In short: Almost perfect race on an almost perfect day... In full: My first time at Rhayader and it didn't disappoint.
Organisation was excellent with race numbers picked up quickly, (though it could have been made more obvious in the sports hall which queue was which?) Parking in the finish area was brilliant - my car was 10 metres from the finish line!
Race started promptly and was excellently kept going by friendly marshals and frequent water stations, (approx every 3 miles) I managed to steal some jelly babies off children on the way around so they helped to keep the sugar levels up!
Now - "that" hill at the start - painful, yes - but worth it... And I'd rather have it at the start than at the end! Somehow I managed to gain back the time I lost in the first 5 miles and come in 3 minutes off my 20-mile PB.
Weather was glorious, perfect for running! Finishers T-Shirt not technical but fits well and is of good quality which makes a change!
Definitely one to put on the calendar to do again... Date of review: March 19, 2011
In short: Great fun well organised race - just the right size! In full: My first time at Llanelli and I was pleasantly surprised. Brilliant access to the start / finish, (100 metres from car park) made things easy for the 1500 or-so of us.
The (chip-timed) route follows 2 out-and-back loops along the coast from the Start/Finish area which keeps things interesting. Some mild undulations, but otherwise a pretty flat and fast course. Crowd support was sparse along the course, but welcoming and plentiful at the finish...
Water was plentiful, paperweight / beanie hat at the finish better than a medal IMHO.
No real bad points, if I had to improve anything then maybe a sports / recovery drink / banana at the finish? Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: A good first ultra... In full: My first attempt at beyond marathon distance and I enjoyed the weekend immensely.
Yes - I got muddy, lost a couple of times and was glad that I was on my own for the 3 hour drive home due to the lack of showers at the finish. But did I care? Maybe if it wasn't my first Ultra I might have been a bit more critical - we'll see next year as I'll be back! Date of review: February 22, 2011
In short: Friendly, low-key rural road marathon In full: The race registration is in the school sports hall which was good as we didn't have to hang around in the cold January weather for ages.
The marshals walked us down to the start and we were off very promptly round the 3-lap rural marathon route.
The course is mainly on open rural, country lanes with very little traffic on. I'd describe the loops as 'gently undulating' though those undulations add up and my Garmin made it 224m of elevation by the end.
Water stations every 5k or-so, but no iso / energy drinks that I saw. You could have your own drinks placed at the drinks stations though - so maybe the organisers thought that would be enough?
Overall - I thought the event was excellently marshalled, the course never got boring even though it was 3 laps and the atmosphere was good and friendly with a good mix of club runners from around the country attending.
Hot showers at the end were VERY WELCOME :-) Date of review: January 23, 2011
In short: Excellent multi terrain race with hills, mud, water and sand In full: Fantastically organised event with just about the right amount of hills, mud, water and sand dunes over a 5.8 mile course to leave you pleasantly tired at the end.
In short: Hard work but ultimately rewarding! In full: Nottingham was my first half last year (2009) so I had to come back and do it again...
Overall it's a great half and well organised, medal and goody bag were excellent again this year and there was plenty of free water / lucozade available... We parked in car park "b" again arrived 90 minutes early and had no problems with traffic.
It's quite a challenging course, especially miles 5-8 and I found it a lot more congested this year running around 7:30 mm pace. I was relying on my Garmin for pacing and my eventual 7:34 pace bought me in at 1:40:14 measuring 13.29 miles so I was a bit disappointed not to break 1:40, but still a PB...
I'll be back next year! Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Race to the pub! Something a bit different for a Saturday morning. In full: First-time for me on this one... I'd read about the tunnel, the bridges and the promise of discount beer at the end and decided this was right up my street, especially as it was on a Saturday for a change!
As others have said, "Strangely tough" sums it up - whether it's the off-road uneven-ness, the overtaking, going up and down over the canal or the heat this year I'm not sure?
Regardless - I found the race to be excellently organised and marshalled throughout... Loads of water stations, especially towards the end. Watch out for the mile markers though as they are not too accurate and the 12 mile marker was actually at 11.6 or-so! This made the final "mile" really long added to which there's a couple of bridges to contend with!
Great atmosphere at the end, all the pubs full of runners "rehydrating" which makes a change from the usual Sunday road 1/2 marathons where everyone runs off at the end.
In short: Undulating road race, friendly and fun. Don't expect crowds though! In full: Just back from the 2010 event and need to add my thoughts before they subside into a Carlsberg-induced haze!
Good organisation at the start with plenty of parking. We were a bit late starting off as the bus to the start needed to make an additional trip so kick-off was nearly 11:15 instead of 11am.
The race was all on country roads which were open to traffic, but were excellently marshaled - I had no problems at all with road traffic, (thanks marshals if you're reading this).
Undulating would describe the course well! My Garmin recorded 145m of elevation gain and 146 loss over 13.09 miles, although it seemed that there were more uphills, (doesn't it always?)
Water stations were fine for me every few miles.
This isn't a race to do if you love the big crowds - both supporters and runners! I spent a lot of the race running on my own with no-one in sight behind or in front! Again, this wasn't a problem for me... Where the supporters were out, they were great - especially at the finish - Mick & Phil were out supporting too - always nice to see!
I took 3 minutes off my PB here, (from the 2009 Cardiff 1/2 marathon) so I'm really happy, especially as this was MUCH tougher than Cardiff....
Thanks to all for a great run, (I was the guy in the yellow Soreen vest) Date of review: May 30, 2010
In short: Hills, more hills, grim reapers and a few extra hills In full: I'm not sure how I heard about this race - but decided it was worth the drive down from Cardiff to give it a go...
The organisation was fantastic, everything started on the nail @ 11am, there were friendly marshals abundantly dotted around the course and lots of water stations, (every mile I think...)
Now - the route, yes - it's hilly! I saw a statistic that said only 3% of the runners "ran" the whole course - well, I have never walked on a race before, and I did a lot of walking up the hills! I'm an average runner and can keep up 7:30 / mile on a 10-mile route. My Garmin averaged me out at 10:15 / mile for this course coming in at 1:41
An if the uphills weren't bad enough, some of the downhills were almost as bad - great fun though... It's mixed terrain, from bridal-path style grassy sections, (including a BMX jump course!) to forrest trails of varying quality. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking in places to...
Just a T-Shirt at the end - no goody bag or medal, but the T-Shirt is excellent and certainly won't be ending up in my cleaning rags in a couple of weeks
A very different style of race and running than I am used to, but I have to say I'm already scouring the Events listings for similar ones! Bring on Race The Train! Date of review: May 9, 2010