In short: Quite tough run through beautiful countryside In full: Fantastic race: the weather was perfect and the scenery wonderful, especially above Streatley and back through to Compton. Very friendly event and plenty of jolly conversation during race. The trail was clearly marked and the water stations well stocked. Basically, this echoes everything that has gone before!
Not sure how many good reviews this needs to qualify for the annual best race in RW but this certainly deserves to be a contender. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Great race but not-so-great weather! In full: Much better than I expected (though no idea why I didn't expect much!). Good course, which was a mixture of Fleet and nice countryside. Support was brilliant and it seemed like all the residents of Fleet and the villages had turned out to cheer, despite the awful weather - wasn't expecting that! Plenty of friendly marshals and good organisation all round. I live in Reading and couldn't decide between that or Fleet (I find Reading too chaotic, too expensive and lacking in scenery, despite the fantastic support) - definitely made the right decision and will be back next year. Date of review: March 17, 2013
In short: Brilliant - road, wet, mud, hill, mud, mud, mud! In full: This fantastic run is a great way to end the year. The recent rain made the route very wet and muddy but slipping round the roman walls of silchester is one of the highlights of my running year. There are no boring bits on what is a lovely undulating route of grass, small roads, paths and ploughed fields.
This is a very friendly race with great marshals, good organisation and a lovely medal. It's also nice to get a slip with your time and position straight after finishing. Deserves to be real highlight on the regional calendar - this was my 20th race of 2012, and probably my favourite. Date of review: December 30, 2012
In short: Cold, wet and muddy fun In full: This is a brilliant race. Much muddier than last year and the streams were full, which made it a bit harder, but still great fun. The course is fairly gentle for the first 6-7k and then - ouch - the last bit up through the muddy field comes as a real shock!
The number of knackered but smiling faces at the end demonstrates what a good race this is - a must for anyone in the area! Date of review: December 3, 2012
In short: My favourite half marathon In full: I love this race. Yes, there is no chip timing and the start can be a bit chaotic, but the scenery is wonderful, the course almost flat (except the run up to the dam), and the organisers and locals are so friendly that you feel like you've been involved in something special.
The website clearly says that it is not a commercial, great north type event, but you come away with a nice medal, decent tee shirt, and the satisfaction of completing one of the most beautiful half marathons around. Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: Can't believe running 20 miles can be this enjoyable! In full: Eveything about this race was excellent - from the fantastic ease of parking to the numerous water/gel stops, the cheery marshals, the scenic route, the superb medal, the good number of toilets, etc, etc.
Also, in terms of runner cameraderie , this was one the best races i've been in for some time - real uplifting stuff.
Before this i wondering how the hell i am going to struggle round London next month, but this event has me champing at the bit! Date of review: March 20, 2012
In short: Great way to start the new year In full: This is a great race - the last couple of k are hard work but it's a slow and and steady hill rather than a steep hill.
The route shares part of its way with the goring 10k (which is on March 4th and is also lovely) and the countryside around this area is fantastic. The route is on quiet unclassified roads and feels very rural, so in route support is a bit lacking, though there is plenty of support at the top of the hill at the end.
Organisation was efficient and the marshals friendly and supportive.
My overriding memory of this race was a little boy giving out high fives to runners at the end of a farm track in the middle of nowhere - gives you a nice glowy feeling! Date of review: January 8, 2012
In short: Friendly race set among nice scenery In full: The 10min walk to the start means this is not really a race for the spectators (especially little ones).
Everything else was really good though - well organised and friendly, with a nice scenic route taking you through the forest. After a pretty firm and gravelly 7/8k, the ditches and slog up the muddy field came as a bit of a shock!
A agree, the wrong date on the mug is endearing. It also meant i didn't have to train on the 5th as i'd already done 5.3 miles!! Date of review: December 6, 2011
In short: Friendly, fun event in aid of a good cause In full: This was a really enjoyable morning and the organisers had ironed out the few niggles from 2010 (chaotic start, poor kiddies race) to make it a real highlight - the lovely mild weather helped too!
The goody bag was very good and the medal was one of the best i've had all year. My kids (5 and 7) loved the santas little helper race (which was around 2k this year, rather than 200m the previous year) and both really appreciated the briliant vocal support as they approached the finish, cheered on by hundreds of santas! Both want to be runners now.
Thames Hospicecare is a great cause and I hope it raises loads of money from this event. Date of review: December 1, 2011
In short: Fantastic, friendly race in wonderful scenery In full: This race was fantastic - the hill at 4-5k was hard work, especially for us non-hilly types. However, after 8k I thought it was flat to the finish so off i sprinted, which made the little hill at the end far worse!!
What really made this for me though was the great support all the way round the course. It seemed like everybody from the four villages was either running or supporting - even up in the woods there was plenty of support. Coupled with the great weather and scenery, this was my favourite of 2011 to date - well done to the organisers! Date of review: October 17, 2011