In short: Tough course made easier with excellent organisation In full: This was the third time I have run the Oakley 20 - and it doesn't get any easier! I was surprised to get a PB this year as I started the race knackered!
The start was delayed a little - probably due to the long queue to drop of bags. I would encourage people to turn up really early - for the bag drop and car parking.
Once underway the race was well marshalled and the regular water stops were appreciated. As always, the last 1/2 mile through the housing estate was frustrating - but I guess the roads around Oakley don't allow for infinite permutations of route.
At the end we were greeted with water, bananas, oranges and SIS energy bars - all welcome. And the hoodie is very popular - especially with my other half!
If you're training for a spring marathon then this is a good training race. The hills are challenging - but that just makes a flatter marathon that much easier. Date of review: March 29, 2010
In short: Well organised; appreciated the wave start; loved the drummers In full: I am really pleased to have run this race - it was very well organised, as I expected from the London Marathon team.
I found the drummers really invigorating along the route - so thank you!
I'm not sure I'd run this race again. It is a long way to come for such a short distance - I met someone who'd travelled down from Wales! I think I'll stick to 26.2 miles for London - even if it's a lot harder to enjoy the atmosphere and architecture. Date of review: May 26, 2008
In short: Frustrating start - lovely scenery - hot day In full: This was the first time I had run this course so did not know what to expect. I was a little concerned about the very narrow start; an announcement was made for slower runners to start behind faster runners. Unfortunately they did not take heed, and I ended up having to get past lots of people despite starting quite near the front.
After some pushing and shoving (on the receiving end) I arrived at the first turn and the route opened up. The rest of the run was hard, mostly due to the heat. The marshalls did well to motivate us and keep us safe. The route was nice and quiet with very few vehicles. Personally I could have done with two water stops due to the heat, but I guess that's not usual for a 10K. Fortunately there was lots of water available at the end. Date of review: May 11, 2008
In short: Hard race - great band - good marshalls In full: This was the second time I had run this race - last year it was a lovely day; today was drizzly and a bit windy. But we all soldiered on undaunted.
I love having the band at the start/finish line - there's nothing like starting to Chariots of Fire and finishing to Jimi Hendrix!
As another has already said, please can we have the first water stop earlier?
And is that last mile really a mile - if so then I'm flabbergasted at running it in 5:02 (and yes I do know it's downhill!) Date of review: October 28, 2007
In short: Hard work and well worth turning up for In full: I arrived at a car park in Bury St Edmunds, grabbed my bag and jumped on a coach, which whisked us to the start/finish line. Tent city greeted me - with tents for everything you can imagine! Posh portaloos with Molton Brown soap, but not enough of them. Men's queue was half an hour!
The race itself - started off muddy on the grass in the park but quickly got on to country lanes. Undulating route with a couple of well known hills at 9 and 18 miles. Friendly runners all around, which is great for such a long race. Towards the end it started to get lonely - sometimes you couldn't see a runner infront or behind you! After the hill at 18 miles it was downhill all the way, thanfully. Arrived at the finish line to be presented by a small metal trophy and a welcome cup or two of orange squash.
Back to the men's changing tent and then on to the coach back to the car-park.
Overall, a well organised race, that was well marshalled, and had regular water stops. Date of review: February 25, 2007
In short: Muddy hilly ups & downs In full: This was my first cross-country race. I'm not sure if it's classified as such but given that all my other races have been on road, this most certainly wasn't! Grass, mud, fields, woods and a bit of road. Two laps, which meant that you knew where all the horrible hills were for the second lap - which is everywhere! The view over Epsom Downs as you came up from the start line was really nice - took your mind off the pain for a while! Date of review: January 7, 2007