag with soon to be soggy card and a vest (which I like) but no medal - come on! just about everyone loves a medal. It lures the first timer back and it is tangible proof of your mental toughness.
Trudged up the hill but the bus had gone; it took half an hour to come back and I stood with others in the rain, shivering and shaking - a kind chap opened a foil blanket I had thrown in at the last minute. It helped a bit :-(
Partners arrival got close so I let the bus go and hid in the baby changing unit with another chap until she arrived! She was colder than me poor thing, and shook like Mrs Overall, but luckily bus was there and we returned to Sykes Lane - no one on the bus spoke, the rustle of the blankets was loudest and we were thoroughly fed up.
£35 is a lot for little in return which invariably means we won't go back. Date of review: November 9, 2012
In short: always tough with the conditions, but a 'must do' race for everyone In full: So pleased we made the effort from Colchester to participate in an excellent 1/2 marathon - a great town, welcoming and tourist free! The wind against added a virtual half mile I reckon, but it didn't reduce the pleasure of running with a Campbeltown runner who saw me home in 20th place - whilst we don't run for the goodie bag, the fact that this is right at the top of the goodie bag league table means, together with the unique medal, the smile lasts longer than ever. Would always come back. Big thanks to the organisers, supporters and the town at the end of the Long and Winding Road. Date of review: June 9, 2012