In short: Hard Work rewarded by amazing views In full: Having previously completed a few XC half marathons I came to North Devon AONB Half Marathon with high expectations in terms of performance and results. My thoughts of a PB disapeared at around the 6 mile point.
The event is organised with the full marathon runners starting ~ 15 min prior to the Half. The 1st few miles are relativly easy, offers some amazing views and can be ran with only a few stops (for gates, etc). A well marshalled beach run section is hard going but over quickly. This leads onto the 1st major set of climbs and some steps, making running very tricky if your picking your way past walking marathon back markers. The last 6 or so miles of the course is a mixture of fell, gravel, more steps and is very tough.
The entire route is well marked and marshalled. Water and snack stations are placed about every 3 miles of so (very much needed as it was 28C when I did it in 2011 and apparently 31C in 2010). The marshall's were very supportive and full of enthusiasem.
The event attracts decent supporting crowds and is well support by local buisnesses. Cream tea at the finish and a nicely designed medal. Only one down side, post race winners awards were less generous than last years, even though there were more runners. Only one team award fot 1st place team, even though the event is very well attended by club runners. Also the annoucer really needed a mic or tannoy as you could barely hear him.
Overall, top race which will only become more popular with time if they can maintain this standard of organisation. Up there with the Needles XC half in terms of views and challenge. Recommended to all levels of XC runners, from Fell to recreational. Date of review: July 1, 2011
In short: Nice Race, Glorious Views, Good day Out In full: If ever there was a place that provides amazing sights and challenging terrain in equal measure, the isle of wight is such a place. The West Wights Sports center is the race hq, start and finish and offers bicycle parking, lockers, showers and a cafe. It offers excellent facilities which are certainly needed before/after this event. The Route is a plesent mix of road leading to trails leading to grass and then road again. The 1st half can be ran with a few hills to introduce you to the island. The 2nd half features a near vertical slog up the side of tennyson down (which I, and most around me, couldn't run up). The views from the peaks are stunning and worth the trip alone. A well organised event, short and sweet. Recommended. Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: Enjoyable Half-Marathon through the New Forest In full: This is by far an away the best organised trail/cross country event I have ever attended. Plenty of well placed marshalls, clear race instructions, generous goody bag, and all at a bargin price.
The course was certainly a challenge but not so much as to exclude novice or non club runners. While there were Flat elements there were also some hills of note, nothing to put anyone off though. Some lovely views of the new forest and the surrounding area.
The prizes were very generous (valued at £2000 in total). With the very nice addition of 'golden tickets' located in the goody bags allowing runners who necessarily win a catagory to still take home something nice.
Overall: an excellent rate offering a genuine escape from the slog of road running. Recommended. Date of review: March 14, 2011
In short: A course for anyone chasing a PB really well organised In full: A good start time for a winter race (not to early, therefore not to cold), Very well organised, nice goody bag, super quick route (completely flat). Attracts some top runners from surrounding areas. This race is an excellent way to end the year. Nice goody bag aswell. Date of review: December 12, 2010
In short: Quick, Small field, Good run In full: A quick first 10 miles with a slightly hilly last 3 miles. Still got a P.B on this course. Well arranged, interesting little goody bag at the end of the race. Would run this again. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Rocket fast course for those Hunting P.B's In full: An international field, a near-perfectly flat route, a super quick finish. If you want to get a P.B. over 5 miles, this is your race. Only minus point: water station at the finish did not have enough water and had a massive wait to get a drink. Would have expected more (especially as this race has a 1000+ entry limit). Date of review: September 19, 2010
In short: Ultra-Marathon which rewards the pain with stunning views In full: The Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 50K Ultra marathon was my first attempt at the ultra distance and I've got to say I loved it! The fact I didnt finish (due to injury) did not detract from some of the finest views England has to offer. The course profile is challenging to say the least but its worth it. The marshalls are excellent (some of whom will be on the course for hours), the water stations are well supplied (although there is a bit of a gap between the 12 Mile and the 16 Mile marker on the ultra route), the event was class and I will be back next year to try and finish the whole thing. Date of review: August 10, 2010
In short: Need to be in first couple of waves to clock a PB, but still a great race In full: This is a an excellent run, very quick route. Probably as flat as your likely to find in the south of the UK on road. You need to be in the first couple of waves to clock a PB, but even running from the back you can get a respectable time. Brilliant crowds, music, facilities. Praking can be tricky so get there early. Tshirt and medal are excellent. The race should be run in reverse as all the good bits (historic dockyard with HMS victory + warrior) are at about mile 3-4. Love this run. Date of review: June 2, 2010
In short: Challenging Half Marathon but well worth it In full: Within the first mile you get stiles, rutted terrain and a few "minor" hills. By the finish you've run past the needles, covered 2 challenging hills and had some of the best scenery England has to offer. Brilliant run, well arranged, really nice medal, showers amd lockers at the finish. Brilliant. Date of review: June 2, 2010
In short: Great Run, if the winds with you its a PB course In full: I love this run, can be windy along the shore line but if the winds in your back your half-way to a PB. Chip timed, which is good for a 10K. Good price, nice little goody bag and all for a good cause. Can see this getting very popular in future years. Date of review: June 2, 2010