In short: Wow - I loved this event In full: The Purbeck landscape around Swanage is some of the best coastal and rural scenery in the country. This route captures it all in a pleasing way. I was thoroughly enjoying the deep blue sea, Jurassic rock cliffs and green rolling hills in the sunshine when I reached the top of the hill above Kimmeridge and was literally stopped in my tracks by the view towards Worbarrow Bay and shouted 'wow' to the two walkers nearby! Added to all this was banter with friendly marshalls, other runners and the local people supporting in the picture-postcard villages. I won't hide from the hills, stiles and tracks which made this a tough run - but only added to the sense of achievement I have felt. Well done to the organisers - you have a gem! Date of review: September 22, 2016
In short: A first event of this scale in Surrey: it was really well done In full: I am local to this event and loved seeing the number of runners, the friendly atmosphere and the number of supporters on our roads. I was a bit sceptical in advance of how they would cope with the numbers, but from my perspective it all went very smoothly. We parked easily, dropped our bags and went to the loo easily in the village. The scenes at the start were a delight with a great crowd of runners (like a big city race), good support and numerous, friendly marshalls. Then it was onto the closed roads, well-signed course with pace setters. The out-and-back route allowed us mere mortals to see the Kenyans in close proximity. Unfortunately, I did see a few people flake-out in the warmth, but the high volume of very visible medical support will hopefully mean that all were ok.
For those who have complained about the price, they should recognise that an event of this scale with a great HQ, closed roads and emergency service coverage costs a lot of money - and this event doesn't get the sponsorship input yet of the likes of a Great North run / London Marathon. The pay-back we get is the great scenes of swathes of happy runners and spectators we saw on Sunday. There are plenty of small-scale, club-organised events with a field of 500 or so on open roads which are much cheaper. You pay for what you get with these things, and you make your choice in advance. If this isn't for you, then I am sure there will be many other runners wanting to take your place in 2015 after a hugely successful debut. Date of review: March 12, 2014
In short: Lovely route and event In full: This is an event I have run for as many years as I have been a runner and I suspect I will always come back. As someone based in Surrey, it show-cases the best we have to offer - and well organised too. If I have two suggestions of tweaks that they could make: - I struggled to park in the muddy field. Could they use the Loseley grounds again? - Given we carry a chip, can there not be a mat on the start line? It took me nearly a minute to cross the start from the back of the field. Date of review: December 9, 2013
In short: Thank you to the organisers for giving up their time in freezing conditions In full: The big facts are that this is a much cheaper entry than many other 20-mile events and is organised and marshalled by the devotion of volunteers. Yesterday, these people were heroes; my car said it was -1, it was snowing at times and there was a horrible icy wind in parts. These people stood there for several hours to support us runners and all were positive with kind words to cheers us on. Thank you.
In addition, it is a nice country course with variation, has the feel of a club event and is the perfect event if you are preparing for a spring marathon. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Nice course with perfect organisation In full: I think they are helped with the setting. By having the start / finish on a big airfield, it is easy to get cars parked next to the start and there is an easy get-away for the first 3 miles. But, it was really well organised with water / energy every 3 miles and supportive marshalls. I like the 2-lap format as you can focus on a negative split. The first 3 miles of the lap is on the airfield, but interesting when you run over Top Gear features like the hammerhead and gambon. Then it is out onto lovely, undulating surrey country lanes with a mixture of views and little traffic. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Excellent new course in lovely settings In full: This is a local race for me and I have run the old version several times. I would like to congratulate the organisers on a better course this year that avoided the main roads. Maybe the weather helped this year, but some of the views and scenery on this course are stunning - from the frost-laden grounds of Loseley House to the scene across Guildford towards London from the top of the Hogs Back to the tree-laden Weald as we descended.
To improve this event, I would like to see chip-timing at the start and finish. To have chip-timing surely increases the costs for competitors, but we don't gain anything from it if it is only set at the finish. Date of review: December 3, 2012
In short: Fast course but event needs to be better organised In full: Some really good aspects to this event: - Sir Roger Bannister at the start - Pace setters - Fast and generally flat - Lovely running by the river in the centre of Oxford - The bands and support by the road - Plenty of drink stations - Perfect running conditions: cold, sunny and still - Good t-shirt and medal at the end Some points that need improving: - We arrived in the car-park queue at 8.15 and only just made the start at 9.30 - It was a bit chaotic around the stadium - The car park exit was closed until the last few runners were passing - The event was sponsored by Mini, but the detour into the mini plant and running the ring-road overpasses did not make for scenic running Date of review: October 16, 2012
In short: Well organised half in a fantastic setting In full: It was tough in the heat, and with the trail route on the hills, was never going to be a PB. But, my challenge was to enjoy the 6 wine stations and complete the run. The course is lovely, and the hot sunshine added to the beauty as you ascend Ranmore common on the north downs escarpment. The numerous and well stocked stations were well appreciated.
A few points of feedback for next time: - I would prefer an earlier start than 12. - my children did the fun-run, and we did not see anywhere that it was much more expensive to enter on the day - how about having the fun-run after the half marathon has set-off - how about letting the supporters and fun runners buy a portion of the hog roast Date of review: September 11, 2012
In short: Pleasant running with good support from other competitors In full: I enjoyed the route across the slightly undulating surrey countryside in the lovely sunshine of a spring morning with good banter from other runners. The 9 / 6 / 6 mile loops made it easy to segment the course mentally. The only major downsides, which would have been out of the control of the organisers, were the challenges around the start / finish. Despite the first two miles of the route being closed, a UK Cycle Event had to share the same road and cyclists were having to plough their way through the running field. Then, to reach the finish line, I had to dodge a few cars turning out of junctions immediately beside me. Date of review: March 26, 2012