In short: bread pudding and yew trees In full: Fourth running of this race. Easy access parking, always well organised and excellent signage. But the 2 reasons I do this race: 1 Slabs of Bread Pudding (you can keep you sickly gels) 2 Running through the Yew tree forest
In short: Bit windy out In full: Evil start to this run, the start is up hill. Still it was a prelude of things to come. the initial road section is flat, after that you are generally going up hill or down hill.
Conditions underfoot were good, a few puddles here and there but the course was never congested so everyone could avoid the puddles.
The wind was the main factor, very strong on the ridge, occasionally it was behind, giving you a push, but mainly it was to the side or in your face.
Not usually a fan of looped races, but for a Feb race this was fine - it was good to see the speedier runners zip by.
Great value for £22, drinks were always available and easy to get. Yes no food - but this was clear in the joining instructions - bring your own food or add an extra few quid to the entry fee. These days it is getting harder to find reasonably priced marathon entry - the organisers should be applauded for this! (compare it to the New Forest Running Festival 50 Km entry is £48)
Be back next year Date of review: February 24, 2014
In short: Feet dry in December? In full: I do wonder sometimes at the expectations that have for these races Parking - the fee is not charged by the organiser, there was free parking (as stated in the race pack) but it was further away. Goody bag, it was a bag it had goodies in it, was there a free pair of trainers or a new running kit - no, but then then race entry didn't cost £200. Getting wet, it's a race in December, in England - guess what it's going to be wet. Getting feet wet in the sea - I'm sure they were wet already, now you have a tail to tell. Toilets, queue, quite possibly, but I did hear people coming back inside saying there wasn't a queue outside. Baggage area, now this was a little strange - I've never seen it done this way before, handing out raffle tickets? So room for improvement there. However, in the organisers defence, there were several announcements well before race start to hand bags in early. No organiser can cope with several 100 runners wanting to hand in their bags at 5 minutes to race start. Good, well stocked aid stations, friendly atmosphere, a little bit difference, sort of a trail/road race. Third year of running this, and the weather always has a big impact, always a good start to the Christmas festivities, means I won't feel guilty about having second helpings of Christmas pudding.
In short: Grest SUpport In full: Great course, ever changing profile keeps it interesting - there are moans about the hills but they are what makes this half special - nothing worse than running along flat dual carriage way.
Great support from marshals and the "village people" out on the course. Great organisation and for a "big" race good value - will be back again for next year. Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Four out of four In full: Fourth time here and it gets better each time. I used to hate this course, the sandy ascent up to St Marthas church, the up and straight back down to St Catherine’s Abbey – but now I know what to expect I embrace the course. A little more surreal this year – being cheered on by several groups of hiking Duke of Edinburgh girls, followed by the sight of an old woman and a wizard in the woods (they were real I’m sure). Marshalls as always were excellent – I think half the county had a marshal job. Plenty of aid stations with water food – so never thirsty or hungry. Good crowd of runners and hit the start line just as it started to rain (although no as heavy as last year’s rain) There was a moan that there were no mile markers – made a nice change (if I wanted to know I could have used the GPS) not to know – just running on feel as a steady pace. Well done to the organisers – ticks all the boxes: good route, easy parking, well marked course, plenty of aid stations and cake at the finish line. Be back next year to make it five out five.
In short: Great race and weather In full: First time on this race - usually away for easter - but the timing for this was perfect. Goof varied course - even though I did the 40 - still enjoyed the 2nd loop (hills were a lot tougher 2nd time around)
Organisation was brilliant - that's to everyone involved - be back next year. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Bit wet underfoot In full: 2nd year running this one, less windy than last year (and warmer too). Muddy in places and slippery underfoot - saw a few people go flying - definitely a race for shoes with plenty of grip.
Always impressive seeing the lead runners on the way back when you are still miles from the turnaround. Respect to the Gingerbread man too - bet that was tough going when the the wind got up.
Aid stations well placed and well stocked, enjoyed the mulled wine - I am blaming that for slowing down so much on the return leg.
Clif bar and socks were a nice find in the goody back - thanks to marshals and organisers. Date of review: December 24, 2012
In short: Excellent Race In full: not as hot as last year - so managed to bag a PB on this hilly course. Great support on the way round from the villagers (thanks Cliddesden). Water stations great (it is still such a waste though - 2 sips from a bottle before it gets chucked)
Great organisation - so nice to run on roads without traffic - local kids in Cliddesden, were out on their bikes before the race on the traffic free roads.
Be back again next year - thanks organisers. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In full: Great organisation - marshals seemed to be every 50 metres (thanks marshals) lots of drink stations too. The scientific recovery food at the finish line (or cake as is was known) was excellent too!
Third time of doing this race and I think I have started to enjoy these hills rather than fight them. Terrain is mixed from gnarly roots to sand beaches - always need to concentrate on obstacles, especially when the legs are getting tired. Had a few trips - despite every root and pothole being covered in orange paint.
See you again next year Date of review: September 18, 2012