In short: Hot, hilly in parts, well marshalled, great finish atmosphere In full: A 2pm start on one of the hottest days of the year with the hills to be climbed concentrated in the second quarter of the race made this tougher than the distance and overall height gain would suggest.
There were plenty of marshals who did a very good job. Ending in the middle of the Village Fair made for a great finishing reception even for those well down the field. Parking and loos were both as good as it gets.
One suggestion for the future - if it is exceptionally hot a second water station would have been very welcome. To be fair, there seemed to be an impromptu attempt to provide some water for tail-enders at about 6 miles. Date of review: July 15, 2013
In short: Well organised and scenic local event – tricky surfaces In full: This race had the feel of a friendly local event, but the organisation was far from amateur.
The course was scenic and distinctly “undulating”. The route was dry but it was obvious that with different weather it could be very muddy. A combination of uneven surfaces (in part due to the bridleways – not surprisingly – having been used by horses) and stony / flinty sections made it necessary to keep a good eye on the ground much of the time and thus not get full benefit from the course being scenic. Risk of spraining an ankle is the reason I may not do it again.
There was good signposting throughout (plenty of arrows, and distance markers at each Km) and as many friendly marshals as you could possibly wish for. There was bottled water at about 3K and 7K and at the finish.
A little expensive for a 10K, but in compensation a better than average goody bag – and the surplus was going to good causes.
A good course for spectators as the route when close to the start / finish area at about 2K and 8K. Car parking was right beside the start.
To nit pick, it was the evening of the next day before the results were sent by email (and the morning after that they were still not on the website). And thanks to a rubbish spring there was no sign of the bluebells in the race’s name – but even I am not harsh enough to blame the organisers for that!
In short: Well done Tadworth AC In full: As others have said, excellently organised and marshalled race. I was surprised how relatively little mud there was at the bottom of the long hill having passed that way a few days earlier, since when it had rained quite a bit. I am told that members of Tadworth AC were out shovelling mud away during the morning before the race. If that is true it is amazing dedication.
I am still trying to work out what the momento is! Date of review: January 3, 2012
In short: My favourite half was as good as ever In full: My 5th time, I will be back for more. I agree with all the positive comments made by earlier reviewers. Completely traffic free a very big plus.
Were some of the mile markers a little early (my Garmin said so, despite being almost spot on at the finish)? But even if they were, this is a tiny critisism in the context of an excellent race. Date of review: November 3, 2011
In short: My first Cabbage Patch - will definitely be back In full: Excellent and plentyfull marshalls.
Great to have so many pubs etc open before the start (and of course at end) so no problem with loos or keeping warm - and a bonus to be able to watch first half of rugby World Cup semi-final.
Almost flat - but short steep climb up to bridge after 8 miles hurt. Fairly wide first mile or so meant no serious congestion after start. A couple of pinch points, most notably turning onto Kingston Bridge after about 3 miles, but difficult to see what could be done about that.
In response to comments of others, I think the time I was given was about right. Of course it was gun time, not from when I crossed start line, as was clearly stated in the pre-race info. Date of review: October 19, 2011
In short: Excellent in many ways, but shortage of water at finish! In full: As others have said, excellent marshals, very friendly, one of the most scenic courses you will find, good T-shirt etc.
Combination of serious undulations - not least hill after 8K - and care needed on uneven turf in places meant this is not for PB chasers. Take your mind off your watch and enjoy instead.
In my experience this race was unique in 3 ways: - singing of National Anthem before start, which some obviously welcomed but I could have done without; - 3 opportunities to get water during race, never seen so many in a 10K; which makes it even odder that ... - they had run out of water at the finish when I got there (mid-pack) and we had to wait around while someone went of to refil a container, and then we only got about 2/3 of a small cup.
But good range of other consumables at finish: apples, carrots, jelly babies and jaffa cakes. But did not see the coasters that some have praised - where were they?
Hopefully water at finish problem will be fixed for next year as only significant detraction from an otherwise excellent race. Date of review: September 20, 2011
In short: Good organisation and first rate race HQ In full: The race HQ is in the hall of a modern school building a short jog to the start, which was ideal for keeping our of the February weather. The organisation overall was excellent - both at HQ on on the course. The course was about as good as road running gets inside the M25. Date of review: February 13, 2011
In short: Oddballs did well to find an alternative to Downs In full: It is a great shame that the Epsom Oddballs were not allowed to hold the Perch over the Downs again. I find it bizarre that the Conservators reached this decision, especially given what else is permitted on the Downs, the small "footprint" of running, and the start time being after racehorses typically exercise. Who are the Conservators and how are they selected?
The Epsom Oddballs deserve considerable credit for the arranging this alternative - it must have been tempting just to moan and sulk.
The main plus points of the race itself were a scenic course for inside the M25; plenty of good marshals; a tech T shirt (I do not need yet another cotton one!); distance markers every K (we were only promised "sparodic").
My main negative is that the first K was very congested (even by usual standards), including coming to a stop when the course narrowed after about 300m. This was with about 300 entrants; it would have been much worse if the limit of 500 had entered. I wonder whether going round in the opposite direction would have solved this. A niggle is that my number and chip did not arrive in the post before the event despite a closing date a week in advance - and I was clearly far from unique in this. Not sure whether this is the fault of Sports Systems or the Oddballs.
The course was more cross country than multi-terrain and seriously muddy in quite a few places. Reasonable people can differ on whether this is a good or bad thing (for me it was a negative). Perhaps the info on the runners world website could have reflected this better.
So a mixed bag for me, but again the Oddballs need great praise for how they reacted to the unfortunate (to be polite) banning from the Downs. Date of review: January 16, 2011
In short: First time I have done this, definitely not the last In full: Most of this race is off road, in country side or on cycle tracks - with a mostly good surface and adequate width for easy passing. With one exception the orgainsation was excellent, including providing very safe crossing of some major roads. The exception was the final road crossing near the Leisure Centre where we were left to cope by ourselves.
Looks on the map as a PB no hope course due to the height gain, but getting almost all the up done in the first 4K certainly makes it possible, if not likely. And you are rewarded with excellent views on the way down.
If Leatherhead Fire Station is as good at putting out fires as it is at organising races the people of Leatherhead are in safe hands.
In short: Mostly scenic, fast, organisation good apart from not getting number on time In full: Half this race is very scenic, but with some boring streets in last few miles. Apart from the rise up to two bridges over the Thames it is virtually flat.
The organisation on the day was good, and the marshals seemed to ensure a safe crossing of the few roads necessary without annoying drivers. I liked the idea of having a place to leave car keys securely separate from the baggage drop. There were plenty of drinks available at the end, and unusually also before the start - and two water stations en route. There was a reasonable atmosphere before the start, but the route and even the finish were quiet (at least by the time I got there!).
Despite entering on line weeks in advance I did not get my number in the post - it appears anyone who registered using the Runners World website had the same problem. I don't know whose fault it is, but it needs fixing - and at least numbers and chips where given out efficiently on the day.
Last year the event clashed with a mass cycle ride along the Thames and whoever avoided a repeat of that deserves thanks. Date of review: September 12, 2010