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
In short: Cornwall Coastal Marathon In full: Once again a fantastic event at a fantastic location. I upgraded to marathon for this one and it was worth it. Weather was kind so terrain was firm (in most parts). This coastal path is breathtaking but I spent most of my time looking at my feet jumping from boulder to boulder. First half was tough but fun - second half was much easier going. As ever I think the markers could have been better in places - I saw one group of runners who scaled a 2-300 foot hill which you were supposed to just go around! I went off course a couple of times (got called back) and saw many others do the same. It becomes an issue when you find yourself on your own (which happens a lot when there are less than 70 runners). I love these runs - really challenging, great scenery and run by a good bunch. Recommended to all. Top marks for the chilli as well!!! Date of review: April 14, 2009
In short: The usual excellently organised big race with the heroes finish In full: As big races go, this is an excellent half marathon. Brilliantly organised, well marshalled and excellently supported. I like the course which has a few steady hills in places. The finish in the stadium is brilliant, one of the best. I see a few comments about difficult pacing because of the crowds - my view is that you have to expect this with such big races (but you get the great atmosphere and support missing from smaller runs). But to reduce the issue some people really need to be more honest (realistic) in their starting places. There were plenty of red numbers coming in after the 2 hour mark so they had clearly got it wrong. If I was to complain about anything on the run it would be the limited water stations (3 I think) and the soul-destroying there-and-back outside the Madejski at the end - surely they can find that extra mile somewhere else?
I will be back next year - probably my favourite big race. Date of review: March 30, 2009
In short: Like normal a great race and great weather In full: This is a consistently good race. Excellent marshalling and a good finish. Pretty rural so nice and scenic. A good few up and downs to keep you busy. The support was out and helped a lot, as did the perfect early spring weather. I would prefer an earlier start so the event doesn't take up your whole day. And I still miss the support you got when the course ran all the way up Reading Road Sth. But this is a very good event, definitely worth another visit next year. (PS ditch the goodie bag, its a waste of time) Date of review: March 17, 2009