In short: Hardcore mud. This is Hellrunner x 100 In full: After a week of pouring rain, expectations of a soft-under-foot-course were high but bloody hell! Not done this one before so expected Hellrunner equivalency. First couple of miles tricked me into a false sense of a flat, not too soft course. Then we hit the sand gullies filled with cold water. Appearances can be deceptive – what looked like one foot deep turned out to be three foot in places so the swimming commenced. Then it started pouring with rain and blowing a gale. Then we had to run through a two foot stream for 50 metres. But the best was saved until the last two miles. Thick, thick bogs of mud. This is not Hellrunner “Bog of Doom” dirty water trench – this was waste deep thick mud. Runners had to help pull other runners out! Any hope of a fast run completely disappeared – it was just about finding a route that you didn’t sink more than two feet into. Much like Hellrunner but tougher course (although there did seem less hills), not over-subscribed and without the parking issues. Definitely will book this again. Muddy fun! Date of review: November 23, 2009
In short: Great organisation, dull and repetitive course In full: Race base at school was good and race was very well organised. Start was delayed by 5 mins but no worries. However start is down a fairly narrow road so if you're not at the front you have a problem (like normal take you PB minus 10 mins to get a realistic start point). Sadly the route quickly moved onto a pedestrian/cycle path that was far too narrow for all the runners. The last few days of heavy rain meant you couldn’t run around on the grass verges. This made the first couple of miles slow going. The course is flat but pretty monotonous taking you round the old and derelict HMS Daedalus base several times. Out to Stubbington and then to Lee-on-Solent before, once again, running around Daedalus. Water-flooded roads made this interesting but thankfully the weather was kind after the preceding day’s storms. The highlight of the course for me was the run along the prom at Lee.
Numerous supportive marshals around the course so thanks to them. The goody back at the end was excellent. Not the usual rubbish but a drink, bag of ready salted crisps, cake and a nut bar – makes a change not to bin the lot.
Great organisation but I wouldn’t rush back for this repetitive course.
In short: As ever a great event with beautiful views In full: You can't fault the course of this one. Through the beautiful New Forest on a sunny Sunday morning. A few hills to keep the muscles working but nothing too tough. Good crowd support in many locations given the rurual area. Good marshalling.
I would like to moan about the late start (my third year and 3 late starts). Especially irritating as I was swapping from full to half, was late, and had to run to the finish to swap race packs, run back to the start, only to then warm down for 10 mins waiting to run. Also noticed that some mile markers on the course seem to be based on last year's start location which was some yards lower down the main road in New Milton.
Still a great race. Will return next year. Thanks to the organisers.
In short: Superb race, well organised and beautiful scenery (42k) In full: I think I must have been on a different race to some of the negative comments! This is a great race. Why?:
- car park next to start - well organised chip issue at fire station - plenty of toilets (nice touch the fast moving men's stand-ups) - decent OS map in plastic wallet - beautiful day (and not too sunny which was a result) - frequent water stations (with orange/lemon squash, bananas, jelly babies) - fantastically diverse beautiful scenery. Fields, woodland, hills, valleys, rivers, dense forest, tracks, country villages, a race course, town centre with the Cathedral and also some roads (but not a much as some are describing so perhaps the shorter distances were different). - good signing across route (I can only think of 2 occasions where I was not certain but then a yellow marker appeared) in addition to the map. - good amosphere with friendly runners
You can normally spot a good race by the number of 100 club members there - they were out in force for this one.
I would recommend this race to anyone who wants a challenging trail marathon that you can run (or walk) at your own pace and lap up the West of England's scenery.
In short: A brilliant tough warm muddy run with big big hills In full: Did this last year and thought it was tough. Running it reversed this year seemed much much tougher. Nice and sunny but extremely muddy is some places. Were the hills much bigger this way around or I am now less fit? Regardless it was a top class event again. Great marshalls. Good course. Good atmosphere - I pulled up for half mile or so when I thought I might have pulled a muscle when I slipped on a muddy bridge - the number of people who checked if I was ok as they passed by was unusual and helped motivate my restart (so thanks). Only wish I had read the race details as I was expecting another mile at the end - so might have been able to run it a bit quicker. Will be back next year. Date of review: August 3, 2009
In short: A cracker of a race! In full: First time I've run this one and it was excellent. Located in a park with loads of parking and some events/slides/food to keep the family happy while I was on my run. Course is pretty flat and very fast with the gravel paths being quite easy work. Marshalls were in abundance and very supportive. Good crowd support at end. Chip timing. All for a bargain £12. Will definitely be back next year. One of the best runs in the area - definitely the best 10m (but there aren't enough of them anyway). Date of review: July 13, 2009
In short: Hilly and hot but excellent.Top marks again for a really great day. In full: This has become probably my favourite road HM of the year. The weather has been a belter for the last 3 years (too hot for some I guess), the fun run keeps my kids happy and the beautiful park it starts and finishes in is perfect to stay in for the rest of the day. The actual run is quite tough as the course is really pretty lumpy so you never find a comfortable pace. Numerous water stations and I always enjoy the lolly at the end. Parking alway bad but this year using the Premier Foods car park would have made things much easier - if only they had had a sign or marshall at the roundabout so everyone could have avoided the pointless 20 minute queue into the park only to be told to u-turn and go back! I will be back again next year - this is a truly great venue and enjoybale sunshine run. Date of review: June 15, 2009
In short: Good event but serveral problems needs addressing In full: OK I really enjoyed the day except for running too fast and suffering for it in the last 8 miles. I can't comment on the water stations drying up as they were well stocked when I went through - but I was glad that I had a hydration pack as they just werent frequent enough. Normally when you get a scorcher forecast good organisers lay on extra stations and extra bottles - but not here. To judge the event I would say:
Excellent crowd support. Very friendly and supportive. Beautiful scenic coastline run Fast course definite PBer if not for the heat Good grandstand finish after a 1m downhill
Not actually in Edinburgh except for start 4m Too narrow in places for the number of runners - full road closures needed There-and-back is a bit boring Not enough water stations and they need consistent layout.
Would I do it again? Yes but not because of the course or the organisation - but because Edinburgh is a great city.
In short: One of the best runs in the calendar (again) In full: The Hook 10 is a great race. Small in runner numbers but has the feel of a bigger race. Great course with a few inclines and some scenic country roads. More water stations and marshalls than most races. Not big crowds around the course but all very supportive. Excellent finish. The post-race food and drink spread is better than most big races. I can't recommend this one more. Date of review: May 18, 2009
In short: A scenic, flat and fast 10-miler along the river In full: A good sized field turned up for this race on a beautiful spring morning. Race director should have had a pa/megaphone for the pre-race verbal but it didn't matter. Mile marker 1 was well short but I suspect that was due to the last minute course adjustment because of road works further on. The race is along flat footpaths and towpaths and can be very fast. No hills, just a few steps up at Richmond Bridge. PB potential definitely. A few dog walkers to dodge but no major congestion as the runners all got thinned out by the starting 2 laps on the field. A lovely Thame-side run with enthusiastic marshals, a good support at the finish and a great commemorative pint glass. Well worth the trip. Date of review: April 20, 2009