In short: Good to get the lungs going on a Saturday morning In full: The hills are a decent test of stamina and the fact that some of the ascents are on loose sand makes it a great challenge. Forget a PB though! Date of review: August 16, 2010
In short: Fantastic inaugrual race In full: Great weather, if a tad hot but, but perfect for the organisers. A carefully thought out course although the industrial estate at mile 20-23 was hell (as described by the organisers). Crowd more than fantastic although could have done with some more entertainment. Some fencing on the promenade seperating the spectators and runners at about mile 24-25 would have been better. All in all a fantastic race and a PB - Yay me! (then again it was my first marathon ;-) Date of review: April 18, 2010
In short: Great race despite poor weather In full: This is a lovely scenic course, pretty flat and a good oppotunity to get a pb. The course is really well marshalled and although it's rural there was plenty of support out there despite the wet and cold. Yes, there was a problem with the kit area but this isn't down to the organisation. The weather was freezing and wet so many people delayed their arrival until last minute causing a bit of chaos there. The start is a tad narrow but it's up to the individual runners to get in the correct position according to their expected time, again, no fault of the organisers. It's the second year I've done this race and will definitely be back next year. Showers and free hot drinks at the end a nice touch as was the nice medal.
In short: Wet and smelly In full: Loved every moment of it and it's the only race I've ever done smiling all the way round hoping that there were more miles to come. It's possibly one to avoid if you don't have a power shower although standing in a car wash may do the trick. Date of review: November 16, 2009
In short: A decent challenge In full: Make sure you get there in plenty of time and enjoy this fab race. It's a great course starting along the Thames, running back into town at mile 5ish where there's loads of support, then out into the country for the last half of the race. The hill is not so much steep but it just seems to keep going and going. Once you're at the top the last 3-4 mile of the course is pretty fast so it seems to make up for any lost time (providing your legs are still working).
As for people questioning the distance: My Garmin said it was pretty much spot on at 13.09 miles. I've no idea about the mile markers but they seemed reasonable.
In hindsight I would have started the race a bit slower so I had a bit more energy to push it in the tougher second half of the race.
There were a few queues for the loos before the race and the trafic going into Henley seemed to be a bit of a nightmare but all in all this is a race well worth doing. Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: This one hurts! In full: I did the Slog (12.8 miles). I was told this was a beautiful undulating run. I'm not going to deny that the scenery was beutiful but anyone that tells you it's undulating feel free to kick them in the shins. I would have enjoyed the scenery more if I hadn't had my head down, gritting my teeth, trying to catch my breath while running up many of the long hilly hills. At one point I swear I saw a mountain goat!
That said, I loved this race. It was a real battle but a beautiful one and the organisation was friendly and supportive. My girlfriend did the Slug and loved it. Less hills to contend with but still a great test of stamina.
In short: Potentially a great race In full: I've got to admit that I really enjoyed this race although I can't quite put my finger on why.
Firstly it's for a great cause and there was a nice atmosphere at the beginning with a mixture of racers and fun runners. Music was playing and although I had a really annoying tune in my head the whole way round (can't remember what it was thank God) I found it helped.
Secondly, the course itself is fairly good. There's a stretch of about 1.5k on grass with some shingle thrown in for good measure which makes you feel like you're going up the "travelator" on gladiators but thankfully only for a few meters.
Also the support of the friendly marshalls and spectators all of the way round is great, particularly at the finish line. Loads of clapping & cheering.
Couple of moans:
Firstly, once you've done the loop on the grass stretch and are heading back there's quite a small gap in the bushes that you need to go through. The main problem being that runners are also coming through in the opposite direction. I had to do a bit of a evasive dodging to avoid a head on collision.
Secondly, At the finish people had to queue up about 20 meters or so from the finish line. This happened at about the 46 minute mark. I had luckily finished at this point but was sitting watching and could see a few angry faces which was understandable.
I'm sure this was partly due to the unexpectedly high turnout so they'll have it sorted for next year.
That said, I still think this was a great race and would recommend it to anyone. Date of review: September 14, 2009