In short: This is the place my running year starts In full: This time last week there seemed no chance the race would happen - the Race Director sent three E Mails updating runners with the course conditions (especially after the snow on Wednesday).
This is my 6th attempt and I am delighted that I now have 4 coasters (which constitutes a set in my family). With the poor weather curtailing my training and the after effects of man flu I wasn't really looking forward to this race - that was until I arrived at the well appointed race HQ & saw a few familiar faces.
This is the friendliest race I do, both in terms of the marshals and fellow runners.
The course isn't flat but IMO is an excellent early season test and encouragement to put in some hard training over the next few months.
Well done Stratford AC and all runners. Date of review: January 17, 2010
In short: Another fantastic event - how do they always arrange the weather In full: My family and I made our annual pilgrimage to John & Rita's fine B&B in New Milton and throughly enjoyed our weekend in the Forest, topped off with a fantastic afternoon at Beaulieu (saw a few runners there aswell).
And the race the scenery is stunning. Could there have been at better place to have been on Sunday morning out in the scrubland with only runners and ponies for company with the sun shinning down. The "new" route is more interesting in the last few miles.
Nice to see and hear locals out on the route making a noise. Great support at the finish also.
I would echo the comments of others that a bottle of water at the end would have been welcome, but this is a minor point. It's my own fault but I forgot the start was a free for all (despite the attempts at time banding) - so started too far back and with a slow first mile.
Love the programme (I don't know any other race that does this), it's a great souvenier. I thought a technical T Shirt for £8 was a bargain.
I'll be back next year. Date of review: September 28, 2009
In short: Fast adaptation to adverse weather conditions made this an excellent event In full: Weather wet as usual - organisers used extra covered accommodation to make life easier for competitors and spectators. As it was miraculously and against all forecasts the rain stopped to leave ideal conditions.
3 Counties Showground is an excellent race HQ will plenty of toilets and room to warm up.
The route was much more scenic without the hollowing winds of last year. I got a pb by nearly 2 mins in the benign conditions.
Organisation good as in previous years - hopefully the hospice will have made plenty. Date of review: June 7, 2009
In short: Good course correctly described as undulating but without any serious climbs. Access to the car park was an issue for me but I didn't spoil an excellent day. In full: I turned off the A34 just after 8 am and then hardly moved for an hour - abandoned the car and hot footed it to the start. It wasn't unexpected and was made worse by the rain.
This was the only problem - I think this is a really good course with excellent support from the locals and marshalls (probabley the best looking I have ever seen).
I missed the 12 mile marker so was well pleased to see 500 m to go - the atmosphere at the finish was electric. Personal highlight was meeting Blind Dave - what an inspiration.
Got straight on the coach and was whisked back to the start - only 3 miles from my car.
In summary a great first attempt and hopefully this will have alaso been a learning experience. Date of review: October 26, 2008
In short: Learning from the problems of the previous week another successful running of one of my favourite races. In full: With wet weather earlier in the "summer" an alernative car park was used - further away than the usual car park, but with changing and baggage facilities this caused me no problems.
The mist obscured my favourite view of the Palace as you climb up from the lake but this was still a challenging 10K run in a friendly atmosphere.
Thanks to the marshalls and Woodstock Rotary. Date of review: October 12, 2008