In short: THAT WAS TOUGH !!! In full: On the original entry form the organisers tried to disuade those not prepared from taking on the marathon distance, but after this the 'blog' and Facebook page, which appeared to be the source of information, seemed to play down the challenge of the elevation. For anyone considering this in the future, if it returns next year, just beware. Introduce some big climbs in to your training, and work on the miles, because this is no Virgin London Marathon, add 2 to 3 minutes per mile to your road marathon pace and you're pretty much on track. I have two criticisms, firstly the lack of an 'official' course map prior to the race. The course description given out was very detailed, but I can't see why it wasn't accompanied with a map, especially when said map did materialise in the commemorative goody bag at the finish. My second criticism was the 'lack' of a water station at about 23M, perhaps it was just me running out of steam, but I ran with 2 x 500ml of lucozade, and took on board lots of water at all of the water stations, but the long drag towards Much Wenlock was crying out for another water stop. I know that a water station requires vehicular access and so this may prove difficult, but it was isolated out there. The plus points, well everything else. It was a beast of a course, and even with the hazy start the views just after the Folly at 4M was amazing. The hills were tough, but what we signed up for. The course was waymarked superbly. As stated at times we were left to our own devices with no marshalls for a mile or so, but I never felt like I was going to veer off course. On the rare occasion when I thought am I going the right way I'd spot some red tape just in front and off I plodded. The underfoot conditions from 6M to 9M was out of the organisers control, and made the experience even more of a challenge. The course had been cut back in many places, and I'd love to shake the hand of the sadomachicist who plotted the route. The marshalls were a welcoming and friendly site, and the cheers coming in to the finish was amazing. To have Jonathon Edwards at both the start and finish was special, and he wasn't afraid to speak to competitors and spectators alike. It was a lovely day, and I was proud and privileged to have been able to be part of a little bit of Olympian history. As long as my shifts allow I'll be back next year. Oh, one last thing I water runs downhill in to the valleys, so how on earth did so much water find itself on top of the Edge, and during a drought as well !!! Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: a beautiful way to spend a Sunday morning - running the tracks of Telford, with the scenery and history of Ironbridge to top it off In full: Remains one of my all time favourite runs. Not run it since 2010, and so this was my first experience of the clockwise route around the gorge. I always found the Silkin Way, an easy hill, if such a thing exists, as you could find a rhythm and really work the climb. Now that is no more and instead Darby Rd hits you like a brick wall. Just as you recover the path on Rough Park takes it's toll, leaving you spent by the time you reach the tarmac of the Silkin again. When it all seems to be over the short sharp climb up from Randlay Pool acts as the cherry on the cake. If you want a race where a pb might be on the cards look elsewhere, this is about the beauty of Ironbridge with crowds lining the bridge itself, and then the virtual solitude of some tough climbs. The marshalling and water stations were well resourced, and encouraging throughout. The goody bag, is spot on for the cost of the entry. My only complaint is to provide a more detailed course map on the website. As a local I was aware that the course had changed since 2010, but the published map was not clear enough. That said having survived the second half, I now know what is required next time. Well done Telford Harriers, once again an excellent race, and as long as my shifts allow I intend to be back again year in year out. Thank you. Date of review: April 10, 2012
In short: A little bit of everything - delivered in a wonderful 10k In full: I have to say this was the best 10k I've ever run. A reasonable price to enter, I've raced for less, but a lot more as well. A delightful setting - with excellent free parking - not oversubscribed - just enough refreshment on hand for supporters, and a big massive field for the kids to lose themselves in. The race soon finds itself smack bang in the middle of the Newport Carnival - and the support from the crowds , whilst not quite London Marathon standard, it wasn't far off. Whether extra people were out lubricating themselves before the England game I do not know, but the noise was quite deafening, and well received. Then out toward the country, with a lovely view of The Wrekin off in the distance as the race went off-road. A slight climb, okay, a real drag through a oil rape seed field - was a real treat - and made me realise that we were indeed out in the country. So back to the finish - and yes you'll struggle to get a PB here you really do experience much that makes running so special. The roar of spectators, and the calm of crops. I loved it! Date of review: June 12, 2010
In short: Well organised 'city' event - a family affair In full: Only complaint was the lack of mile markers for the Half, otherwise pleased with the atmosphere, which caters for the supporters as well as the runners, excellent value for money with medal, t-shirt and goody bag, will remain an annual event for me Date of review: September 13, 2009
In short: Delightful course, a multitude of weathers, oh and a lovely towel to finish with ! Spot on In full: The course is wonderful, and for a Half would be difficult to top, although as a regular on the Silkin, Rough Pk and Severn Valley Ways I am slightly biased. The tracks don't bash the legs to bits, but are not so 'rough' as to be considered as x-country material. Even the quagmire at Coalport had dried up over the last 48 hours. With the first half downhill, and the second up, you have the decision to fly off and hang on, or ease in to it gently and work past those suffering. I chose the first option, and would do so again willingly. Whilst a flat course would be more likely to produce a pb, this still allows for good times despite the 4 miles of climbing at the end. It is a gentle, constant incline as opposed to a fell ascent. There were moments of snow, followed within minutes with warm sunshine, and the only real problem was the blustery wind. Marshalling excellent and in all the right places, oh and the towel was unusual, practical and a change from a medal or coaster. Well done to all at the Harriers. Date of review: March 19, 2007
In short: Tough, wet, friendly, but was the fee justified! In full: The ONLY criticism was the entry fee. I understand that much of the fee went to charity, and for that reason I was willing in the first place to part with the funds, however the mountains of bananas, Red Bull, and so on was I think unnecessary. At the end of a run it is nice to receive the odd refuelling product, however after I'd had a cup of juice and a banana I was not interested in the rest of the extras, which I am sure caused the fee to be in excess of £15. But we all paid for the experience so perhaps the pricing was spot-on.
Moan over. The course was wonderful, and the horrid grey weather has only made me eager to run the race again to experience clear skies. The hills, whilst long did not feel as bad as I'd anticipated. To reach Ashridge House with the knowledge it was mostly downhill all the way was also a pleasing thought. To the supporters dotted about the villages, either braving the weather, or cheering from the back seats of parked cars, I thank you all, as under the circs I would have expected no one to brave the course. To the marshalls, we should all be indebted, from my experience they did not put a foot wrong, under some horrendous conditions.
I saw the queues for the toilets, but that is to be expected at such races, and with a little exploration on the warm up, it was not too difficult to find the desserted, and clean toilets on the Railway Stn platform.
Ideally situated for most on the Euston mainline and a stone's throw from the M25 and M1. A great FLM build-up race to stretch out those legs, and for those of us that have done the mileage the hills were not too much of a hinderance. Will be back, hoping for some sunshine next time. Date of review: March 5, 2007
In short: Excellent, no other words needed. In full: In almost 18 years of running I have to say that this was by far and away the best, well marshalled, scenic, race I've ever run. The surfaces were excellent, and would be even more so with rain. The course has everything, climbs, drops, lots of stiles, oh and a lake to run round. The scenery was idyllic with the morning fog being burnt off by the rising sun. Oh, and the lack of mile markers meant I wasn't checking my watch every few minutes, and it was quite a surprise to see the finish when I did. Shame only a coaster, when the fun-runners get a goody bag, but everything else was splendid. Date of review: February 4, 2007
In short: Superbly marshalled race. In full: Massive queue for men's, and then found a desserted public toilet at the back of the car park. Enough has been said about the housing estate, at least 2 miles went by before I knew it. Lovely country lanes with minimal traffic, which was a bonus. Tough climbs not helped by being dropped by a group and then being subjected to a blustery wind. Friendly, encouraging and countless marshalls. Certainly very well organised. Worth the 300 mile round trip. Date of review: December 31, 2006
In short: 3 x (Up, up, up, down, down, up, up, up, down, up, down, down, down) In full: Spot-on, a little gem in the middle of the country. Shame the course was not as full with supporters as the start and finish. But gives the body one hell of workout both up and down the hills. Date of review: November 25, 2006
In short: Superbly well organised for a 'large' participant evening 10k - not really pb potential however not essential In full: For the numbers racing, you have to put up with the slow process of leaving the car park, this is understandably. Now on to the positives. If you were new to running this has the potential to really get you hooked. The organisation is superb, the marshalling out on the course of a very high standard, especially as the roads themselves are not closed. The addition of a blues-and-twos ambulance tearing down the 'Mile Flat' as runners flooded in at about 52 to 55 minutes pace was testement to the fact that the runners themselves were not impeded. If I have to be pedantic, I had hoped the goblet could accomodate a pint, but alas, and the sponge I was handed at the water station either had the retention qualities of a sieve or had not been submerged in the bucket behind the helper. I am really being pickie there if those were the only faults. The support at the start and finish was wonderful, and the highlight for me was the 'crowds' at The Navigation Inn, who deserve a round of applause themselves. Certainly one for the diary next year, work permiting. Date of review: May 3, 2006