In short: Mud and hills and more mud In full: A tough course in glorious surroundings, the south Oxfordshire countryside. Made tougher by wet weather - in places it was slippy slidey thick cloying mud. Plus some decent hills. Great medal, with free iTab to follow. Apparently the race photos are free to download too. Organization everything it should be - plenty of marshals, course well marked, hot drinks and snacks at the venue. A good if rather dirty day out. I'd do it again. Date of review: November 29, 2015
In short: A bit lumpy but very well organized In full: My first outing on this one in over 10 years and those hills are not getting any flatter. But a fine course with lots of great scenery, excellent organization, everything just worked. Must say I prefer the old start to the new one, which I found a bit of a faff, but it won't put me off having another go next year. A pleasant day out, although I am a bit achey now. Date of review: November 1, 2015
In short: Excellent organization In full: Good venue, rapid number collect and baggage stow, plenty of loos (especially for the gents). Decent medal and T-shirt, active marshals ... excellent organization throughout. Lumpy course so forget chasing that pb. Thoroughly enjoyed the day even though I ran a crap time. I'll be back. Date of review: October 4, 2015
In short: Excellent effort In full: Top event. Cafe and shops at the race village, fast baggage stow and retrieval (important for me), pacers, results online within a couple of hours, nice shiny medal, plenty of water on course and at finish ... organization faultless. Course is flat and fast with a couple of underpasses and brief bottlenecks but tbh I don't mind because they stop me going too fast in the first mile. Purple Patch put on several local events, they're all excellent. Date of review: September 6, 2015
In short: Another excellent Purple Patch effort In full: Great race despite foul weather and muddy course. Organization like clockwork. The start in waves went well, plenty of marshals, loads of water stations (would have been useful had the sun been out instead of driving rain), nice bling at the finish. Excellent start and finish venues, efficient baggage handling, and results online by the time I get home. I've done this race a few times and several others by Purple Patch and I cannot fault them. Date of review: July 26, 2015
In short: Good little village-green community race In full: A fine local race along country lanes, start and finish on the village green. Big thanks to the locals for the water stations on a very hot day and especially to the Mums and brownies/guides for the tea and cake stall. Most civilized. I prefer a medal to a mug, but that's just me. Date of review: June 8, 2014
In short: Excellent event, as always In full: One of my favourites. Super venue, organization faultless, efficient baggage stow, lovely course, great marshals, lots of water stops, corker of a medal this year and one of the less expensive races.
Well done PP and see you next year. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Huge field has pluses and minuses In full: I was in the blue zone and finished in 1:48. Unlike some reviewers below I dropped my baggage and picked it up afterwards in reasonably good order. The queue afterwards was huge but it moved quickly and I ended up waiting for 9 minutes. Not bad but it was blowing a cold wind and threatening to rain. The cadets were working really hard and I think at times struggling to keep up with the sheer numbers. But not a disaster.
Rest of the race was good. Start was fast, course was busy but no real pinch points. Plenty of water stops. Excellent chunky medal and a decent goody bag.
Mass participation races aren't really my thing but this was a decent day out.
There are two things that no race organizers can have too many of - loos and baggage handlers. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: A decent day out in Reading In full: This is a straightforward no-frills 10K race with a decent and pretty flat course that takes you along the Thames for a bit and along the River Kennet and round about a couple of town centre streets. All the usual Purple Patch features including excellent baggage stow. Fast results this year with the new timing chip - finish the race and get a till receipt with your time, splits and overall and category positions. Impressed. See you next year. Date of review: October 6, 2013
In short: A tough but fun event In full: A basic village-green event, for hikers as well as runners. Very friendly folk, tea and food in the village hall, accommodating organizer.
The course has some pretty tough climbs,including to Leith Tower, from which stunning views. But also a lot of good and runnable sections. Challenging underfoot, though. Recent heavy rain meant mud and lots of stones and slipper tree roots. To be expected, but still ... the unwary (like me) can easily take a tumble or two.
The climb to the top of the hill at 20 miles is near-vertical, and pretty much trashed my legs from then on.
I've given this a max rating for pb potential because it's the only 40K I know of so pb is guaranteed :-)
Thank you to the organizers and marshals, I enjoyed myself today. Date of review: September 14, 2013