In short: 2013 Race Review In full: Still as great an event as when I first encountered it in February 1985 with snow on the ground and then known as the Seven Sisters Marathon.
No snow this year, just glorious weather all day and with a welcome strong westerly breeze to assist in the final 10k over the Seven Sisters cliffs, which must be the hardest finish to a marathon anywhere.
Great bonhomie throughout with the traditional Scots Piper atop the first steep climb from the start and bands to entertain runners as they pass through villages enroute. As ever an event for the marathon gastronome with food aplenty at the many feeding stations and a filling hot meal at the finish in St Bedes school.
In short: Hope it continues for another 30 years at least! In full: “One of the most iconic races in the UK and Europe” certainly lived up to its reputation with Istead and Ifield Harriers really pushing the boat out for the 30th running of the event.
There was even celebration beer at the half way pit-stop!
Brilliant Marshalling and support all the way – the whole local community seems to get behind this event.
A very tough course but through some of the most scenic countryside in the south – worth taking your time to savour for those not too hooked on times.
Hope it continues for another 30 years at least! Date of review: July 22, 2013
In short: A Great Event In full: Slightly larger and longer than when I first participated 29 years ago when it was dubbed the “mini marathon” and somewhat less than ½ marathon distance with a much smaller field!
Well done to the council and all organisers and volunteers for a great and expanding event.
In short: Little Village Big Run In full: An excellent small event organised by Little Gaddesden villagers to raise funds for a new Sports Pavilion.
The superb undulating course across the Chiltern margins is a mix of cross-country and quiet roads taking in the beautiful Ashridge Estate, on to Nettleden and then back via Hudnall with a sighting of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery on the return leg. Don’t expect a quick time.
Friendly villagers turned out in force across the countryside to direct, hold kissing gates open and urge runners on.
Very low key organisation with no apparent official timekeeping and limited prizes (no age classifications).
Tea and cake village fete atmosphere at the finish. Not enough souvenir adult size T-shirts to go round – maybe next year!
In full: A welcome new event on the running calendar and thanks to Burnham Joggers for organising another quality cross country to supplement their excellent and enduring Cliveden Cross Country earlier in the year.
The Beaconsfield 5 mile trail provides a welcome opportunity to explore the historic Hall Barn Estate with its rhododendron groves, pergolas and picturesque lake.
A gently undulating course through woods and across open spaces provides front runners with the chance of a fast time for the distance and is a nice scenic run for all.
In short: Always a fantastic event! In full: Always a fantastic friendly event across some of the best scenery on the south coast and a tribute to the organisers with brass bands and pipers to spur participants on.
Loads of food and drink at the checkpoints and probably one the only marathon where you can put on weight during the event if you try hard enough (and great to be greeted by the coastguards dispensing drinks before Birling Gap) and there’s a free meal at St Bede's school at the finish to round off the event. Superb all round! Date of review: November 16, 2007
In short: A great event! In full: Thanks to Tring running club for a very special well organised event every year. A tough course with some notable climbs and the reward is some excellent scenery in full autumn colours through Ashridge Forest along the historic Ridgeway path. Thanks and keep it going folks! Date of review: October 29, 2007
In short: A friendly local race on a challenging course. In full: Used to be tougher when it was a 10 miler years ago, but 10k is about right on this 'undulating' terrain where some the steep downhills probably compensate for the challenging long uphill finish on Gallows Hill. Apparently the 25th anniversary of the event 1983-2007 according to the nice finishers medal (and I thought my maths were bad!?! ;-)) Overall a good worthwhile event that I always enjoy. Date of review: October 16, 2007
In short: A great little event for trail/country enthusiasts who are not hooked on times. In full: A very friendly low-key trail run over a beautiful and challenging 10 mile course blessed by fine weather. This event is so low key that you don’t get a pin-on runner number, you are just asked to remember the number you are told when you enter (write it on your hand!) and the course way-marking is a bit economical at times so it’s good advice to tuck the typed course directions into your shorts just in case.
I enjoyed the event immensely and only lost my way once (within sight of the finish I nearly missed a lengthy loop of the woods put in presumably to make up the distance!)
A great little event for trail/country enthusiasts who are not hooked on times. The free cake and tea at the finish with a personalised commemorative certificate dispensed by friendly helpers were very welcome.
In short: One not to miss! In full: I have run the NDR most years since 1985 and it just seems to get better. This is the event where the organisers have thought of everything - great attention to detail with the course waymarking and even orange paint highlighting of protruding roots, stones etc on the shaded woodland paths - particularly appreciated by ‘marathon shufflers’ like me! Bringing the event forward two weeks this year made the Kentish floral scenery throughout the tough course even more vivid with some fields appearing as white as fresh snow, and of course the myriad poppies. Friendly support, plenty of drinks and jelly babies from the many marshals – what more could one ask for?! – a great event every year. Thankyou. Geoff Hickmer.