In full: My only concern was the queue for number collection, which was snaking out the door when I joined it - if the weather had been harsher there would have been some cold bedraggled runners before the race started! (Or maybe the queue would have found some room for itself indoors if this had been the case). Apparently there was a greater number of entrants than in previous years, which contributed to this, so at least it means that the race is successful!
With reference to a review from 2012, I was also comparing the course to others I've run recently ...I'd say it's not as tough as Marlow, but on a par with Burnham Beeches. I noticed the downhills as much as the ups, including a lovely long descent in the middle.
Marshals and runners alike were very friendly. Directions to the race venue were clear, as were the arrows on the course.
The medal wasn't the fanciest, but the soup and roll at the finish were a nice touch, and very welcome on a chilly day.
Oh, another small disappointment is that the results give only gun time, not chip time. I can't honestly recall what was promised, but obviously hoped that I'd get a chip time that was slightly faster than what my watch said.
These are minor gripes only, though! This was a lovely race and I am glad I did it! Date of review: December 1, 2014
In full: Very well-organised and very friendly race. Race director was very involved in the smooth running - credit to him. Marshals were all incredibly encouraging and there was a high marshal-to-runner ratio! Just as well as there were some slippery parts of the course that we were warned about (that's the only reason to mark it down a bit under "beginner-friendliness", as newer/occasional runners might find some of the climbs tough going). You had to watch where your footing, but there were some stretches later on where you could pick up some speed on firmer terrain. Excellent spread afterwards back at race HQ at the cost of donations to the chosen charity. Good range of age category prizes. Results were on the website by the end of race day itself. Date of review: November 17, 2014
In short: Beautiful morning for a very scenic race In full: Slick organisation. Excellent commentary at both the start and finish areas! Fantastic marshals: at race HQ, on the course, at the water stations, and keeping things moving at the finish. Friendly runners. Quality medal. Well-organised baggage collection. Fast results service. 10/10 :-) Date of review: November 11, 2014
In full: Very well organised. Lots of parking. A good flat route (2.5 laps). Running after dark means that you sort of don't notice the surroundings (a business park) or the fact you're going round more than once! (though the course is lit by street lamps) Very plush loos, and no queues! Kindly hosted by Affinity Water, whose employees are very welcoming and helpful to runners in their building after hours. Quite "clubby", but that shouldn't put anyone off. If you do the first or second races in the series then don't forget to bring your number for the later one(s)! Of the four times I've run it, I've measured the course to be between 5.16km and 5.19km - this didn't worry me this year as I adjusted my expectations and my pace accordingly. Date of review: October 9, 2014
In full: There are some tough hills in the first half or so of this race but everything else goes in its favour. Well organised and very friendly. And the sun always seems to shine on it! I like the 3pm start as it means you can fit in a Sunday morning race too if you feel like it!!! Date of review: October 4, 2014
In short: What a BEAST of a hill to run up at the start! In full: Not terribly long (1k approx.) but just SO steep! Then a 7k-ish gently undulating loop, with a few "slopes" in each direction, before a fast downhill finish nearly 2k in length. Course was clear but marshals a bit subdued! Nice run in to the finish funnel, and welcoming more marshals at the end. Nice little canvas goody bag to go with the medal. Very pleasant morning's run. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In full: Good venue, a distance for everyone (1k, 3k, 5k, 10k), marshalled car-parking, well-organised number collection, non-stop chat from the commentator, nice atmosphere with drinks and refreshments available afterwards.
Not the easiest route, with some fairly tough climbs on trail paths, over 2 laps. At least you knew what was coming after the first lap! Km markers were spot-on with my Garmin until the very last, making the course possibly a few meters short.
No complaints - a very nice race to do. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Faultless :-) In full: This race gets better year after year... though the "hills" in those underpasses don't get any easier!! The support is awesome - especially the last half-mile or so up the high street to the finish, but actually all around the course, with many people obviously out to cheer on the race from start to finish, with deck chairs etc set up on driveways. The Holiday Inn water station was fun - balloons, music, and cheery marshals! Once again, fantastic marshals all the way around the course and at the finish - many thanks to all who gave up their time and worked so hard. Lovely encouragement from runners who had already finished to those still running. Brilliant all round! Date of review: September 8, 2014
In short: Excellent race - full marks :-) In full: I took 5 minutes off the time I ran here last year so that's obviously influencing my view of the event, but there is nothing bad to say about it as it's all very well organised, has plenty of water stops, is a nice 2-lap route so encourages spectators (there is also a café in the Beeches that is near enough to race HQ), there is a very nice medal, has very supportive and enthusiastic marshals at all junctions and at the finish, and I give full credit to those who were still out on the course after the heavens opened yesterday!
One word of warning - the car park is a good mile from race HQ so is fine for your warm-up and cool-down if you have plenty of time ...but some people didn't seem to have read the race brief and had to hurry to the start. Date of review: August 18, 2014