In short: Mixed feelings - a lovely race but dreadful start and finish In full: I was really looking forward to this race as the idea of running on roads that aren't normally accessible is great. And running along the motorway without traffic is what I'll remember about this race and makes it special. The route around the lanes was v pretty too - undulating and yes the hill was tough (I had to "power-walk" up it), but I loved all the cheeky signs leading up to it too. Marshalls were great - v friendly and encouraging and deserve lots of praise.
The not so good. The start was a bit of a farce. I heard the announcement in the event village that start was delayed so I hung around a bit longer and headed over with the what felt like the hoardes. I started to find my pen, only to be told that the race had already started and I should get moving. Really bizarre - and trust me it wasn't like I was on my own. As a result, many people hadn't started in the right place and the route was congested all the way round.
The finish really frustrated me too - a couple of sneaky hills through twists and turns to find an invisible finish. When you are on your last legs looking for that final sprint finish, it was really frustrating. I guess its logistics but a finish on the bridge would be awesome.
Fortunately I missed the parking chaos at the end as was being picked up on the English side - seeing as the majority of runners were from Bristol, perhaps change the start to the English side next time... ?!!
Having said all that, I scrapped a tiny PB, but that was more about my training than the course to be honest. Will I be back? I'm not sure - the logistics of getting there and back might outweigh the desire to run it again. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Sunday mornings don't get better than this In full: Completely loved it - from the last post (why does this always make me cry) to the last lot of mud. It's completely crazy, but I end up laughing the whole way round. It's very hard work too, but this isn't about PBs. I'm still finding mud in places I didn't know possible. Ok - so cleaning my kit and boots afterwards probably takes longer than doing the race, but well worth it. Great organisation, lovely smiley enthusiastic marshalls and a perfect autumnal day. And thanks to Mark from Hogweed (I think) who was out of a run when I asked him where the start was (as I'd managed to get completely lost in the town) and he kindly gave me a lift to the start. Runners are the nicest people in the world - it's official. Date of review: November 11, 2012
In short: A cracking day out In full: This is tough - but fortunately at the back we were content to walk up the hills. It's a great course that really shows Weston off at it's finest with beautiful views out to sea and the cliffs. The hills are tough and the downhills challenging so forget about PBs. Organisation was superb with v v friendly marshalls and the bag collection was very slick - I thought the bag bracelet worked v well as is much better than an easy to lose sticker or tag. See you next year. Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: I haven't laughed so much in ages.... In full: I absolutely loved it! My first year of doing it but will definitely be back. Leave your watch, your ego and your dignity at home and have an insane Sunday morning of bog snorkelling. The support was amazing, the marshalls very uplifting and the scenery great (although I probably spent more time looking at the feet). Organisation was faultless and shower facilities great. The 2 minute silence and last post was very poignant and a reminder of how lucky we are to be able to run. Please don't change a thing (not sure I was saying that whilst mud-skating up the hill, but ....). Great job Bitton. Date of review: November 15, 2010
In short: Not sure if I enjoyed it or not..... In full: Fortunately I managed to park in car park next to the start as I didn't fancy driving aimlessly around Stroud and it made it very easy to just walk a few mins to the start. The first half of the race was lovely and scenic with great support and well-manned drinks stations. And the weather conditions were perfect. For me it all went a bit wrong during the various single file sections as I had a reasonable pace going (well for me anyway) but kept getting stuck behind slower runners and walkers so would have to accelerate quickly during a gap in the traffic or slow down behind them as lorries thundered past me. And after slowing down it's so hard to speed up again. The industrial estate was dull, but at least it was traffic free and the drumming band deserve a huge round of applause. It's more indulating than flat, but every uphill was immediately followed by a downhill so it didn't matter too much. The finish was great with lots of support and noise and easy to get out of quickly. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Faultless organisation In full: It was way way too hot for me and my time was embarrassing, but the weather and my lack of preparation isn't the organiser's fault. It was very scenic, although country roads do start to look the same after a bit - but I'm being picky here and is obviously preferable to some of the industrial estates I've run round in other races. It's a great flat route, apart from the hill at mile 11, although the reward is a downhill finish. However the reason for doing this race is the organisation from start to finish. Marshalls organising the parking, somewhere to leave your bags, plently of loos (and another marshall to point people to the empty cubicules - thanks for that). All the marshalls on the route were clapping and cheering and the water stations very well manned. The finish was very slick, no queuing for baggage and routed quickly through the finish tunnel to meet friends etc. A banana, cereal bar, Luzocade and great quality technical T - the perfect goody bag for a great price. Please don't make this any bigger as it's the perfect size now. I'll be back next year - hopefully it will be cool and drizzly though ....just for me. Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Well organised and very flat In full: Well done to Chepstow for organising a simple, under-stated race; just how I like it. No frills and a bargain £8 for charity. Many thanks for providing signs off the motorway as they were definitely needed. Ladies loos were a bit lacking, but I appreciate this is a football club. Marshalls did a great job and the route is quiet, reasonably traffic free and perfectly pleasant. My only gripe was that I thought the finish was earlier that it actually was (I thought the cones and marshalls by the car park exit was the finish and the tiny finish sign further up was hidden by people) so I stopped early, but unless anyone else got it wrong, then it was probably me being an idiot and light-headed - although annoying for me as I missed out on a PB as a result. Definite PB course though :-) Date of review: August 2, 2010
In short: A very friendly feel - perfect for duathlon virgins! In full: (Review of Bristol 30K event) - As a runner who is looking to dip their toe into the world of multi-sport; this was ideal. It was women-only, so no egos (!) and very beginner friendly. It didn't feel at all itimidating so I didn't feel like a complete numpty when I turned up on my old mountain bike! Registration was easy and all the staff at the start had a big friendly smile on their faces. During the race briefing I was worried that I didn't understand the route, but apart from counting my laps, it was very easy. The only real complaint was the the distances were completely wrong - I had my Garmin on me and the run was just over 2 miles and extra distance on the bike made it up to 30k. (Ok - I might have been a bit relieved when I was doing that final run, but there's no point in advertising it as 5k when it isn't!) I live just off the Downs so even if my Garmin was wrong, it's a route I do all the time so I know it's short; eg - the 5k Race for Life covers the other half of the Downs across Stoke Road. If I were a decent cyclist, the turn around points would annoy me, but I can appreciate that otherwise the race would need to close Stoke Road, which is very disprutive to traffic. It was expensive, but I think that's part of moving from running races to multi-sport unfortunately. Post-race massage was REALLY good and the bottle of chilled water was much appreciated along with some great snacks. Will be back next year - having had 1 and 2 months of cycling to my name, rather than the very un-prepared 2 months of cycling I did for this event! Date of review: June 28, 2010
In short: No chance of a PB, but a great local race In full: I did this as a last minute thing and am really glad I did. It's quite a hard course and ideally we wouldn't need to run up a grass bank near the end but it was very well organised and the marshalls did a particulary stirling job. The whole event had a nice friendly feel, especially as there was the children's race beforehand. Let's hope Kraft doesn't close this one down too. Date of review: May 17, 2010
In short: The start was very confusing, but the goodie bag made up for it. In full: The start was a bit of a nightmare - I was in the queue for the loos (5 loos for 1000 competitors!! - more next time please) when we were asked to move to the start line and I looked behind me to see at least another 50 people in the line. Came out the loo and everyone had gone so had to run up the lane to find everyone and I could see that everyone had chucked their tops in the hedge to retrive later. So not the greatest start, but appreciate it's better than running up a little pot-laned lane. Water stations were really well manned with lots of encouragement being shouted. Runners were very friendly - I chatted to lots of people whilst plodding at the back. And this is the best goodie bag ever ever... when Â£30 events like the Bristol Half give you a cotton T shirt and a tin of soup... here we got a great sweatshirt that I can actually use, a cheese sarnie with crisps (EXACTLY what you want at the end) with biscuits, bananas and chocolate. Well done to the organisers. Date of review: March 22, 2010