In short: Great fun in the mud... In full: Apparently this was dry last year... The recent weather (course preparation) meant that the course was pretty muddy, essentially everywhere. I counted four stream crossings/wading, culminationg in a nice 30 m stretch near the end to clean the shoes. Good organisaion on the day (and I gather that the venue was changed at shortish notice so well done on that score). Only gripe is a personal one. I am reasonably well built, but I'm not massive, but I find that XL T-shirts from fruit of the loom are not big enough (this is the same at other races too). Please bear this in mind when ordering T-shirts as I don't think it's fair to pay for a T-shirt that I can't wear.
Other than that well done and thanks Date of review: May 14, 2012
In short: Best race of the year In full: I almost want to run this race down, just so I make sure I get my place in next years event... This is my favourite race of the year, and possibly my favourite weekend of the year too. From the superb organisation, the magnificent scenery, the challenge of the race, and even the superb weather this year, the Grizzly has no peers in my eyes. Its far more than a race now, with the whole weekend of events taking over Seaton. For all you road-runners plugged into ipods with music playing away, this is what running should be about. The camaraderee is sensational, runners chatting and laughing all way round, supporting each other. On top of all this the race makes large amounts of money for good causes. Well done AVR and Gary... Date of review: March 13, 2012
In short: Superb race, well organised and tough as you like In full: Well done to the organisers again. As ever things well very well (with the exceptiong of my legs...). It seems the route is now virtually 12 miles, and a fellow runner said is is now way harder than a road half-marathon. I tend to agree. The cruel structure of the race, with the 4 huge climbs kept for the second half, and the cheeky nature of the sting in the tail are just brilliant. Go too fast in the first 5 miles and you will pay later. All the usual worked well - drinks stations, the school etc. There appears to be a minor glitch with the times (I have been given the time for the person who finished after me) but as I was out for a fair while it makes no material difference. And oddly there seems to be a proble with this review page which is posting reviews to the V of P half...
All in all a great race, keep it up. Date of review: March 2, 2012
In short: Another excellent Rough 'n' Tumble... In full: As ever the organisers have delivered a spectacular start to the year. Fouth time running this but it never gets easier and I always forget how hard it is... The weather yesterday was superb - cold and sunny, with glorious views from the high ground (made all the more glorious by the effort required to get that high). Great cakes, and a good idea to move tea outside the hall too. All in all a magic race - if you only ever do one off-road race do this one. Just make sure you don't underestimate it! Date of review: January 16, 2012
In short: Excellent race as ever and one to look out for next year In full: This was my second time running this (missed last year due to injury) and I'm convinced that the first hill has been made at least 50 metres higher... As ever it was superbly organised, with very good marshalling, mile marking and all the extra details. Are hats the new T-shirts as race momentoes - I've picked up two in the last month or so... This is not for the faint-hearted - the hills are sapping, and you won't find many beginners here, but if you've tried some off-road running and want to push yourself to the limit without paying the ludicrous prices for a 'hellrunner' type event, then this is for you. Date of review: November 1, 2011
In short: Very well organised race - a great start to the day In full: Congratulations to the organisers on a superb race. Plenty of marshals, good parking and mini race village (including burger van), a good goody bag, excellent and challenging route (I disagree about the hills, by the last one I was tuckered in, but that's just me!). No mile markers would be seen as a problem for some, but its an off road race so that's what you get (and I'd rather have none, than some, but not all...) If you need to know how far you've gone invest in a GPS. Cracking event, and could cope with many more runners so spread the word for next time. Date of review: October 24, 2011
In short: A nice first effort at putting on a 10K by Westbury Lions In full: This was the first time this race had been held, so I wasn't sure what to expect. As it turned out it was very low key affair - 62 runners. Decent venue, with plenty of parking if more numbers had turned up. I didn't see the changing rooms, but the toilets were very nice in the clubhouse! There did seem quite a lot of organised chaos, but things mostly worked out ok. The route did not need many marshals, with must make it easier to put on. It might help in future years to notify farmers about the use of the lower Westbury road - the poor chap moving his roll of hay looked a bit startled by the runners. Not sure if there were any prizes given, as any presentation seemed to be over by the time I finished (just under the hour). Its a fast, flat course that could give you a pb, with the only excuse for a slower time being the uneven ground for the first kilometre. I suspect that the route will change next year as this will be a driving range... Well done on a good first time effort. Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Changes to the route have made this a brilliant trail race In full: I won't go into all the different terrain encountered (others have already done this). The new route is so much more fun than the original, which if it were honestly described was a road run with a short off road section. It is now a significantly harder event, and all the better for it. My only gripe, and this is probably just me (!) but why make us go round the sodding field at the end? I detest this, yet it happens all the time. If the route needs more distance find it somewhere else please! Well done Frome! Date of review: September 28, 2011
In short: Very good race that could be even better In full: First time at the Farnham Pilgrim (although I had plenty of deja vu from the Grim and Turbo X from recent years) and I had a good day. I only did the half, so hats off to all those who did the full on what must have been a very challenging course. I had resolved to take it steady on the first half to try to save myself for later, and I think I did this, but was left wondering if I could have gone faster. The organisation was pretty good - good parking, plenty of stuff going on at the start/finish (archery!) and plenty of marshals/drink stations and course markings so no danger of getting lost. I would agree with some of the comments about the marshals - some were definitely present in body only, but I would imagine its not the easiest race to marshal, with the nature of course having some marshals in place for a fair few hours. Only two things that could be improved. Firstly the queue for the goody bag, and no obvious drinks at the finish was not good - especially as the bag itself was not that exciting, and could surely have been pre-packed? Secondly the hit and miss nature of the mile marking was a disaster. I passed mile 1, mile 2 then didn't see a mile 3. There was a mile 4 then nothing until a '3 miles to go' and so on. It didn't help that the marshals gave contradictory information - I was told 'less than 3 to go' before the next one, after 1/2 mile, said 'just over three to go'! Not good. All would be avoided if there were accurate mile marking on course. Make those changes and this would be a classic! Well done and thanks. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Very well oragnised and fun event In full: This was my first time at Race the Train - I will be back. Although down to do the full Rotary challenge, in the end I dropped down to the Quarry instead. This change was handled very easily by the organisers, so well done there! The transport to the start, plus all the marshalling and other necessities were all superbly done. The race itself was good - a challenging hill to start with the the Quarry runners (quite glad I wasn't running up it after 8 miles...) and then some easier sections punctuated by some very sticky mud. I didn't get near to beating the train, but that didn't really matter. Two very minor gripes. I had no objection to paying £4 to park but this should have been better advertised (if it was I missed it). Secondly yet another race where the largest size T-shirt is large, not XL. I'm a fairly big guy (not fat) and the T-shirt is too small. With 2000 runners surely some XL's could be produced?
Overall well done on a great event and see you next year. Date of review: August 22, 2011