In short: Seriously hilly course - created by a sadist perhaps :-) but great fun In full: I've run the old course before and I didn't read up on the new course and paid for it. This has some serious ups and downs (3,000 ft in total) plus a fair amount off trail/grass/stone track running. The first 10k provided the brunt of uphill running with the second half of the run being kinder (aside from the real monster in the woods mile 11). Having said this, I thought this was a fantastic course. Aside from getting in and out of the stadium, the views were very nice. Do not agree with comments below that finish was poor. Cars were using the road but it wasn't an issue and I saw 4 or 5 marshals along the final half mile. The marshals along the entire course were very very supportive and enthusiastic (given the atrocious conditions).
Pros - challenging, hilly and scenic course. Easy parking right by start line. Nice finish. Great marshals. Decent medal and goody bag.
Cons - could have done with more toilets open around football ground.
Vastly improved course in my opinion. Date of review: July 11, 2016
In short: Challenging well-organised trail run but not too brutal In full: This is a great even. Decent parking and facilities. Takes you on a nice trail run around Butser Hill. Quite a few hills but nothing to wipe you out. Friendly event and definitely worth the trip. I would recommend it. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Fantastic event In full: First time I have run this but will definitely be back. Start location good and I had no problems parking. Easy number collection. The 10 mile run is starts going through some very nice areas of Thames Ditton on the road and then through some tracks in woodland before passing back near the start, then you head off towards Kingston along the Thames. Returning back you pass Hampton Court Palace. Was a very scenic run. Flat aside from the Thames Bridges this could be very fast. Great medal at end. All in all, a great 10-miler in a great location with excellent marshaling. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Continues to deliver and the loudest most supportive marshals (even in the pouring rain) In full: I've run this a few times, normally in June sunshine but this one was wet. However, it didn't take anything away from this really excellent event. Parked by the office: doddle. Collect race number (late entry): breeze. Plenty of food and drink stalls. Decent build up on the PA. Usual congested start (please be patient it gets much wider after mile 1). Course had changed from my last visit but still plenty of the same hills. Lots of ups and downs. So many water stations and so many marshals. The marshals and the kids on the course were so loud and supportive especially as it poured at time. Finish line on the grass was a bit of a ice skating adventure. Medal and t-shirt nice. Decent goody bag (if you care), drinks and the traditional ice lolly at the end. All fantastic. Except driving (crawling) out of St Albans afterwards. This is a top quality event - I couldn't recommend it more.
In short: Great location, easy parking and a few decent hills In full: This is my kind of event. Small enough so it isn't all cluttered but big enough for decent facilities. Location is picturesque as is the rural Wiltshire course. Parking was a breeze (I used Sainsburys). Chip and number collection dodle. Nice medal and T at end. Very friendly marshals (thanks).
Course is hilly at times. Hill starting 1.5m being the toughest but ok. After that a few ups and downs to keep it all working. The last bit off-road/track into the town was fine as dryish but I wouldn't have liked it in road shoes on a wet day.
Thoroughly good event in a great location and a dreadful PW for me.
(Future runner advice: dodge the portaloos at race HQ and use the toilets in West Central Car Park - near Sainsbury. Empty and the cleanest ever I've been in I think. Well worth the 20p!) Date of review: April 12, 2016
In short: Got to love those hills In full: Great course. 3 miles around the suburbs and then into the country lanes climbing and descending steep hills. A really challenging one this. Superb marshaling with some shouts of support. Some homes blasting out tunes.
I continue to moan about all races that don't post numbers/chips. I'd rather pay the postage than have the stress of number collection, especially when there is a car park lottery like in Watford. Having said that, it was parking and collection very easy. Parkopedia recommendation helped and we arrived earlier so plenty of spaces this year. Toilets at the leisure centre and the subway going into the town centre can help anyone avoid the queues for the portaloos at the park and are a lot more pleasant!
The start is cluttered and narrow in places (and slippery this year) so make sure you are in the correct estimated finish time (which is certainly slower than PB).
It is a very good race this one. Easy to get to and a top notch challenging course. Date of review: February 9, 2016
In short: Most hilly road HM I've done...perhaps In full: First time for on this one. Wow, was it hilly. Tough climbs start after quarter mile and go on and on! You can't get any joy from the downhills as they are too darned steep! The first half of this half is incredibly challenging; I ran the notoriously hilly Basingstoke half a few weeks ago but Marlow puts that course to flat shame! Fortunately the second half of the course is a bit kinder. I'm not complaining - I loved it but it's hard. Race HQ all seemed good to me. I entered on the day with no issues. Start was quite narrow and a bit slow but to be honest with those impending hills who really cares? Course is rural and would be very scenic if not for the fog on the day. Support therefore sparse but enthusiastic. Numerous supportive marshals along the entire route. Happy to receive my spot prize at the end and rest my legs. Will be back next year to improve on my dreadful time by conserving some energy for the second half.
Good work Marlow Striders. Thanks.
(PS to the marshal with the stop/go sign who took umbrage when I said "thank you Mr Lollipop man", I'm sorry as it was supposed to be light-hearted and no offence intended) Date of review: November 2, 2015
In short: Continues to be a cracker In full: Great rural hilly course. One of the most challenging road HMs I've run but not too extreme. Getting out of Amazingstoke is a definite plus. So was the excellent support in the villages, random scarecrow supporters and the local running club posting motivational placards along with music on the toughest hills. Cracking fast last 3m.
My usual v minor winges: - please post number as it just reduces a little stress on race day - please give t-shirts out at end (if you have no spectators and no bag drop you are stuff - unless you double up tops!) - would love to see that near-90 degree turn into the final straight changed - £30 entry fee is top end but it's v popular so I cant blame you.
In short: Superb event - in spite of the atrocious weather In full: Simply the best 20 miler around. Great challenging course. Fast finish. Water, gels and sweets at all stations. Orange squash and chocolate at end. Great medal. Doddle to park. No congestion due to wide 3 mile start. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Continues to be one of the best races of the year In full: I've said it all before in previous years. Great HQ, great organisation and a fantastically challenging course. I wouldn't fancy the repetition of those hills on the marathon so well done to those guys. Will be back next year. Date of review: March 9, 2015