In short: Would have been lovely if not for rain, wind, hail, floods...... In full: Hilly, but not suicidally so. This year, there was thunder, lightning, hail, torrential rain and roads flooded to ankle-deep, but that isn't the organisers fault! Somewhat took the shine off the scenery though.
Great value, with a decent T-shirt and a medal, bun, biscuit and tea! Low-key (300ish runners), but good, friendly organisation.
Slight lack of marshalling at the end when coming back through the village, where the traffic is heaviest.
Would do it again, but maybe not in these conditions! Date of review: November 26, 2006
In short: If you are happy running uphill for 5k, you'll be fine In full: About 4k of the first 5k is uphill, about 4k of the last 5k is downhill. But the uphill is a fairly long stretch! Not PB material, but you can be reasonably fast on this course.
Quiet country lanes, very little traffic, good views (from the top of the big hill).
You don't get sent your number, you pick it up from the race HQ. Not a problem, no queues, but it's not mentioned on the entry form so don't get anxious when you get nothing from the postman.
Not a lot of road 10Ks around at this time of the year, and I would think that running this in typicla November cold or driving rain wouldn't be much fun. But it was a nice day and I enjoyed it!
In short: Not easy, but not too long In full: Mostly on woodland tracks or across reasonable paths through fields. Flat, up, flat, down, flat, up (ouch), down, finish. Exposed my lack of fitness at the moment. Think it may be a little shorter than 9k, given my time. Not a big field, but range of abilities. Date of review: June 11, 2006
In short: Excellent small-town marathon In full: Not getting in to London, I wanted to find a marathon with a reasonable size field for my first attempt.
This is a good small-time race. Not quite the atmosphere of a big-city half or full, but some good, enthusiastic support all the way round both laps. Enough people in the Marathon field not to feel too lonely.
Water stations every two miles, with the one at 2/13 miles serving it in bottles. No sports drinks, but as pointed out elsewhere, it is rarely the organisers that pay for the drinks, but the sponsors, which is why you only tend to get them at big events. Part of the challenge of the marathon is planning how to get carry your nutrition with you.
The course certainly isn't hilly, but there is a reasonably longish hill at 7/17 miles that doesn't seem bad the first time, but bites the second time.
Yes, the start is a bit congested, but not too bad. If you don't want to be delayed, get to the front. There is no banding according to time, but hey, when does THAT ever work!
Nice medal, no free T-shirt, but I picked up a nice one for a tenner (I likes my souvenirs).
I'd certainly recommend this to somebody looking for a spring marathon that isn't London.
In short: Good fun, excellent organisation. In full: My second time for this race and one I intend to do every year. The facilities are great, the marshalls and organisation spot on. Definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit! Date of review: December 13, 2005
In short: Scenic trot through the trees In full: A highly enjoyable trot through the trees. Mostly flat(ish), with one long gentle and another short sharp uphill, but nothing too testing. Strangely slow, though - perhaps it's hard to get grip on the fine gravel tracks. Organisation splendid for a first race, free oak sapling to all finishers! Date of review: June 20, 2005
In short: Singing Santas keep you going, but sand saps your strength In full: A wonderful atmosphere for a 10k. The fancy dress keeps you smiling, but a good flat course makes for a serious race. The sand (which covers about 40% of the course) is more tiring than the road, so not the fastest course - Ms J and Dr C still managed PB's though! Date of review: December 12, 2004