In short: An enjoyable run after a day in the office In full: Lovely scenery and an enjoyable run after a day in the office. Weather was just about right for running. Nice and flat but with lots of grass and trails so a PB isn't going to be easy to achieve. Well worth doing again. Date of review: July 7, 2011
In short: How come it's always so hot ? In full: So let me get this right. We have weeks of watery sunshine, clouds and rain and then twenty minutes before the race starts the temperature rockets to the high 20s. Someone at this race must have a hotline to the big fella in the sky because it's always hot. A great race with no bottleneck at the start, two water stops and a lady with a big spray to cool us all down. Nothing to fault this race though probably not a PB course today because of the heat. Am just glad I didn't suffer from sunstroke like I did last year as I made sure I rehydrated as much as possible straight afterwards. Well done Thame Runners for an excellent race. Date of review: June 26, 2011
In short: Could this race be any more picturesque? In full: My second running of this course which is as beautiful as ever. The organisation went like clockwork and this has to be considered one of the best events in the area - and you get free entry into Blenheim Palace and the gardens too! The course itself combines lovely scenery with a couple of challenging hills. I enjoy this race so much that I actually do it some Saturday afternoons just for the sheer joy of it. My only (minor) criticisms would be to ban runners from wearing ipods/MP3s as the trail sections are narrow and runners should be aware of others approaching from behind. Also, it would be much safer not to have runners with dogs - one dog was on a flexi-lead and was tripping up several runners (me included) which could have led to a serious accident. Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Up and down, up and down, up and down... In full: A very enjoyable first running of the race for me and I thought the organisation was great. Plenty of toilets (baby wipes were a neat touch) and the tent HQ was warm and worked well.
The hills were tough, I think there were about 6 in all, but yes you can make up the time lost when going up by whizzing down. Always tough on the knees though!
I thought three water stations plus a sponge station were plenty and they were advertised in the race programme sent out to all so no-one should have been surprised what there was. I guess if runners want more then they could use a bottle belt and take their own drink?
Marshalls were numerous, friendly and encouraging and I thought the local support was good. The kid sitting on a wall with his mega phone made me smile!
A couple of very minor gripes - the queue in the finish funnel was a little slow so it does get cold as you stand around for a few minutes. Plenty to drink, so that was good. And yes, a medal would be nice but I knew there wasn't going to be one so wasn't disappointed. It's just nice to be able to go home and show it off.
Overall, this was a very good race and well organised. The split start between senior mens and ladies/veterans seemed to merge seamlessly after a couple of hundred metres. Well done and thank you to all involved. Date of review: February 7, 2011
In short: Nice with no ice! In full: Excellent race and first time I have run it. I agree with everyone who says that delaying the race by 30 minutes was a sensible move. Better to be safe than sorry. I enjoy running around airfields and seem to have done a few recently (Headington 10K and Gosport HM) but the one in this race seemed massive. It was insipring to see the leaders way ahead, but also quite a mental challenge to try and keep the speed up round about the 6km mark when you feel furthest from anywhere. Well done to the many marshals who were encouraging and helped point out any remaining slippery bits. Looking forward to entering next year by which time I hope my runners knee has disappeared and I can shave a few seconds off my time. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Fast and flat In full: Fantastic organisation and well marshalled throughout the course. A great fast and flat course. The weather was perfect for running, and I would imagine yesterday's event will have seen PB's for a lot of runners.
I found the scenary, expecially around the airfield, eerily insteresting and inspiring. Not sure what that says about me! Running along the shoreline with views of the Isle of Wight and the boats certainly helped lift the spirits on the last couple of miles. So for me, there was plenty to look at during the race.
Well done to the samba band and to the PC who was joining in (no doubt he will now be reprimanded by some kill-joy!) - the music lifted the spirits at crucial times. Thanks also to the kids giving out wine gums and to the kids who were giving out high fives (hand slaps not gels) near the end - it was great to see all runners make a bee line towards them. Spectators don't often get enough thanks for bothering to turn out and cheer on strangers so, for the record, "Thanks".
The end came as both a relief and, more importantly, a pleasant surprise! I imagined having to run to the school where the fun run finish arch was and where we picked up timing chips. So to suddenly see the "real" finish earlier than expected was a real bonus. Removal of chips, handing out of goody bags all went smoothly.
Yes, car park was a little slow to get out of but do what we did - take a flask of coffee, sit back and back in the glow of PB's and hope that back home someone is sorting out the Sunday Roast.
All in all, a great race and I guess it's horses for courses regarding the scenary. Personally I thought it made an interesting change from the south Oxfordshire countryside I normally run around.
I look forward to coming back next year. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Lovely scenery and a nice long hill In full: My first half and would have got a slightly quicker time had I not put my back out the day before, making EVERY step painful!
Lovely scenery throughout the race but it was pretty crowded between 1st and 3rd mile markers so it was quite tough to get a good rhythym going. I would suggest having the runners line up by expected finish time at the start of the race since a lot of slower runners possibly held others up as overtaking wasn't easy along the narrow lanes.
Having said that, the race was well organised and marshalled with good local support (the kids cheering us on towards the top of the hill were great support).
The hill wasn't as bad as I feared it would be - it was just long and went on and on and on. So it definitely added a good 3 nor 4 minutes to my time. Perhaps a marshall on the steep downhill bit is needed as I thought that was the most dangerous bit with potential for someone falling over and hurting themselves.
It was a nice touch to get a text message with my time on within minutes of finishing and well done for posting results by 2.30pm on the same day.
All in all it's a very enjoyable race. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Fast and flat In full: Very enjoyable race in almost perfect conditions, although it does get a little windy on the exposed airfield. A great run for a PB (improved mine by 2 minutes), good to have a recovery drink and not just water at the end and a nice medal to add to my small but perfectly formed collection. Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: Lots of nice little hills and dips to keep you interested In full: Very enjoyable run and I liked the mug as a momento. Lovely scenery once out in the countryside (which was all but the first and last km). Look forward to competing again next year. Date of review: August 9, 2010