In short: This race was made for a rainy bank holiday sunday!!! In full: The atmosphere set this race apart from many others. Super slick organisation from start to finish. Fantastic crowd support the whole way round including a band in the middle of a field, and a pub belting out tunes on the home leg.
The course itself is lovely, not the hardest multi terrain race I have done, a few quick stretches on road, a lot of running across fields and a lovely section through the woods. The steps up to the wood are truly quad sapping but worth it once you get to the top. Great finish with a hose to wash the mud off, mars bar, fruit and a T Shirt for a pretty bargain price. Only thing I would change? Swap the T shirt for a medal but that is my personal preference! Date of review: June 4, 2012
In short: The friendliest half marathon I have ever run!!! In full: Hats off to the organizers, I emailed Saturday morning to see if there was still space in the race, and got a very swift and welcoming response. This continued upon arrival all the registration volunteers and organizers were very welcoming and efficient. Race village in a field, but sufficient toilets, good catering for spectators and runners, and shelter provided had it been raining (it wasn't!)
The course is a real mixed bag, despite dry weather today we have had a hell of a lot of rain over the last month, so patches were very wet, muddy and boggy. Sections were on grass down by the river which was quite uneven under foot, then we moved onto hard tracks with quite a lot of loose stones in places before heading into the woods and down some slippy mud footpaths. There is no getting away from the hill (that you have to tackle twice!). Its an unrelenting incline for the best part of a mile and it does take it out of the quads on the second lap. However, once at the top we were rewarded with running through the bluebells, fab! Some of the downhills were a bit steep and slippy for my liking but others were pure speed! The final stretch for home is all flat which is always a big thumbs up. Great marshals, 4 water stations, 2 on each lap with jelly babies, what more can you ask for? I didn't have my garmin on, and did hear that it may have been long, but I always thought trail races were measure in 'country miles' ;-)
Cannot say anything negative about this race, the only thing that I would personally change (and this is just my opinion!) I would have much preferred the route in reverse, although appreciate this would mean moving the start to thin the field out a bit before getting onto the single file tracks through the wood. Announcing the prize giving via the megaphone, I didn't expect to get 3rd Senior lady (as I was technically 4th Lady overall) however totally missed the presentation as my other half was scoffing a burger in the catering tent! And now I am being really cheeky but if the T shirt got upgraded to a technical T that would be the icing on the cake!
Will definitely be back next year!!! Great Job guys!!!! Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: Pretty Average Race In full: Not sure about the distance being out, think the first mile was indeed long, however the roads were pretty wide for most of it so without a 'racing line' to follow I am not sure .1 mile over 5 miles can be classed as long (don't berate me, just my opinion!) Weather was atrocious however still a good number of hardy souls turned up. Didn't use any of the baggage drop etc as could see the start from flat so cannot comment. However, lining up on the start line was a free for all, 7 year old kids alongside the ladies welsh marathon champion on the front row was a bit silly!!! Organizers could have made some attempt to get people into the correct starting block based on ability with a few announcements (they manage at parkrun!). Marshals on course not very vocal, however, it was miserable out there and how much encouragement do you need on a 5 mile flat road race?!? Medal - great! Lucozade - Nice touch probably not needed given distance/conditions. No goody bag full of rubbish - great! Reasonable entry fee for what you got. Overall if your local to Cardiff definitely worth a run especially if your post spring marathon as its easy! Not sure its worth travelling any distance for. Date of review: May 10, 2012
In short: Fab Marathon Training Race In full: 4th time at San Dom today and had a disaster of race, injured before I started and advised not to run, but I love this as a marathon prep race so ignored that advice. Very foolish this isn't the kind of course you want to be injured on!!!
However, that aside the organisation is first class, as are the facilities, on site free parking with plenty of spaces, plenty of toilets and no portaloos (its at a 6th form college) and easy and efficient number collection.
The course is pretty quick for the first 7 miles (first 2 a little tedious as your running a couple of laps but at least its at the start) followed by a couple of hilly sections accompanied by some speedy downhills. Then its pretty flat till you get to the quad sapping steps at 13.5 miles. I personally hate the out and back bit and preferred the previous route of 2009 when we didn't run this but each to their own.
The T shirts fab, have a bit of a collection now and agree the year on them would be a nice touch.
Outstanding marshals really set this race apart from the rest. They are all hugely enthusiastic and very vocal, and big thanks to the lady at 19.25 miles who gave me a hug when the pain got a little bit too much, you are a star.
Excellent job San Dom, will be back next year, fingers crossed in a much better physical state!!! Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: Scenery would be absolutely breathtaking if that mountainous incline hadn't already taken it away!!!! In full: First time at Rhadayer and had not read any of the reviews so was woefully unprepared for the 2.5 mile incline up the side of the valley, however that may be an advantage as that was one nasty hill!!! However, don't let it put you off because the view from the top (especially behind you) is glorious. The descents, on the whole, are pretty runnable without putting too much pressure on the legs so can catch the time back up. After you have got the first 6 or so miles out of the way, the course is pretty flat (well mid-wales flat!!!) and not too testing and the scenery is varied with lots of local sheep, cattle and wildlife to help the miles fly by. Organisation was great, good number of water stations, yes it is in cups but your never going to get bottles on this type of race, so it was expected!!! Relatively quiet but very smiley marshals, few supporters dotted about and as you came back into Rhayader it was great to see the whole town getting behind their local race and really cheering us on for the last couple of hundred metres. My personal preference would be for a medal and not a T shirt but you can't have it all can you!!!
One thing that I know they can't enforce is the banning of iPods, however a few signs at the start discouraging their use might have put a few people off. I have nothing against them in general, use one (1 ear only!) for training and no ears for logging my miles when racing, however on this course you needed to be able to hear what was going as its not traffic free and some of the roads are very twisty, despite this common sense did not prevail for a minority and despite several yells of 'Car' individuals continued to run on oblivious to the vehicles behind, I'd rather not see a fellow runner get squashed flat so perhaps a few gentle reminders at the start to just take an earphone out might help.
All in all top notch race, will definitely make this part of my spring marathon training plans in the future, shame you can run another 20 miler as prep for Snowdonia!!!! Date of review: March 18, 2012
In short: Average Race, Bit steep in price In full: Not done run this race before and having read the blurb on the race website, was expecting a little bit more. The course was pretty flat and had definite PB promise, however, the route is a bit dull. Yes its right on the coast, however you effectively run 3.25 miles in one direction, turn round, run back then run 3.25 miles in the opposite direction, turn round and run back to the start/finish. A lot of this is on a pretty tight cycle paths with runners coming towards you, making it a little bit tight in places. I think the plan for next year running from the stadium out along the coast and back again will be a vast improvement. The signage from the M4 was excellent, however there were long queues for the car park resulting in the start being delayed by 10 or so minutes. The toilets were pretty badly placed as the queue merged into the starting pen making it all a bit congested.
All in all it was pretty enjoyable, however didn't quite live up to the organizers claims and the price was a little steep, but worth a look if you fancy a break from spring marathon training. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: The Terminator: terminated my legs for the next 24 hours!!!! In full: First time at Terminator, and was disappointed that the sun decided to make an appearance, the race would have been even more hardcore in typical February conditions (However I am probably in the minority of loving a run in the pouring rain!).
Not as muddy as expected, but some of the hills were lethal even with minimal mud so I dread to think what they would have been like if it had been raining for the fortnight before. If you like scrambling up banks assisted by a rope, clambering over straw bales, wading through bogs, staggering up near vertical hills to the 'flag' only to find that the 'flag' is not the one you can actually see but the one way off in the distance, all topped off with a quick dip in the river then this is the race for you! If not then I would give it a miss!
Hats off to the marshals, great support the whole way round. Brilliant organisation by PVRC went without a glitch and great value for money. Even more chuffed to get a prize for my efforts totally unexpected, but very pleased. Events like these show the 'big' races how it should be done. Great like-minded runners made for a fab run, thoroughly enjoyed the whole race and can't wait for next year, with, hopefully, more typical weather!!! Date of review: February 27, 2012
In short: Great race for testing your speed, super quick!!! In full: Firstly, can I apologise to all the other runners, I was one of the 2 idiots who was slightly late and delayed the start by a minute or so, sincere apologies for making everyone wait in the cold.
Great race, really did what it said on the tin, pancake flat (an unusual feature for a S.Wales race!), plenty of space to run in, didn't use the water station today as the weather and distance didn't require it, but well manned. Marshaling was excellent especially the super motivator on the final turn onto the main road back.
Excellent tech T shirt in a full size range at a bargain price. One slight thing that could be improved would be to put up a couple of signs directing people from the stadium to the school, we were unfamiliar with the area hence didn't know where the start was, that is the only thing that could be improved on. Overall excellent job Lliswerry Runners. Great race to test your pace if your Spring Marathon training (and with few 8 milers about your likely to bag a PB!) Date of review: January 29, 2012
In short: Deserves to be a lot more popular, great start to 2012 In full: Great hidden gem of a race.
Race was very low key, but very efficient at the same time. No fault of the organizers but the toilets at the start were shut, however they directed us to the nearest toilets (which fortunately were open!)and we managed to get back in time for the start, so thumbs up for that.
I ran on the back of getting over festive flu and so took it nice and steady at the back (apologies to the poor runners around me for my constant coughing!) Seven hills over seven miles, first few were tough, the latter ones, had I been at full fitness were pretty runnable. Very muddy due to the recent rain, so very slippy in places and did see one poor lady lose a shoe. However, the hidden 'treat' came at just over halfway when a very friendly marshal directed us with a big grin down into the icy thigh high water and through a tunnel to cross under the road, this was repeated again just before the end, very soggy cold feet, but at least my trainers were nice and clean to get back in the car!
Great marshaling, thanks guys, great organisation, and despite not having my own dog to run with thought it was a really nice touch to have the Cani event start 15 mins before the lone 2 legged competitors.
Great start to 2012, only 1 quibble would have loved a medal rather than the earphone memento (interesting choice given the majority of races claim to ban MP3's!??!) would have been the icing on the cake! Big thumbs up, will definitely be back next year. Date of review: January 2, 2012
In short: Quick and Flat In full: Not the most scenic course, park pathways, a little narrow in places, but hats off to the other runners, everybody seemed to start in roughly the right place today I had no problems with congestion (I ran the masses). Would recommend this as an end of year test to see how your looking heading into Spring Marathon training as the course has serious PB potential.
Medal was low-key, however for £8 a medal is a big bonus.
No major issues with organisation, free car parking, easy pick up of numbers and 2 wave start an excellent idea on this course.
Organizers kept us updated on the runners world forum regarding the snow/ice risk for those travelling some distance.
All in all worth a go, no outstanding features other than a considerable chance of bagging yourself an early Christmas present in the shape of a big PB, and that has surely got to be worth it?!?!? Date of review: December 18, 2011