In short: Good race - dragged down by commercial nature of big races In full: Good course, flat, fast and well organised. Enthusiastic volunteers and good atmosphere. Shame about the commercial element. Extortionate photos, pay extra for the t-shirt etc. Smaller club races always the way forward... Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Fantastically varied challenging canter! In full: Great mix of surfaces and terrain, hills, mud, canal paths, grassy tracks, tree tunnels, roads and fields. Lovely summer's evening event, well organised and friendly. Very highly recommended! Date of review: June 1, 2012
In short: Scenic course, not ultra flat but gentle rolling undulations still fast In full: Really nice, was 50:50 whether to run, even at the start due to recovery from injury. As it was I only managed to run for 9 miles and got a very slow time but still enjoyed the 4.1 to the finish! Will definitely be back to have a proper crack at this next year.
Well organised, friendly enthusiastic marshals and fun Halloween theme, especially the row of signs leaving the park! Date of review: November 1, 2010
In short: Flat fast course with pleasant scenery In full: Flat fast course, decent scenery along the river cycle path most of the way & out of the way of traffic in the whole.
The one major gripe I had was the area around the subway where there were no marshals whatsoever and here the signage was poor too. On both the out and back I was running completely on my own and was stuttering to know which way to go, which was a bit annoying.
Also not sure if I missed them, they weren't clear or they just didn't exist but I never saw mileage markers at (I think) 14, 15, 16 & 17. I saw them all 1-13 and 18 & 19 but they seemed to disappear in between.
Having said that the organisation apart from that was really good. Good facilities at the sports centre & friendly helpful marshals along the rest of the route.
Would definitely race this again. Date of review: March 15, 2010
In short: Super fast, brilliantly organised race In full: Superbly organised considering the size of the field. Great support by crowds and marshalls and a super fast PB course...shame about the wind! Date of review: November 23, 2009
In short: Disorganised & lacking common sense In full: I hate to slate something where a number of volunteers no doubt put a lot of time and effort in but this was really hopeless:
* The 3 queues were massive * Timing chips (why were they not just sent out with running numbers?!) * Bags (again why not send a numbered tag out in the post so runners can just hand the bag in on arrival and why have a separate queue when you could just swap timing chip for bag and queue once?!) * Toilets - expensive as they are more portaloos were needed and having queued up there was no toilet paper...disgusting! Why not get a portaurinal too to massively reduce the queue? * Rumours were circulating that the start had been delayed by 30 mins but then the race began with no warning only 15 mins late (while I was still in the portaloo!). * By the time I'd handed my bag in 14:30 was on the clock!! * With so many runners starting very very late faster runners were stuck behind slower runners and on the narrow paths overtaking was very difficult. * The out & back section was a nightmare - too narrow at the best of times but with delayed faster runners still overtaking there was just no room to move. Entering the park straight away and making up the distance with a lap of the park for example would have been much better. * The finish - a shambles!! The bottleneck meant than instead of running through the line I could barely get to the line because of the huge crowd! Unable to start, unable to finish!! Why on earth did the marshals not use some common sense and quickly move people through the finish and collect timing chips/hand out medals in the vast open space beyond the finish?!
Thanks to the marshals that did give their time, effort and encouragement to runners out on the course but sadly I have to say this race was a shambles and even though the route was quite scenic I can't say that I'll be hurrying back next year if ever! Date of review: November 9, 2009
In short: Challenging course, mixed terrain, enchanted wood a highlight! In full: First off-road race and first of many! Lovely scenery, challenging terrain and a nice bottle of beer to wash it down. Happy Birthday Abbey, let's make it an annual event! Date of review: July 26, 2009