In short: Got a bit wet In full: Surely you've got to be a bit unhinged to enjoy this sort of thing, but it seems that there's an entire sub-culture of people who choose to spend their Sunday mornings like this on a regular basis. I think I'm part of that sub-culture now! Great fun, and got better as it went on. Once you get to a certain stage, there's not much wetter or muddier that you can get and you learn to go with it. By the end I was loving it. It was my first trail race and the camaraderie was better than I've experienced at any road/park race before. Well organised, too. I'm very glad I was convinced to do it by a friend, who then dropped out the week before! His loss, my gain. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Great course makes up for organisational eccentricities In full: Yes, it was muddy at the start and the finish was on gravel, but I thoroughtly enjoyed this challenging course. There wasn't much flat to be seen, but I clearly made up time on the downhill bits because I beat my PB by nearly 3 mins.
The annoying thing is that all the little niggles could be quite easily solved, you'd think. There ought to be chip timing at the start, the water station was a bit lame, although I got water without any trouble, and the km markers were horrendously inaccurate, surely. I certainly didn't run the first km in 4'20" and the second one in 5'50"! The gravel track at the finish didn't bother me at all - it just added to the diversity of the course.
Loved it. And the best field I've experienced, I think. That definitely pulled me along a bit quicker. Date of review: February 22, 2010
In short: Too many people In full: I foolishly hoped for a PB and ended up disappointed. The course itself is OK, although pretty uninspiring along dual carriageways. Big problem was the crowds; I've never been so jostled or manhandled by such a huge number of strangers, and not a single word of apology or even acknowledgement. I certainly didn't get a feeling of the legendary atmosphere of such an event. Most people seemed pretty zoned out in their own world and impatient of others getting in their way. I saw a number of tumbles, some pretty nasty. I actually found it fairly stressful, which is something I've not experienced before in any organised race.
The locals, on the other hand, were superb - setting up makeshift stalls by the side of the road, handing out water, ice pops, encouragement, oranges and hosings. All were extremely welcome in the heat. Organisation also seemed to be good, although I didn't need to use the toilets or the baggage facilities which other people have complained about. Date of review: September 22, 2009
In short: Nice course, challenging, well-marshalled In full: My first half marathon and an excellent experience. Well organised, both beforehand and on the day. A really nice course, mostly along country roads, with plenty of marshals and a good smattering of public watching and encouraging - really nice atmosphere. Some of the hills were quite challenging, which made it a good, worthwhile trek (I live in South London) and one which I'd repeat. Date of review: February 4, 2008