In short: 200ish runners, nice route - apart from the iron grid bottle necks. Ideal for most runners. In full: I fancied doing this as it was quite new. There were only 200ish entries so it was nice to enjoy no queues to get chips and numbers. The village hall is warm and had drinks/cakes available for a small charity donation. Very nice. A few vendors were there too selling the usual running kit. Parking was ok, not many signs were on approaching roads but I'd researched the address the night before. There is a small car park at the village hall / race HQ but it soon filled up. There are a few other roads nearby that had free parking. It wasn't an issue if you turned up an hour early. The race itself starts on the field by the HQ. 1 lap and then you head off onto a decent track up by the river and under the main roads heading towards Canterbury via an underpass. The view is very nice in general. The turn around point is a park which swings you round nicely, although it was a bit muddy, to head back along the outward path to head you back home. The main drawback to this course is the 'cattle grids' that cross the path 3 times or so, out and back. The event organisers had placed thin ply wood over these to make them a bit safer but they were cracking and only a meter wide, leaving half of the gates impossible to run on unless you had a long jump! It wasn't an issue for us leading the main pack but it would be interesting to hear what it was like in the heavier traffic. It also caused a bottle neck on the return when running against the ones still on their way out. Spectators were also forced into using these causing a few problems. This would hinder the more serious runner seeking a PB. A thicker cover that was secured better would have made this a lot safer and faster for some. The race director did point out that there was a problem before the start as some covers had been taken the night before.
The finish area was compact but adequate for the smaller field to finish, lose the chip and collect a medal. The refreshments were ok when I got back but seemed to be running low for the ones finishing after 50mins+. I didn't see them refilled but I wasn't there long.
In all a decent chip timed event on a flat course. Ideal for most, if not aimed at more casual runners due to the cattle grids. I'd run it again if the cattle crossings were made a bit more safe and wider.
In short: A tough but not off putting run. Nice route through Bridge and surrounding country. In full: You'll need to be near the front if you want to avoid the bottle neck going out into the country - quite a narrow path with potholes. The hills are tough but not too bad. It's all downhill after the 3rd at 7 miles. My only gripe this time was 2 phone calls after the event from the organisers, first asking for my feedback on the race (nice!) but then trying to sell me insurance or a loan?!
In short: A pleasant route and well organised with nice support from the marshalls all the way. Save energy for the killer hill on last mile! Good choice for novice runners too. Date of review: October 1, 2009