In short: Gets better every year In full: 5th time that I have done it and the race gets better every year, despite what seemed a further increase in numbers the whole thing ran very smoothly. The two-wave start did seem to work well. The course is very scenic and makes a very interesting run, the marshalling is just spot on and the new finish in the field rather than next to the leisure centre is a great improvement. Only suggestion would be a couple more toilets at the start to cope with the increased numbers but that is a minor point. Looking forward to 2012 already Date of review: July 25, 2011
In short: Well organised and charming In full: A very enjoyable event, well-marshalled and well organised, being part of the flower show makes for a nice atmosphere. The course is quite undulating but PB potential is high as this is about the only 7 mile race that I know. Good to have a race on a Saturday and we were very lucky with the rain, which stopped about 10 minutes before the race began. Date of review: July 18, 2011
In short: Excellent event all round In full: First time that I have actually done this one, having missed a couple of years through injury at the wrong time, and very pleased that I have done so. The race is surprisingly hard - the hills come at the end when you are already tired - but that just adds to the challenge and enjoyment.
The organisation is superb all round, from the start area to the plentiful and encouraging marshalls, well-placed drinks stations (with bottled water and lucozade) and a scenic and hard but very fair course. Best of all was the finish area, a scenic grassy field, with delicious free cake, a brass band playing and an excellent goody bag.
An excellent complement to the North Downs Run, just pleased that they are a couple of weeks apart so that I can do both as these excellent events both sum up why I am increasingly looking to do these trail runs rather than yet another road race. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Just a great off-road race In full: This race simply gets everything right - plenty of parking and toilets at the start, a superbly scenic course, abundant and friendly marshalls and water stations, great technical T-shirt and delicious cake at the end. It's well organised without being over-organised and clearly - as someone has said - organised "by runners, for runners" It's certainly challenging but that's what makes it so much fun. The changes this year were for the better (eg the extra toilets) and kudos to the organisers for taking the comments on board but in all honesty I would advise them not to bother with the chip timing if it adds to the cost, given the length of the race and non-standard distance a couple of seconds either way makes no real difference. As others have said, this is really the high spot of my racing year and I expect it to remain so. Date of review: June 20, 2011
In short: Superb scenery, well organised, what better way to spend a Sunday morning In full: My second time doing this race and it won't be the last. This is a classic friendly and well-organised local event - no chip timing or gimmicks, just a well-organised and friendly event in beautiful countryside. Certainly not one for PBs given the hills, stiles etc. but challenging and satisfying to complete. A particular thanks today the to gentleman who stopped to help me up after I took a tumble in the valley section. Also thanks to the numerous marshalls and those staffing the numerous water stations. Date of review: June 5, 2011
In short: Well organised race in beautiful countryside In full: A very well organised 10 mile race, with excellent marshalling and superb scenery. Certainly quite hilly so not really a PB route. I agree that a clearer start and finish line would have ben helpful but these are very minor points. Quite a back-to-basics event with no chip timing etc. and very much a real runners' event but not so serious as to be beginner-unfriendly Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Well organised and excellent course In full: A very enjoyable race (helped yesterday by the excellent weather). The race is well organised and the marshalling is excellent - with marshalls being efficient and friendly, an object lesson in how to marshall in a busy urban environment. the route along the river is very scenic and the early start means that there aren't too many competing users of the towpath and the race finishes before it gets too hot. The start/ finish location is good and the pint glass preferable as a momento to yet another medal..All in all excellent and truly welcoming to a wide range of abilities Date of review: April 11, 2011
In short: Decent training run for a Spring Marathon In full: As a training run for a Spring Marathon this was pretty good - though the four-lap format and rather dull route meant that it didn't rise to the standards of the Cranleigh and Surrey Spitfire events from the last two weeks. The event was as well marshalled as anyone could expect but even so there were some slight near misses with cars turning in/out of crossing roads, just a symptom of how difficult it is to hold urban races in our overcrowded country. Generally well organised with a good start/ finish location, my only slight gripes being inadequate numbers of toilets so that a number of people were still queuing at the start and poor directions to the start (not everyone has sat-nav so a postcode alone isn't quite enough). Overall, though, a good low-key event. Date of review: March 28, 2011
In short: An excellent training race In full: A very well organised event and ideal as training for Vienna or another spring marathon (!!). Everything about this low-key event is well thought out - from the well-marshalled course, with three loops to keep things interesting, beautiful scenery, well-placed water stations. It was interesting to see so many people running who had been at the Surrey Spitfire the week before, these two events certainly help get through the long-long training runs. Date of review: March 21, 2011
In short: Well organsied and ideal training run In full: Like its Autumn companion, this is an ideal organised training run for those in marathon training. The course is excellent, with the bit round the airfield reasonably flat and spacious allowing the field to spread before the road section and quite a lot of the race on scenic quite country lanes. The drivers, even on the main road were pretty courteous (though I may just have been lucky). The parking is ample and well organised and having it so close to the start is ideal. Directions and signposting to the start had been improved vs the Autumn. Marshalling and water/ gel stations were well organised, friendly and enthusiastic. Could have done with just a couple more toilets as the queue was quite long and I know that some people missed the start but that would be a matter of just another 3 or 4 units. I also thought that the course was slightly short (19.89 miles) but that is within the margin of error for a Garmin so I may have been wrong on that and in any case doesn't really matter as this isn't a "standard" distance anyway. Date of review: March 14, 2011