In short: Challenging undulating course on remarkably quiet lanes In full: If you want good tarmac to run on, you generally have to share it with cars. The trade off at Stebbing was empty roads, but not the greatest of surfaces. The atmosphere in the was village wonderful, and the T shirt at the end was my favourite ever. The only downer would have been if there had been heavy rain, as I'm 100% convinced that I'd never have got my car out of the car park. Date of review: November 14, 2007
In short: If you run in Devon expect hills. In full: Not quite the undulating race I was expecting. The aptly name cemetary hill was a killer. Having to do it twice was horrific. Got lost at 25 miles, but little else to moan about. It's tough enough organising just one race, but fitting in a marathon, HM, 10k and fun run all in one event was a credit to all those involved.
Sadly I'll be doing Abingdon next year. The old legs cannot cope with the Devon climbs, also Oxfordshire is closer to London.
In short: Public Health Warning. This course is not flat. In full: Garmin measured as 900ft of descent and 990ft of ascent, this course was not just very undulating, it was uphill. Putting that aside, I loved the venue, the organisation was great, and the atmosphere amongst the runners was superb. I felt slightly miffed, as I'd travelled a long way to the event in the vain hope of a PB on a fast course, but walking off at the end having failed, I knew my body had been given one hell of a workout, the benefits of which will undoubtedly carry over to my next PB attempt.
In short: Seemed so much more polished than two years ago In full: Having bad memories about this race from two years back, I didn't really want to do it again, but having no other suitable race, I finished up pleasantly surprised to see how well organised it was. The mile markers were accurate, drinks stations excellent, and the marshalling was superb. I even liked the medal. I'm not in love with the course, but it isn't easy staging a race in suburban London. A credit to Hillingdon AC. Date of review: March 21, 2007
In short: Well organised, a credit to the Striders In full: I have to admit that I wasn't expecting too much from this race, and initially it didn't start too well, queueing for a toilet that didn't have any toilet paper. But having replaced someone who dropped out, the organisers changed my identity with no fuss, and although the race start wasn't particularly scenic, the race soon opened out into beautiful undulating Essex lanes. Other plus points were a well manned drinks station, accurate kilometer markers, an excellent goody bag, loads of marshalls, and a trophy, that even my wife admired when I got home.
In short: A well run marathon, on a fast course, at the right time of year. In full: My only problem during the race, was not being able to find my isotonic drink and the feeding station at the 7.5 mile point. This was probably my fault, as I found the remainder at the other stations. I hope to be back next year, hopefully this time with my sub 3 already in the bank. Date of review: October 25, 2006
In short: My sort of course fast and flat In full: The dodgy 3rd mile marker is worth sorting out, and my hatred of paper cups continues. I'd much rather pay more and have water in bottles. My walks through the drinks stations taking on board two cups full rather than drinking half of one on the run, must have cost me over a minute on my finishing time. If the weather hadn't been quite so hot, I'd have finished very close to my PB. That said, enjoyed the day, and despite the 70 mile trip to get there, I hope to be back next year, for what was a well organised race. Date of review: September 13, 2006
In short: A minature festival of running. In full: Hats off to the folks of Hatfield Broad Oak for allowing the running community to take over their village for the day. The population must treble on the day of this event. I don't know how they manage. Great fast course, well organised, and a real carnival atmosphere. The wife and kids didn't run, and even they enjoyed it. It was my first time participating, and I hope to be back next year to help myself to another PB. Date of review: May 30, 2006