In short: Pleasant local race In full: Challenging enough, gradients abound on the backroads of Gillingham (Dorset). Friendly...good marshals...everything you would expect from a local running group. 3x as many runners this year as last, I wonder why? Date of review: November 3, 2013
In short: A mini classic In full: Everything about this event is sooooo satisfying. The venue; Shillingstone railway station - long-closed, but the hub of a thriving group of railway enthusiasts; cafe, souvenirs etc. This year the Car-park contained vintage vehicles (remember Rootes, anyone?) The course; it's the 10 miler that thinks it's a half-marathon. It is no disgrace to walk up the hills. The first 4 miles must surely be one of the most satisfying runs of any race, anywhere. - a hideous climb followed by a long downhill stretch, both through glorious wooded countryside. ....excellent marshals, good car-parking, lovely tea and cake available, plenty of toilets.... Great mementos. This year one of those Jack Sparrow headgear things...you know what I mean....and a shopping-bag. Look at the cost! What a bargain! Organised by runners, for runners. Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: Hard but fair In full: A real challenge - 3000ft of climb (seems more..)over a variety of surfaces, with the worst being the rocky/stony ankle-twisting, sole (and perhaps soul)damaging climbs and descents.I tripped twice and kept my feet, on the third occasion mr. chin took a rapid visit to pathland.
Both years have been dry underfoot (this year it started raining after 4.5hours), if there was rain for any prolonged period it would be an 11 difficulty race.
Friendly folk marshaling and on the plentiful water-stations - plastic cups. Excellent tee-shirt and medal. Nice little goody-bag (includes local beer) and a Purbeck ice-cream as well.
Showers would be nice, but I won't lose any sleep over the lack of them. More Jelly-Babies would be nice.... Date of review: September 15, 2013
In short: Both hunky and dory In full: Good course...undulating, but not 'silly' hilly. Lovely tech. tee-shirt. Lots of changing and showers. Cakes. Huge vfm. Friendly folk. Not traffic free, but well chosed route on quiet back roads. 'By runners for runners' Date of review: August 26, 2013
In short: Well organised and friendly In full: Review for 50k run.
Good course, toughish but fair. Well marshalled and signed - could be slightly better over last 5k, a small issue. Well stocked water-stations. Friendly marshals and others. A good cause Plenty of people on course, with both runners and walkers making for a good atmosphere. I recommend it, I have done 10k twice, and the marathon and 50k run - all have been good. Date of review: August 11, 2013
In short: A hidden gem In full: Liked this a great deal. Traffic free - what a treat! Well chosen course with enough ups and downs to make it interesting, nice scenery (and the lovely little town of Nunney) Very well supported en route, as well as at the finish. Plenty of water-stations, with bottled water! - I always carry one of those sport's-cap things for bottles, makes drinking much easier whilst running. All the marshalls/water-station folk were very friendly and supportive. Chip-timing - your position and time (plus 10k split) immediately after run Plenty of toilets Good baggage system Excellent car-parking Good facilities at the football stadium (food, bar etc) All very professional, but still with a local feel. Date of review: July 22, 2013
In short: Made an interesting change... In full: 26 flat laps, road shoes used on the firm parkland grass. Free parking and lots of it at the rather interesting Littledown Centre - busy sports 'hub' with lots going on plus it has a cafe etc.
The organisation and facilities for this small marathon are basic - chip timing is good, organisers friendly, course well marked (a whitewashed line to follow).I enjoyed the multi lap format, no surprises around corner and psychologically it was good counting down the laps. One has to prepare oneself to be lapped (perhaps many times) but lapping others is rather fun. Nice medal and a pair of 'proper' running socks at finish. Would be nice to have a little more on the drink station (you can put your own bits and bobs on it) there is just water and energy drink plus some gels (which I never use - sticky and horrid tasting, IMHO)'proper' changing/storage facilities and showers would also be excellent....a tec-tee would be nice as would a slice of cake and a banana at finish.
On the whole it was a worthwhile and positive experience. Date of review: June 15, 2013
In short: Inoffensive, dullish but worthwhile In full: Good - Well marshalled Water in bottles Lots of car-parking Technical tee-shirt Challenging, but not 'over-the-top' fully on tarmac and not many problems with cars course.
Not so good- More toilets needed at hq No changing facilities Would be nice to have specific full-marathon tee-shirt rather than a joint half/full one -I want people to KNOW I did the 26! Out in the sticks, rather than in grand Worcester itself More 'stuff' at water stations....there was energy drink in cups but nothing else A banana, a bun...whatever...with the bottle of water would have been nice
Other stuff- No medal - I don't mind, many will No goody-bag - matter of taste
Ok on the whole, certainly better than the first year