In short: Mud sweat and hills!! In full: I actually really enjoyed this race even though I don't normally do well at cross-country events.
A very tough run, I had been warned that it was hard but it was harder than I expected. Very muddy in sections, and some really challenging hills - by the time I got to the last one, I wasn't going to even attempt to run up it!
Excellent training run for the London marathon and superb value - I like the t-shirt!
Thanks to all the friendly and supportive marshals and the locals that turned out to watch us mad people run.
Only suggestion I would offer would be that some hoses or other means of getting the mud off would be good at the end.
Will definitely do this one again. Well done Chippenham Harriers! Date of review: January 26, 2009
In short: Still my favourite, despite one or two minor issues In full: This is comfortably my favourite half marathon for the simple reason that it boasts the best scenery I have ever seen in a race and the nice touches (a cup of tea and a bun at the end, and that's on top of the t-shirt and medal).
I was intent on just enjoying the event as much as possible this year instead of worrying about my time, but I know people who have managed a PB here so there is some potential.
I was a bit bemused by the fact that the t-shirt says 2009, does this mean I can regale my friends with stories of time travel? Will next year's have 2008 on it? I was also a tad disappointed that they had run out of the large sizes, surely there can't be that many runners needing a large?
Not sure what all the fuss is about with people being disqualified for wearing headphones, the rules expressly state this is forbidden which is quite normal from my experience, not to mention dangerous if the roads are not closed to traffic.
Wonderfully friendly marshals, thanks to all of you for braving the elements, especially the young lady at mile 10 who cheered me on just as I was starting to feel the chill!
One small quibble would be that a loud-hailer is needed for the pre-race briefing as I couldn't hear a thing and the crowd wasn't that big.
No reflection on the event, but do all the idiots decamp to Downton on the day of the race? A few drivers gave me some rude gestures, and I know some of the locals abused several of the runners last year. There are some sad people out there aren't there?
That notwithstanding, I plan to return and return. Date of review: December 3, 2008
In short: Another one which I hope becomes a regular event. In full: Another excellent event from Steve Goulding and grass roots events. I hope this becomes a regular fixture on the running calendar, not least because it's on my doorstep!
Flat-ish course, however not easy to get a PB given the conditions but nothing the organisers can do about that.
Nice medal at the end, good value for money but I would say that because I got a spot prize!
Nice atmosphere, results available almost immediately and a friendly awards ceremony which included a raffle.
Great way to spend a wet and windy Sunday morning! Date of review: November 24, 2008
In short: Another excellent event In full: Can't really add any more to my comments from last year. A fantastically well-organised local event that puts many bigger half marathons to shame. (I don't imagine anyone came away from this without a medal..)
Good to see the event growing every year with about 2000 participants this year. The number of supporters around the course seemed to be up as well!
Bit unfortunate with the weather this year, it was a tad too hot for most people's liking - still it certainly brought the crowds out.
Only quibble I have was that there were no energy drinks at the end - it might have been better to have one less on the course and one in your goodie bag.
Will definitely be back for my fifth time next year! Date of review: October 13, 2008
In short: Well done Chippenham Harriers for a superb event! In full: Think all the previous comments say it all. Very well organised, the only cavil being having to park so far away from the start - but at least it gave me a warm-up!
The marshalls were extremelty friendly and supportive, especial thanks to the young lady who cheered me on in the last mile when I had already hit the wall!
Very flat course, little bit of an uphill in the first mile but a fast downhill finish was to die for! Knocked more than 3 minutes off my previous best so very happy with that.
Good t-shirt and goodie bag, a medal would have been a nice addition though. Bit crowded at the start but the sports club made a superb finish area and gave friends and family a good day out.
Well done Chippenham Harriers - choosing this over Bristol was definitely the right move. Please please please make this a regular annual event! Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Too hot and too hilly for a PB.. In full: Went into this race with the romantic idea that I was going to get a PB, but after 3 miles I realised that in the heat that was probably out of the question. In the end I was more than happy just to finish in under 2 hours.
Also, as someone has stated, none of the hills are hideously steep but there are enough of them to slow you down, and my legs tell me today it was a tough course!
Organisation was much improved from two years ago, the only quibbles I have was that the gun went off when most of us were still walking to the start line and if there are only 3 drinks stations we really need bottles instead of small plastic cups in that heat.
However, well organised and supported, thank you to everyone who came out to cheer us on, it was every bit as hard as it looked! Nice medal and a great goodie bag (a huge difference to the infamous can of soup at Bristol last year..). Very nice of the gentlemen handing them out to thank us for coming along. A sign on the way out thanking people for supporting the race was also a nice touch.
I'm not sure I'd drive all the way from Swindon for this race with the ever-spiralling cost of petrol, but the event deserves more than a maybe in this category. Well done Gloucester AC. Date of review: July 28, 2008
In short: Could well become a club classic In full: My third year at the Bourton half, should probably have given it a miss as I was unwell earlier in the day but this isn't one I'd want to miss.
Start was a little chaotic at first but the emotional pre-race briefing made everything clear. I thought it was lovely of the organisers to re-name the race in someone's memory and the message on the excellent race t-shirt was also very touching. I will treasure mine.
Same as previous comments, course is tough but the worst is over in the first mile. Apart from that and mile 8, just a nice, undulating course.
Fantastic scenery, plentiful water and sponge stations, friendly marshalls and fellow competitors. Thanks also to the locals who took the time to come along and support us - high-fiving the kids always makes the race more fun!
Love the timing of the race, it means I get my long run out of the way for the weekend and can spend my saturday evening enjoying a few well-earned pints with total impunity!
Superb value at nine quid and yet again I was staggered not to see anyone I knew from Swindon. This is the kind of race I want to do every year and if more people read these comments it could well become a classic.
My only slight quibble was having to use a pay and display car park but the organisers did provide a free massage at the end so that more than makes up for it yearly.
In short: Wonderful evening race, one for the calendar every year In full: Really enjoyed this race for the third year running (no pun!). Still very congested at the start but I was selfish this year and got very close to the front. Fortunately I didn't get trampled on by faster runners.
Not really a PB race, in any case I find it a lot harder to do a race after a busy day at work. But to be honest this is a race where you should enjoy the scenery instead of worrying about your time.
I had no problems with the marshall at the finish line, in fact he was nice to me this year. However I am disappointed that some of my fellow runners had issues with him, I wish the organisers would take note and remove him from such an important position. Also, where are the results please?
Loved the memento this year, a lovely wooden bookmark. For a bookworm like me it's a very useful reminder of one of my favourite events. Date of review: June 16, 2008