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
In short: Fast and flat and pb potential on the right day In full: Good venue and as others have said, a flat and fast surface and course but somewhat uninspiring, twice round a rowing lake. That said, the time seemed to pass quickly and it was enjoyable enough. Exposed to the elements, so if the weather is foul or hot there's no shelter or shade. Nice medal. Easy to get to by public transport, good baggage store. A bit disappointed that the chip time started with the gun, not crossing the line, but the results were up by the time I got home - impressive. A pleasant day out. Date of review: June 6, 2009
In short: A great town-centre race In full: A fine race - starts and finishes in the town square, excellent loo and other facilities in the vicinity, loads of folk out to watch and the locals seemed happy to have us. This is the only race I've done where the mayor was handing out medals in his chain of office! Near the railway stn, which is important to us non-motorists. I liked the course, which was varied enough to keep it interesting, both in scenery and profile - the ups in the first 3K were noticeable but not killers. An excellent goody bag (medal, T-shirt and a cotton shopping bag). Only very minor gripe is that the year isn't shown on the ribbon, but I can live with that. Great finish atmosphere, plenty of pubs and cafes, and this emigre Cornishman was pleased to see a pasty shop just 200 yards from the line - the icing on the cake, really. I'll be back! Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: A fine event In full: A surprisingly green and wooded course, apart from a few pavement sections. No huge inclines but as ever, over 13 and a bit miles you're going to have some inclines. But as it's a circular route what goes up comes back down. Excellent organization and an amazing goody bag with medal and T-shirt and other things for one of the smallest entry fees around. Also an excellent start and finish venue. It was a hot day, so I certainly appreciated the abundance of water and sponge stations. Definitely one of the best events around. Date of review: May 10, 2009
In short: A nice day out In full: A no-frills local 10K - turn up, pay a tenner, run the race. Coupled with a fete on the village green. Nice course, more scenic and rural than the previous one. Particularly appreciated the baggage tent - important for non-motorists who can't stow their gear in the boot. I'll be back next year if I can. Date of review: May 4, 2009
In short: Unexpectedly challenging In full: Credit to the organizers for finding a rural off-road course in the suburban sprawl of west London. It was harder than I expected but good fun nonetheless. Good choice of start venue, with a shopping centre nearby for the family and within easy cycling range of the railway station. A nice no-frills no-nonsense 10k to work off the Easter chocolate. Date of review: April 13, 2009
In short: A nice event but over-organized In full: I echo what Sleepy Lion said earlier - there was a lot of mailings and imho an opportunity missed to earn more money for the cause. For the price to get a T-shirt, traffic-free course, medal and chip timing is very, even excessively, generous given the fundraising cause. Tbh I would have done away with the chip and put the money to asthma - the start was spacious enough for everyone to be across the line within seconds.
The venue was nice, the course flat and straight although a bit windswept and desolate. Supervised baggage storage was excellent. The PA system was poor, I couldn't hear the safety talk and speeches properly. Unlike another previous reviewer, I had no trouble spotting the distance markers.
A good and enjoyable event and I'll be back, but I reckon it could raise more for the cause with a little less organization, if you see what I mean. Date of review: April 11, 2009
In short: Very good race In full: A friendly, sociable village green type of 10K, in a very good cause. The course is hardly inspiring, but then it is Frimley! That said, it's nice and varied with some inclines (none of them killers) to add some spice. A couple of comments. 1) It's all in densely-populated suburbia so we gents have to use the supplied loos rather than a bush. There were enough portaloos, but only just. You can't have too many. 2)Parts of the course were along the pavements of busy roads, so care is needed in places. But no complaints from me, and I'll be back next year. Date of review: April 5, 2009
In short: In danger of becoming a victim of its own success In full: The organizers are clearly bigging this one up to rival the GNR in the numbers game. That's fine, but the start venue was creaking at the seams today. I gave up on the baggage queue and stowed my gear on my bike instead. With some 15,000 runners the course was crowded throughout, although apart from the baggage hall it all went smoothly enough and is clearly a big undertaking so credit to the organizers. But it's expensive, and I wouldn't turn out if I didn't live in Reading. In short: great for the first timers, charity and do-a-challenge runners, less so for the more experienced and club runners. But a nice day out all the same. Date of review: March 29, 2009
In short: What a great day out! In full: First running of this event, and it was top notch. Start venue excellent, mixed-terrain and superbly scenic course, cheeriest marshals I've seen for a long time, African musicians at the pub partway round, no queues or delays, supervised baggage stow (which matters to a non-motorist with no car to leave gear in), medal and quality T-shirt. Nothing to find fault with, tbh. The sun was shining and it was a lovely day, but even if it had pelting with rain it would still have been a great race. An exemplary event. I'll be back! Date of review: March 22, 2009