In short: Great event with a brutal course In full: They did say it was challenging ...
Excellent race with a great atmosphere. No particular niggles from me about the organization. Big thank you to the marshalls (they said 150 of them!) who were out in horizontal rain and worse on the more exposed parts of the course. To put on something like this is a huge logistical undertaking and as far as I was concerned it all went swimmingly. Unlike some others, the people with me got into the EP for free and were able to watch the finish. Stonking medal plus a pasty and a beer at the line, and T-shirt - makes this event superb value. I enjoyed the first half of the course more, because it was mostly off-road; once we joined the half mara course for the second half I found it tough going on the roads.
But all in all a fine event, all the more so for being the first. I'll be back! Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: Pleasant enough In full: I too was nearly caught out by the start, and had to run to be on time. No clock at the finish either. But otherwise a nice enough if unremarkable race - turn up, run and get a medal. I appreciated the tea and cake stall, and the start venue was fine. Couldn't find any loos so used a bush (which is why I nearly missed the start). Would possibly do it again. Date of review: October 4, 2009
In short: A nice little low-key low-tech run In full: Fantastic venue and course - three laps of Churchill's stately pile in rolling Oxfordshire countryside. No fancy chip stuff or anything, just turn up and run ... I liked it. Date of review: September 19, 2009
In short: Tough start but fast finish In full: First km is hard with a large hill but thereafter it's gentle ups and downs and you get to go down the hill at the end. The result is a faster course than one might think. A nice village green type of event with tea and cake stalls, burger and beer bar. Smooth organization and all in a good day out. Worth doing. And the 10:30 start makes it accessible to those of us who take the train. Date of review: September 13, 2009
In short: I did the 30K trail option and enjoyed myself In full: I didn't get lost like others did but there was one place where I think I went wrong and added a couple of miles. Have to say though that signage was a bit lacking in a couple of places. But I don't really mind because the fantastic scenery and atmosphere made for an enjoyable day out. Good start venue, supervised baggage stow, enough loos (that's a first at an event), plenty of water and jelly babies. Not an event for racing, more for trundling across some gorgeous rolling countryside and taking in the views. Date of review: August 9, 2009
In short: Excellent event! In full: Picture-postcard scenery along the Thames, smooth organization, flat course, secure baggage and not too crowded. There's a reason why this one sells out months in advance. Date of review: July 26, 2009
In short: A decent enough first outing for this event In full: Nice venue in Beale Park, fairly flat course with good pb potential although some parts were a bit uneven underfoot. Smooth organization, but a couple of action points - a kit tent and about 10 times as many portaloos next time please. A pleasant evening out. Date of review: July 8, 2009
In short: A pleasant way to spend an evening In full: Nice course through forest and along fairly good trails, nothing really nasty underfoot. Some short sharp climbs. A very hot day but shady for most of the route. Extra water station laid on, which was much appreciated and the sign of a well-organized race. Big goody bag and nice medal. 209 events tend to be good low-key and efficient races and this was no exception. I enjoyed it. Date of review: June 30, 2009
In short: A tough race In full: A great course, mixing country lane, trail and in places shaded woods. Several big climbs that sapped the legs on a baking hot day. Coupled with a village green fete to make a pleasant morning out in the fresh air in a lovely part of the country. A pretty good first effort by the organizers, my only gripes being not enough loos and the year not indicated on the medal or ribbon. But thumbs up from me and I'd do it again. Date of review: June 28, 2009
In short: A real test and a thoroughly eccentric event In full: The toughest course I've ever done - up and down the Box Hill escarpment. Those steps ... . A real test of fitness and determination, but by no means impossible if you've prepared properly and treat the course with respect. Glorious views from the top, and some surprisingly long and flattish stretches to get some proper running in before the hard grind of yet another 1 in 2 gradient. The course is also well sheltered, so foul weather wouldn't put me off. Superb atmosphere, a real party on the run, a sense of all being in it together and a convivial host and race director in Dr Rob. Flawless organization, including a great picnic spread at the finish line. Loads of water stations and jelly babies en route. A special thanks also to the marshals and water station helpers. Top marks all round from me - I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be back next year. Oh, and a corker of a medal, a real cracker. Date of review: June 20, 2009