In short: Another of Dr Rob's evil extravaganzas In full: Brutal drops and climbs, fantastic views from the top, great atmosphere, cheery marshals with jelly babies, great goody bag, bagpiper on the course, picnic spread at the finish ... a great event in every way and a real challenge. "Only" a half marathon but equivalent in effort to something nearer to 20 miles, I would say. Avoid steps and gradients for a day or so after doing this one. Flawless organization and a great day out. Roll on next year! Date of review: June 20, 2010
In short: Excellent race and remarkable value In full: A long-standing race with a good course and great organization. Excellent value too - you get a medal, T-shirt and other trinkets. One of the best races in the area. Date of review: May 9, 2010
In short: A good village-green 10K In full: A new course this year, with no killer hills but a couple of lengthy leg-sapping gradients which to be honest are compensated for by similar downhill stretches. As always, well organized by Reading Roadrunners with loads of marshals on hand. Well worth the trip. Date of review: May 3, 2010
In short: A really good and friendly race In full: This is a fine little event, very well organized, great atmosphere as part of a hospital fundraising fete day, and with a good course that's undulating enough to keep it interesting but without killer gradients. Good facilities at the start venue and a very enjoyable day out. Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: A nice little event In full: This was a nice day out, in a pleasant part of London and on flat trails. Organization was excellent, with plenty of advance communication, efficient chip handout and starting bang on time with phased starts. Date of review: March 27, 2010
In short: Fast and flat but not that interesting In full: This review is for the SPARKS half marathon not the 10K that has got mixed in below.
Dorney Lake is as flat as a pancake and four out and back laps of half of it (other half closed for construction work) were not as tedious as expected but the novelty had worn off after the first two. A decent pb course for many but not me. I prefer variety of incline and surface and found the monotony of pace and hard tarmac tough on the joints and muscles. Although good to be able to see the frontrunners throughout. Well organized I thought, although usual issue of not enough loos. Nice to get a copy of RW included too. Nice medal, and venue easy to get to for non-drivers (Taplow station, 10 mins by bicycle). I probably wouldn't do this one again but if you want a flat-out blast at your pb this could be for you. Date of review: March 14, 2010
In short: A tough course and well-organized race In full: This one has plenty of gradients and a course that in foul weather like today is quite exposed. A bit of a challenge. As always, well-organized with a decent medal. A friendly village-green race which I've done loads of times in the past will continue to do in the future. Date of review: February 28, 2010
In short: A bit of a mudfest at the venue, weather didn't help In full: Heavy rain and sodden ground at the start venue meant people huddled in the tents till the last minute. The ground was a quagmire, and some walkways would have been nice. Huge queues for the baggage tent, again possibly due to the weather making people delay. Start also was shambolic - I couldn't hear the PA or the hooter and had trouble figuring out where to start my watch. But once we got going it was fine. This is usually one of the better-organized events so hopefully this year was a blip. Well worth turning out for, a fairly flat course with good surfaces, and a nice medal and cup of tea at the finish. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: You can't go wrong with a 2:09 event In full: 2:09 do several events, and this one is typical. Smoothly organized, varied course through woods, along pavements and then along a towpath, a good no-nonsense no-frills race. I'll be back next year. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: Mmmmm ... pumpkin soup In full: Great organization, great atmosphere, lots of goodies and a great concept. And hot pumpkin soup afterwards - mmmmmmm!
Not convinced about the course being off-road though. Uneven surfaces caught me out a few times and the headlight illumination wasn't enough to see properly where I was putting my feet (even though I know the area well).
Definitely an event not to take seriously but as a social with a short jog included. Good atmospheric fun!