In short: Great fun, friendly multiterrain with a ruddy great hill in it. In full: My first Parbold Hill and I didn't know the course - but what a beauty.
Thanks to Skem and Parbold Harriers for organising such a friendly, fun, challenging race.
The offroad sections were more cross-country than trail as it was so muddy. This race has it all: a brutal climb or several, stiles, cow fields, mud, mud, mud, haybale fence crossings, a stream... And helpful marshalls not afraid to give orders at the more breakneck bits.
Ace! I'll be back. Date of review: February 16, 2013
In short: Nicely organised, clubby two lap race in a quiet corner of Norwich with views of Whitlingham Broad In full: Welldone to CONAC for the organisation of this race. You made it look easy and we all know it's not!
The Snowsports centre makes a comfortable base with changing and baggage facilities and chip timing is unusual for a club-race.
The two-lap course felt tougher than I expected. A long, long uphill drag (twice!) was challenging. The downhill a nice relief.
Water station, goody bag, medal online results etc. all nicely done belying some hard work behind the scenes I'm sure.
I was on my own and visiting from afar so appreciated the support from the small band of spectators near the Start and Finish. Date of review: April 10, 2012
In short: Lovely, scenic offroad parkland 10K with a friendly atmosphere. NOT a road race. In full: Turned up to do this at fairly short notice and really enjoyed. Well organised as you'd expect of a charity race and relatively small (about 500 runners). The parkland views are lovely - the course takes in woodland, rough grassland, past meres and even herds of deer.
It's definitely undulating with a long climb between kilometres 5 and 6 and then from 9 till nearly 10K, and lots of other ups and downs in between. Plus the trickiness of uneven terrain - rough and pitted grassland, various types of mud/tree root/fallen leaves etc. All good fun - but definitely not a road race as billed here. There's about a kilometre on tarmac in the middle. But for that I'd have been happy in spikes and trail shoes would be ideal.
Well organised - plenty of parking, portaloos, baggage, cups of tea facilities and a mars bar and t-shirt at the end. Date of review: March 12, 2012
In short: Fast two lap course on roads, well marshalled, PB potential and semi rural so prettier than the words "bypass" may suggest. In full: Managed to post a very decent (for me) time in my first 10 mile race thanks to a very smooth course. It has some slight undulations but is mainly flat and run along suburban roads and the side of a bypass. Thanks to all the marshalls making it possible to run safely with the traffic - very nicely done. And thanks to the organisers for making hot drinks/soup etc. available at the school which serves as the start/finish/changing point. Much needed on a foggy morning in West Lancashire. More scenic than I expected as the roads are passing through semi-rural farmland type scenery. The odd worm hazard as they tried to slither across footpaths on a damp morning - but only hazardous to the poor worms! Date of review: November 21, 2011
In short: Some of the sights of the London marathon - in a half In full: For a race this size I thought that the organisation was excellent.
I'm glad I did it for the opportunity to take in some of the real tourist sights of London in a unique way - running down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace and very close to the Houses of Parliament for example.
The race would benefit from more miles spent outside the park, taking in those sights and a few less looping and switchbacking through Hyde Park. The latter became a little monotonous and there were a few 180 degree turns with stunning views of other runners going in the other direction!
Even though it's reasonably flat, the PB potential is limited by the sheer weight of runners. Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: The beach is a slog.... In full: Well organised race with okay scenery. As a local, I wasn't going to be particularly impressed by the beach...which was tough going. I'd have preferred not slogging in a straight line along the damp sand, it gets monotonous - but that's not a criticism of the race.
The marshals were friendly and encouraging. My only criticism would be that the race organisation seemed to play second fiddle to fundraising at the start - so it was difficult to get information, say, on whether there was a water station. There was, but no one at the start could tell you that. Date of review: September 23, 2008
In short: My first trail race - well organised but the hill was tough! In full: This is a well-organised, beginner friendly race in lovely surroundings. But beware beginners, you need to be prepared for a solid uphill 2K climb at the very start - and some more short, sharp hills to come. Some congestion on the first hill was inevitable, with many people walking from the off.
The course was well marked and there were two water stations, though there were few marshals around the course. Some support wouldn't have gone amiss - it felt like a lonely slog at points.
Fairly good goodie-bag containing a medal, branded shoe bag and various energy snacks - though I'd have liked a T-shirt and/or chip-timing for the price. Date of review: July 4, 2008
In short: Congested but good for charity fundraising In full: Hmm, a frustrating run this one. Viewed as a charity run it was great - the charity village at the GMEX was really well organised, the bands playing around the course were a nice touch etc.
As a race I'm not so convinced. It was very hot and congested. I was in the second wave and spent the first 2K dodging walkers and generally weaving through congestion, then caught up with walkers from the previous (supposedly fast!) wave and the frustration redoubled. Running around Old Trafford was particularly congested and unimpressive.
Organisation at the end was good, T-shirt good quality and lots of medics on hand.
Course was reasonably fast - I struggled to a PB - but dull.
The sheer numbers at the beginning made for lots of waiting around and getting kicked to bits by other runners during the aerobic warmup. Date of review: May 22, 2008
In short: Friendly, off-road 10K In full: The three lap course is slightly repetitive, but as it's all (nearly) flat and within a country-park it's worth it. Lots for supporters to do with good parking, adventure playground, cafe etc. Water bottle and Mars bar were welcome too. Date of review: April 30, 2008
In short: Lovely route, well organised, shame about the weather. In full: I knew this one would be good having spectated at it throughout my childhood and only the weather disappointed. It really is a good race - the first half is on a closed carriageway of the road, the return leg on the prom coming around the bay. If the drizzle hadn't been obscuring the beach it would have been lovely. Fruit and a generous goodie bag was a nice touch, the giant bottle of shampoo was just funny.
A couple of minor niggles:
- Not enough toilets. Are there ever? I ran needing a wee, which is never great. - The expected finish time markers at the start weren't obvious. I looked for them and couldn't find them, so guesstimated where to stand. I was told afterwards that they were on the side of the rugby club on the other side of the road. This might explain some of the complaints below. - I would have prefered a cup of water to a heavy bottle at the water station. Date of review: September 25, 2007