In short: A great day, a good race and all for a worthy cause In full: This was my second time to do this race and it has improved on last year. Great car parking, close and convenient. Nice touch having chip timing and last years problems at the finish line were overcome with a much better laid out finish area which was well monitored. the weather was perfect, the crowds were out in strength and there was wonderful support all around the course. The only negative point I have to make is regarding the distance; I believe it to be a bit short of 10km by as much as 200m which does have a negative impact on any PB times they will have been set on this fast, flat course (including mine!) Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Glorious run through the countryside In full: My first off-road marathon and I wasn't disappointed. I like the wave system and having the ability to gee on the slower marathon runners. The course was well signposted and generally well marshalled. However I think that greater consideration to marshalling standards when the course crosses the roads at each of the checkpoints. There were plenty of water stations and suitably stocked, however the water station at checkpoint 2 was tucked too far back and the one at checkpoint 3 was too near the timing mats such that it was blocked by runners waiting to handover in the relay race. Overall it was a fantastic day out with my worst injury being the sunburn on my neck and shoulders! See you next year Date of review: June 15, 2010
In short: A well organised flat pure speed HM In full: Huge improvements on the start and finsh positions from last year and I enjoyed the run along the sea front promenade. Marshalls were excellent and really encouraging to all. I thought HellRunner was being further north when I had to run through that "lake" in the airfield not just once but twice. My feet were like ice afterwards. Perfect course and conditions for getting a PB which I achieved so all in all a happy runner. Date of review: November 16, 2009
In short: Organisation, execution and the course were first class In full: Organisation for this race was first class, no stone unturned, no detail missed. Can't fault it. The race was started on time and with great anticipation and the Abingdon and other village locals turned out in force to cheer us all on - inspiring. The course is predominantly flat although a little dour on the scenery front but there were plenty of other runners to run with and, in between breaths, to talk to. I did measure the course long on my garmin (along with all my fellow club runners)but accede to the fact that it has been officially measured. Like the start on the track as it ensures that the runners have thinned out a little before meeting the narrowing path and bollards within the first half mile. The loop at the end though is a little soul destroying as you think that you only have a few more yards to go as you enter Tilsley Park and the grand stand staiudm finish is great with loads of people cheering you in (again no surprise as it did state this on the website!) Result was a new PB although I didn't quite break that sub-3 barrier but that would have been greedy. Even though results are not up on the Abingdon site, they were up on the www.theresults.co.uk site within 6 hours (just as stated in the paperwork). Overall a top class marathon and one that I will continue to do each year. Date of review: October 21, 2009
In short: Fast course making big bucks for a worthy cause In full: Parking on green was excellent and best of all free. There were plenty of marshalls who did an admirable job. Bit strange being on the start line but it was great to see so many locals out to gee us along. Good to see kids assisting at the water stations and cheering us on. The course itself is flat and quite scenic lending itself to being fast. The grassy stretch wasn't too bad but the narrow gap that had two-way runner traffic going through it needs to addressed urgently as it was dangerous. I was lucky because I was near the front but for those behind there will have been some argey bargey no doubt going through it. The shingle section while short did sap your energy. I didn't find the distance markers to be too far out; I think other runners were fooled by the fact that the finish banner was behind the start line and then moved forward to its correct position once all the runners had set off. Thankfully I was not caught up in the queues at the finish. I understand that the organisers have sent an email out apologising for this and that they will sort this out for next year. Admittedly the field this year was twice the size of last year; and why should they stop people entering when this all about raising money for a very worthwhile charity. I liked the goody bag and lovely touch and support of the local cafe giving out free cups of coffee. All in all a great day out, a massive PB achieved for me, a finish in the top ten, a free cup of coffee to wash down the flap jack in the goody bag and free parking. Just sort out the narrow gap in the hedge on the grassy section and the finishing chute at the end, and we will have a prefect race for standards of running. Well done Chestnut Tree House and Thesis!! Date of review: September 18, 2009
In short: Challenging second half to the course, but lacked marshalls. In full: Second half of course undulating with a tough hill at the beginning of the final mile. Didn't get a feeling that there were enough marshalls or control for the runners, highlighted at second water station where a course marshall was also topping up the cups of water which runners had to grab off the table themselves.
Got me out but probably won't run again. Date of review: August 23, 2009
In short: Usual efficient and well organised PJC Race In full: Challenging XC course with a good mix of terrain and well marked/marshalled. Wish I had run this race before. Date of review: June 26, 2009