In short: Very good organisation, fab scenery, nice goodies, challenging course In full: I did this event previously when it was just 9 miles. On each occasion the event proved to be challenging in places, yet very rewarding. This was complimented by the very friendly marshalls/helpers, the very good organisation, the facilities before & after the event (special mention for the very fine port-a-loos) and the very reasonable entry fees.
I highly recommend this event to anyone, regardless of ability as it caters for all. And, being entirely off-road, no vehicles to impede your flow and enjoyment through the lovely scenery. Mark it in your calendars!
Only one minor issue, as a helpful suggestion: perhaps the announcer(s) at the beginning of the race can be issued with a PA system of some sort and a step-ladder so that the announcements (some of which are very important) can be heard by the majority rather then just a few people on the start line.
Thanks to all involved for a wonderful event. I hope to returnn. Date of review: October 23, 2014
In short: Very scenic course, nice facilities, well marshalled, poor finish memento In full: First time at this event. Did the 10 miles race. Very undulating with 2 toughish climbs: half-way and at the end. Otherwise, very scenic, easy tracks and paths. Good enough for road shoes if conditions dry. At 6 miles it merges with 10k runners. Not too much of an issue, unless you are a bit further back, then a slight 'bottle-neck' can occur. No big issue though as most tracks are quite wide for passing/weaving.
Nice to have access to Pub and the facilities are good, with play area for Children and grass area to cool down and meet up with friends/family. I agree with others that the finish memento could be better. A naff, cheap canvas bag with a chewy bar. That's it! Although an announcement at the end did say that the sponsor would have done better if not committed elsewhere. Maybe next year it will be better.
Nice 'spot' prizes and category trophies and vouchers.
Only a minor point for the organisers to consider: the 'turn-around' at just before half-way was a bit odd and slightly disconcerting. Surely the course can be extended elsewhere to cut out this bit? I thought that i was going wrong when i saw runners coming towards me????
This is a 'must-do' event for any runner of any ability as both race distances cater for all. It is very scenic and in decent weather (as it was this year 2013), it makes the race even more enjoyable. Put it in your race diaries for next year.
Many thanks to all the race organisers, Marshalls and helpers for putting on and managing the event. Well done to you all. Date of review: April 21, 2013
In short: Excellent facilities, good value, well organised, great cakes! In full: First time at this event. Would recommend it for many reasons: well organised, good scenic, rural route, superb pre and post-race facilities, great marshalling and fab cakes.
The route: definitely NOT fast as plenty of grandients up and down. However, it is on mainly quiet country lanes and fairly traffic free. However, one section does pass along a busy road that leads back into Cranleigh. This can be slightly uncomfortable when being passed by fast moving traffic and quite close! Also, section through Cranleigh is a biit of an obstacle course and could be awkward with big groups running through. The 6 miles loop though is very pleasant and more rural. Well signed and Marshalled course throughout.
Fab facilities at the Leisure Centre for a welcome hot shower after. Needed it this year(2013) as it was bitterly cold with snow flurries. Nice selection of cakes and nice to have post-race massage available. Plenty of shops and cafes in Cranleigh and only a few mins walk from the Leisure centre.
Only minor points: perhaps just have one, clear announcement at the beginning at the start line. I didn't see a need for 2 separate announcements by 2 different people as they were almost identical in their content! A bit confusing and only useful for the few people on the startline in front of the announcer. Perhaps a countdown aswell and would be nice to have category prizes as well as finisher's memento.
In summary: a great road run, well marshalled with great facilities and cakes. Superb value for the entry fee.
Thanks to all the Marshalls, helpers and organisers, particularly for standing out in the awful weather this year(2013). A credit to you all. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Great organisation, nice course, scenic area, good support, naff medal In full: First time at this event, which was spoilt by the awful weather. Apparently, it has been very good weather in the past. If so, it would make this a really enjoyable race as it is very scenic, on quiet country lanes(mostly) and starts and finishes in the grounds of the lovely Exbury Gardens. Worth a visit during good weather. Nice tea-room and plentiful, clean toilets add to the overall enjoyment of the event.
The route does meander a bit with 2 gentle slopes and a 500m section on shingle that will slow you down. The last 1KM through the grounds is very welcome. Plenty of Marshalls all around the course and every supportive. Many thnaks to them all and the organisers for the event. Credit for standing out in the awful weather.
Just one minor gripe: the finish memento medal this year(2013) was very poor quality. Perhaps something more worthy of the entry fee for future races?
Thanks again to all for a wonderful morning out, despite the relentless rain!
I'll be back and will encourage others. Date of review: March 20, 2013
In short: Very tough race, superb organisation, wonderful Marshalls, a bargain too! In full: As has already been mentioned by many others, this year's race was a true challenge. The appalling weather was relentless. It would be a tough course in fine Summer weather! A few suffered hypothermia and didn't complete the course, but probably wise to have a DNF rather than risk more severe physical problems later.
A huge thank you and credit to the organisers and especialy the Marshalls and various other helpers for standing out in the extreme weather and for so long! At least we runners were moving to keep warm. The 'feed' stations were well stocked and generous. The route was very well marked and the pre and post race facilities were excellent. Hot drinks and an abundance of cakes, etc at the end were needed.
This is an event that any 'seasoned' runner could do, but don't under-estimate it! If the miles don't get to you, then the climbs, bogs, ice-cold water, mud and cold probably will at some point. Arrive well prepared with plenty of layers, etc.
Having run the Grizzley a few times, there isn't much between these two events in terms of toughness. The Grizzley has the hills, but also the long sections of shingle beach. They are 2 events that are well up there on the scale of a tough challenge.
Put it in your running diaries for sometime in the future. You have to run it at least once. In good weather, the scenery is a bonus! Date of review: February 11, 2013
In short: Expensive, poor memento, quickish course, quality field In full: Organisers: please replace the 'dull' mug with something decent in the future as a memento! For the rather steepish entry price we should be presented with something a bit better. Enough people have commented on this in the past.
The Mug is good for: Storing paint brushes Storing your dentures at night Getting correct levels of Oats for Porridge or Pasta Er, not much else really!
Organisation was quite smooth even with the interuption caused by local Gasworks that affected part of the course this year. The beginning and end of the course is quite boring, but the middle section, which is semi-rural is quite pleasing.
This event always attracts a high calibre of entrants from far and wide across the UK. This adds to the atmosphere and makes for an interesting race for the spectators and good club runners. However, it is not all 'elitist' as there is a far mix of ability, gender and age throughout, which makes it an attraction.
Thanks to the organisers, Marshalls, helpers and everyone else involved in making this event happen. Long may it continue. Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Well marshalled, signed route, good facilities, very flat course, but exposed to coastal weather & muddy in one section In full: First time on this new course. Very flat, but twisty course and exposed on long sections along the coast, which meant for a bit of a slog in places when the wind 'kicked in'. Otherwise, this could easily be a PB course. Just don't expect too much with coastal weather in Winter! If you want guarantee of 10 miles PB, then try Maidenhead 10.
Great Marshalling and very supportive & friendly. Well signed route and enough drinks en-route. Nice facilities at start and finish. Naff medal though. Reasonably priced entry and nice range of category prizes.
Be aware that with only one main road on and off the island it can get congested leaving the island after the race.
Just one minor suggestion to the organisers: please can you use an alternative to handing out bottled water on the course as this is a tremendous waste of water just for a few sips. Not a complaint, just thinking of the environment and terrible wastage of a precious commodity.
Thanks to all the organisers, helpers and various other people for putting on the event. Much appreciated. Date of review: November 26, 2012
In short: Superb organisation, wonderful Marshalls, great atmosphere, lots of mud and great value. In full: A faultless race and one to put in your diary if you haven't done it. It is deserving of all the praise given it over the years and should continue to be a very successful event in the future. I first ran it when it was known as the 'Beagle Bash' and approx. 10 miles. I've run it several times since and it never fails in any aspect to please. This is an event that many other race organisers would do well to use as a 'role model' for organisation.
The course always changes, but always has the first 1 mile on the road and the last mile on roads and paths. In between: mostly off-road, flat and very muddy and wet in places. Quite energy-sapping, but like others have said, it brings a smile to your face and makes you glow all over.
The facilities at the School are superb. Changing rooms, showers and plenty of bogs. Nice touch to have water hoses at the end to rinse off the mud and a recycling area for trainers, etc.
Nice range of prizes and good non-technical long-sleeved t-shirt and 'goody' bag. More than just a bag of leaflets, as in some bags at other events.
Just a couple of small suggestions: perhaps trophies or something similar instead of vouchers(very limited use) for winners prizes and more of a range of refreshments in the sports hall for post-run recovery. Only minor things, not a complaint or a moan.
Many thanks to all those involved in the organisation, the Marshalls and other helpers for putting on another great race. Long may it continue. Date of review: November 13, 2012
In short: Great scenery half way, friendly marshalls, value for money, needs slight route changes In full: For a first time event, it went quite smoothly. always a test and the organisers did quite well. The start and finish area is good and nice to have good catering & refreshment facilities and merchandise outlets. The fab weather helped!
The course: very mixed terrain! Strongly suggest varying the start and the run through the underpass. Potentially very dangerous. OK for the first few front runners, but could be a prob when the masses stream through. After that, a nice meander on back roads across fields, then up the long climb. Steepish near the top, but fab views. As a 'local' i knew what to expect. There is a long descent, followed by a long, straight, flat 5 miles on tarmac back to the finish. Lots of loose dogs here, so could be a prob. I nearly tripped over one of them! Some Marshall positions and route signage needs to be tweaked a little as not very clear. Particularly, as Tom Frost said, the Marshall at the start of the old railway line just off the main road was standing in the wrong place. I suggested that she move forward near the split in the path. She agreed. Otherwise, the rest was good. Plenty of Marshalls and all very happy and helpful. And plenty of water stations. Perhaps introduce cups next time? A huge waste handing out bottles just for a few sips!
Nice goodies at end, but agree, the medal was a bit 'naff'.
In summary: a very challenging route, great facilities and a nice city to run in. Just needs some slight changes and this could be a great race for the future and become popular.
Many thanks to all the Marshalls, helpers and organisers for a great event and thanks to nature for the superb weather.
In short: Tough climbs, great scenery(when not misty!), great organisation In full: 1st time at this race and ran it after running in the Devil run at Hindhead earlier in the day. Butser challenge is tough, but rewarding, even more so when the weather is better. Great to see so many Schools and children getting involved, particularly in the really poor weather this year(2012).
All credit to the organisers, marshalls, helpers and the musicians for providing musical accompeniment in such harsh weather conditions.
I'd definitely recommend this race, although i did clock it as just over 5 miles accoring to garmin watch, which is one of the more accurate models.
Put this event in your respective diaries for next year.
Thanks again to all involved in putting on and helping with this event.
Keep on enjoying the freedom & simplicity of running. Date of review: September 23, 2012