In short: Excellent organisation, fabulous marshals, scenic but extremely tough course......so great for marathon training! In full: When I entered the race I ignored the previous years reviews putting these down to first year teething problems and hoped they'd be resolved for 2013 and I wasn't disappointed, they were!
The organisation and pre-race email communication could not be faulted. Marshals were plentiful directing you on arrival to the car park and race registration.
The race briefing was thorough and informative and the race started on time.
The marshals and water stations around the course were fantastic, especially in the adverse weather conditions!
The course was tough, especially after all the rain and was not made any easier with the freezing temperatures and biting wind. Mud, water logged areas, hills and wind were plentiful but there was also miles of dry track and some road, certainly not a PB course! A varied course which certainly tests your stamina, so great for marathon training!
Thank you for a great race.
I certainly will be back for 2014! Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: This race just gets better and better each year! In full: 2013 was my 4th outing at the Spitfire 20 and I wasn't disappointed.
Perfect start, the race HQ had been relocated just a little further down the track which meant you didn't have to walk across the wet grass to get to the HQ from the car park, so not more pre-race cold wet feet.
Efficient race/chip collection and right next to the car park. I was able to leave my car just 10 minutes before the race started, perfect.
I love this race, but it does help if you like Top Gear as the first 2 miles are on the track and then repeated for miles 11 and 12. The route out in the lanes is picturesque and the marshals all the way around were absolutely fantastic. The water stations were brilliantly manned. Just a fabulous atmosphere.
I managed to finish the 20 miles with a PB so I was absolutely thrilled. The great finishing touch to this race is the Race Director standing on the finishing line shaking the hand of every race finisher (I got a hug too for my PB!)
In short: Excellent organisation, fabulous marshalling, amazing crowd support. The course is never too crowded with runners and the cheering crowds just keep you going. See you in 2013! In full: My only gripe is the goody bag, which after the one we got in 2010 was so disappointing, but that aside would have been disappointing anyway. Just a few token bits that seem to be in every big race goody bag this year; pistachio nuts, fruit flakes and mini coffee treats. For the race entry and that fact it's a marathon I would expect at least a good bar of chocolate! Medal however is fantastic and a good t-shirt. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: I did the half marathon and it was a great route very scenic and thoroughly enjoyable, however I do have some criticisms. In full: - The start of the race was very overcrowded with no pens and no clear signage where to go. - The water stations were brilliant and those manning them were very supportive. Unfortunately some of the marshalls looked extremely bored less than an hour into the race! - I was disappointed that there was no goody bag for the entrance fee, however I really liked the medal. - The signage for baggage and changing facilities could also be greatly improved. - A final comment on the marshalls. My friend was doing the full marathon and was run/walking towards the end. She did not welcome a marshall telling her at mile 25 that she was 38th in the walkathon! Not funny! However most of the marshalls were great, it was just a few who made my wonder why they'd volunteered!
In short: A great 20 miler for Marathon training and even if you just fancy running 20 miles! In full: My 2nd year taking part in this race and some good improvements on last year, notibly the slight change in course and parking next to the start. I really enjoyed this race last year and did so again today, I will hopefully be back next year. Great marshalls and so supportive, an interesting but challenging course (I'm sure those hills are made steeper the 2nd time around!) and great comaraderie between the runners. Plus I got a PB by well over 4 minutes, see you next year and hopefully I'll run it 24 seconds and break that 3 hour barrier! And finally I got to see some of those famous landmarks from Top Gear including Hammond's boat! Date of review: March 13, 2011
In short: I hate hills but somehow loved this race! In full: - Great organisation, brilliant motivating marshalls, Jelly Babies at every water station! - Very tough course, I ache in new places but amazing scenery and picturesque throughout the course. - I was well towards the back of the field but was still cheered on as much as the front runners and there was great comaraderie between all the runners. - Amazing goody bag; spectacular medal, technical t-shirt, glass paper-weight and best of all free full English breakfast!
I still hate hills but I'll see you next year! Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: Challenging hills all the way, great scenery, superb crowd support In full: This was the first time I had entered this race having spent the last 6 years avoiding hills!! The course was certainly challenging but with the great crowd support and scenery you were slightly distracted!! Enjoyed it much more than I expected to, great organisation and will see you next year! Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: Anticipated an amazing race, sorely disappointed! In full: The pre-race information, FB up-dates, etc. made me think this was going to be an amazing race, sadly I am so disappointed.
On arrival car parking was goood, baggage easy, toilets as expected at a race of this size! All good so far, but then there was the chaos of the start. Absolutely nobody went to the pens they should have been in, it was chaos, especiallly with the toilet queues in the middle of the sub 1.45 area!
When the race started I can only describe it as frightening with all the pushing and shoving. The park area could not cope with the number of runners and many were forces to run along the grass dodging trees, posts, etc. This was not easy with the low blinding sunlight (not the organisers fault and much preferable than rain!), but because there was not space for eveyone along the path extremely dangerous.
With the route not being cordoned off in places short cuts had come into play which involved running up and down kerbs with spectators in the middle, again dangerous. It took 6 miles for the field to spread out enough that I didn't feel like I was constantly dodging people and no longer feared for my own safety!
I did manage a respectable time and the goody bag wasn't too bad.
This could be a terrific race but the start needs to be sorted out and there has to be fewer runners.
In short: Excellent organisation. Very welcoming, beautiful scenery, hills challenging especially in the heat, friendly water stations, great medal and a fabulous atmosphere at the end with the band playing.....see you next year! In full: I did the 20k and was a bit nervous after reading that it was easy to get lost (I have no sense of direction). I cannot comment on the other distances but the 20k was very well marked and I had no issues except the realisation at 12.5 miles that I wasn't at the fire station and it was going to be longer than 20k, more like 13.58 miles according to my Garmin! Date of review: August 9, 2010