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
In short: What a great race! In full: I wasn't really looking forward to a 20 mile MT after recent lacklustre training but I'm so glad I turned up. A nice steady start for the first couple of miles, then the first good hill. These were hills for walking not running up but not so many that it turned into a stroll. The course was superb, scenic and challenging. Butser Hill was a killer. Marshalls very good. Even the weather was spot on. All-in-all this was a fantastic race. One special point - the water and food stations were the best I've ever seen. Bottled water, hot drinks, cakes, mars bars, bananas, jelly babies and orange slices! A brilliant touch that helped me for sure. Pity that some runners disregarded the request not to drop litter on the tracks. I will definitely be back next year. Top marks to Portsmouth Joggers! Date of review: March 2, 2009
In short: A suprisingly tough run across the beuatiful New Forest In full: Run starts from a campsite which is a great idea as there was an abundance of toilets and shower facilities plus food for afterwards. We were lucky that the torrential rain stopped before the race started. The tracks were well maintained in most places so not too much slipping around. So not as tough as some off-roaders but this meant you could run at an evenish pace - unfortunately I underestimated those hills and mine was too fast! A really good course that was very well marshalled. My only gripe might be the lack of medal and dropping of chip-timing as advertised - this made the £16 entry seem a bit high. However, I would definitely recommend this one. Date of review: January 26, 2009
In short: Very steep hills, mud and v tough In full: Maybe it was the Xmas excess but I found this very hard. The defrosting two-week frost also made for interesting terrain (ie either slippery mud or rock hard). The first hill set the standard - steep with semi-frozen mud). Then it just seemed to get tougher and steeper. Gave up trying to stay upright on the decline - sledging with your feet (or @rse). All-in-all this is a very well organised and tough race. 10 miles was enough! Will be back next year for more of the same! Date of review: January 20, 2009
In short: Great scenery and challenging hills In full: Shame about the weather but a great event. Lots of New Forest scenery and plenty of ponies! 2 good hills but still quite fast. A very nice Sunday run with a small field of mixed ability. Thanks to the friendly marshalls who stood out in that rain. Date of review: November 30, 2008
In short: Great fun again. Brilliant In full: This is a great event. A nice tough hilly course, freezing water, the bog of doom, and the sand hills! Really good atmosphere. The bog was much deeper this year so I reckon some <5 footers must have had to swim it! This year the course felt tougher but that might be my imagination. T-shirt is very good as was the goody bag.
Parking woes of last year seemed to be reduced this year although race start still delayed by 15 mins. But I did leave straight after my finish so may have missed the exodus.
Will be back next year for the same muddy fun. Date of review: November 17, 2008