In short: It helps if you like hills In full: This is one of the half-dozen races I pencil into my calendar in January. Cleeve Cloud (an area of Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham) is one of the glories of the Cotswolds, and in this race you see it as nature intended. Great field, great marshalling - all in all, a lovely run. Hard work, mind! Date of review: June 8, 2007
In short: Another triumph In full: I've done this race many times - this is at least the third route! Much better than last year, lovely open roads, no congestion and very well marshalled. I can't understand why people are complaining about water stations - you shouldn't need to take on water in a 10k, and certainly not at the first station which was only about two miles in. Date of review: May 23, 2007
In short: Strictly average In full: Who ARE all these people who thought the course was "flat". I lived for 20 years in Bredon (at about 8 miles) and the drag up from Aston Cross to Bredon is NOT flat - and it kills stone dead any chance of a PB. Well, for me anyway (I was six minutes outside my PB). Good points? The weather (provided you finished under 90mins!), plenty of water stations, and the location (I was able to cycle to and from the race) Bad Points? No changing facilities, no baggage storage, poor supply of loos, crowded start.
My main gripe, and this isn't really the fault of the organisers, is that this year the half marathon started at the same time as the 5 mile race. I saw a club colleague up ahead going like a train at about 1 mile, so I bust a gut to catch him, only to find him turn off on the 5 mile course. That blew my race, as I got to 5 miles in record time. In previous years, the 5 mile race started at a different time.
I'd probably run the race again, mainly because it's my local half. But the course sucks, and no amount of good organisation will make up for a sucky course. Date of review: May 14, 2007
In short: Over-hyped In full: My twelfth marathon, and my last. For all its many great qualities, I profoundly hate running London. From the clueless registration (why not just send the numbers?) to the endless clamour at the roadside which meant I couldn't hear my MP3 player, I found the whole experience just depressing. However, I realise that one man's poison is another man's meat, and all the things I hate about it are aspects that other people find inspirational. So I will be watching in my armchair next year, but running? Never again! Date of review: May 2, 2007
In short: Surprisingly wonderful In full: The RW Marathon training schedule for sub-3 hours suggested that I find a half marathon and complete in under 1h 23m. Only one runner - the winner - managed that in the Hogweed, which shows what a tough race it was. Never mind that - what a joy! We were blessed with a glorious spring day, and a really beautiful course, with some killer hills, but fabulous scenery. Organisation was fantastic, marshalling superb, and despite it being about my third worst half marathon time (out of more than 100 races) I'd run this again for sure. Date of review: March 12, 2007
In short: Bring back road running - all is forgiven In full: Why oh why do I run in these races? The Dursley Dozen. The Cleevwold Multi-Terrain. I hate them. This was by some way the worst of the lot, because not only did it have tons of steep descents (which I hate) but some of the deepest and slipperiest mud in England. This sort of thing is definitely NOT my scene, but if you like going really slowly for 8 miles and coming back weighing about a kilo more than you started (thanks to the mud) then this is for you. Me, I'll stick to the 10k road races thanks very much. Date of review: January 21, 2007
In short: A challenging start to the year In full: I've done this race many times, and it never gets any easier (though there was no black ice to trip one up this year). The first half, with the wind behind, was just to sucker you for the much harder second half, where there were one or two climbs into the wind. Some people here have bemoaned a lack of on-course support, but considering the terrible conditions who can blame them? Someone else remarked that only allowing one cup of water was bad, but I would suggest that for a short-ish race such as this (in cold conditions)most experienced runners would not take on much water at all - it's better to be properly hydrated before the start. Date of review: January 9, 2007
In short: Good race, good organisation, worth the trip In full: Having failed to get in to my first choice (the Cirencester 10k) I scouted around for a replacement. This was just the ticket, though a bit further than I'd normally travel. The organisation was very good, nice friendly people and the weather was kind. I wasn't expecting the change of surface at about two miles (it moves from tarmac to a rough gravel track for about half a mile) nor the hill at about three miles. But I would probably do it again (if I'm passed over for the Cirencester 10k next year!) Date of review: September 25, 2006