In short: Lovely race spoilt by the chaos at the start. In full: Lovely race that I enjoy every year. However, I did expect the organisation at the start to be sorted out for this year, last year all the same comments were made about the lack of marked start & no clear starting point so the entire field were lining up incorrectly. I'm surprised that a race organised by a good running club is so chaotic at the start it spoils an excellent race. Please get it sorted for next year!! Top marks to marshals all the way round. Date of review: January 23, 2011
In short: Whats the point in starting pens? In full: Just back from VLM and have to say a little disappointing this year. They make it quite clear in the mags and on the big screen you must go to your allocated starting pen, which is why they go to all the trouble of printing it on your number. So why then do the stewards pull the fence away and just let everyone bundle in? Madness, it was mega congested for miles so if wanted to attemp any sort of time it was almost impossible. This is is what happened on the blue start anyhow. After some initial reservations on the P-mate I have to say I think they are a good idea, it saved a lot of time queueing for the loo's. Date of review: April 25, 2010
In short: Much harder course than previous years but still a good race In full: This route is much hiller than the old one but that just makes it more interesting. I managed a PB which I was hoping for on the old flat route so I was delighted to have got my new PB on the harder route. The start was a bit chaotic becase the start line wasn't obvious infact wasn't visible at all, so all in all very confusing. I don't know where I crossed the start line so don't know if I started my own watch at the right time. I know it's chip timmed but I always go by my watch. I'm sure this is just teething problems for the new location. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: Excellent Race - ticks all the boxes In full: What a great race. Everyting went well and 3 out of four of my group managed PB's. Hills not a hard as expected so that was a bonus. A BIG thank to Beford Harriers and all of the marshalls. I'll be back!! Date of review: December 13, 2009
In short: Fantastic mud bath as ever!! In full: Still my favourite race of the year. Proper x country. Really friendly event, happy marshalls and mud galore!!! Perfect... if you don't like mud and puddles this is not the race for you. Date of review: December 6, 2009
In short: Nice easy 1/2 Marathon In full: I'm going to join in the complaints about the lack of toilets but it's a common gripe about most races. I queued for 20mins having arrived an hour before the start so 6 loos were far from enough. The race is pretty much what you would expect from 13 miles on the towpath. If you don't like muddy, slippery surfaces then don't enter off road races in November DOH! Probably not one I'll do again but I only did it this time as part of my 2009 new years resolution of running one 1/2 marathon a month for a year... so on to Bedford in December then job done! Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: Lovely route, 1 killer hill, great good bag. In full: A nightmare getting in to Henely - stuck in queueing traffic for about 40 mins. Finally got in to the the car park and almost missed the start so didn't have time to visit the loo before the start which wasn't great.
I think they need to have pace markers at the start so that people position themselves accordingly. There were a lot of slower runners at the front and it was very difficult to get past them as the first 3 or 4 miles are on narrow roads.
Killer hill at 7.5 miles but it made it a more interesting run, down hill was fab and very welcome. Date of review: October 11, 2009
In short: Don't let the big hill put you off In full: The hill really isn't that bad and once you've made it to the top you've done the hard work... nothing too tricky after that. Think it would be better if the 10K and half weren't started together because it was very conjested getting out of the aprk and up the hill. I had to run in the road a lot to pass people because the footpaths were narrow or blocked. Anyhow it was a great run and I'd do it again. Date of review: July 19, 2009
In short: Very Hot, Very Hard, Very Hilly...... Loved it! In full: What a great 1/2 marathon. A never ending single file 2 mile hill on a chalk path to start with followed by more hills and more hills! Hard terrain all the way round especially difficult on the down hills. Views were fantastic... so if you like a challenge and enjoy great views have a go at this one. Only Neg is that after a 2hour drive to get there, having to walk all the way across the park for the ladies loo's to find there only two and queueing for ages was a pain. Date of review: May 4, 2009