In short: Superb In full: I was one of the two Watford Joggers running this, thanks for the name check! Well worth the journey for a unique, fun and very well organised event. Didn't know quite how much water to expect, but we got plenty of it in the river crossing. Really different and a grand day out, how better to spend a birthday! Date of review: June 16, 2013
In short: Well done Fairlands Valley Spartans In full: Despite heavy rain at the start, organisation was still very slick and the marshals were amazing, really cheerful and encouraging in horrible conditions.
Excellent organisation too, there was a mix up with my race number but the RD put that right within minutes of me being in touch.
Not as easy as you would expect, the course defines "rolling" but still pretty quick and good use of underpasses to avoid major road crossings. Plenty of water stations (cups are perfectly fine in this sort of race and limit rubbish, just get used to getting most of it down your front or up your nose!), well signed, good car parking, showers in the changing room, accurate timing, fast finish on the track. How they manage all that for this price is remarkable. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In full: Excellent race: start/finish location is perfect with a very welcome open air pool, lovely route with plenty of shade, friendly marshals, plenty of water stations with a bonus one laid on and car parking was run very professionally and the walk clearly advised. Highly recommended. Date of review: August 20, 2012
In short: A good introduction to trail ultras In full: I entered this race to avoid the time and expense of travelling to another race outside of London (where I live) so was very disappointed to have to spend 2 1/2 hours trekking over to Wembley and back to collect a race number and a map (thanks but no thanks to free bird food bars). Nice to have the expo for those who are there, but a mighty pain in the arse for those who weren't. Jen and Rory were as charming and professional as ever and the checkpoints very friendly. There were a few unfortunate errors, like the coach transfer turning up late and delaying the start, and a few avoidable ones, like advertising a free t-shirt and changing at the end (the hotel loos don't count). For 40 quid, this is astonishingly expensive, I've seen better stocked water stations at every LDWA event and big city marathon I've run. The atmosphere among the runners was excellent and it felt very collaborative. This didn't prevent many missing the turn off the Capital Ring near the end. A big yellow sign, like those found in the first km, was required here and wasn't so far from the finish that the sweeper runners couldn't have collected it. There were a few issues with the map, clearly a lot of effort had gone into it but some sections didn't fit together. Overall, this was very welcoming and an excellent introduction to new ultra runners. It's just not worth the money. Sorry Rory. Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: Recommended In full: Please will you disqualify runners who flout the rules and insist on stuffing their ears with earphones. It's dangerous on open roads, you cut up other runners, can't hear marshals and miss out on race atmosphere. If you don't like the rules, don't blinkin' enter the race! That aside, this was as impeccably organised as ever by the Harriers. More than enough water stations (2 is plenty for a half), loads of marshals, mile markers bang on, the marquee handled very well and a challenging route with some decent scenery. A little congestion over the finish line but that's easily smoothed out. There are a few hills, including the last shallow grind up to the park, but the downs more than compensate. Date of review: February 9, 2011
In short: Good alternative to Founders In full: Tougher than anticipated with 2 significant climbs per lap and slippy underfoot (road shoes were just about ok but it was quite greasy in places). Loved the 12 laps that made the time pass very quickly, great marshalls, efficient lap counting system, the occasional deer and was much easier to see where you were running when the 1/2 runners had finished. Busy weekend with Beachy, Founders, Greensands (if it moves again) and Dublin so a small field. Still a good addition to the race calendar. Only note is there are next to no facilities, don't expect anywhere to change or shelter from the weather, and the bag drop is just in the organisers' tent so very limited. Overall, a good, no frills quasi-xc marathon. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Perfect way of getting a lot of training miles in In full: I confess I wasn't looking forward to this, just viewed it as a solid back to back training weekend (ran both days). The canal did get a bit dull, but it was much easier underfoot than anticipated (little bit stickier on Sunday after the frost had melted), road shoes were perfect. Very pleased to be first lady on Day 1!
Big range of finish times, you were made to feel welcome whether you were right up the front or bringing up the rear. Organisation was very slick, most marshals super friendly and supportive, and it was nice to have most staying at the same place Saturday evening. Top marks for choosing a hotel with seriously comfy beds, the 10 hour kip was the icing on the cake.
In short: Handy for a winter road marathon In full: This is one of very few winter road marathons in the UK so is bound to be well attended by the regulars. Far better than expected, given a lot of negative reports from previous years. Organisation was absolutely fine, if low key. Could do with a bit more at the water stations and could races please start acknowledging that they have female runners and get some female fit t-shirts made up? Would have been a nice shirt if it fit. Date of review: January 25, 2010
In short: A marathon for marathoners In full: George has put on a perfectly organised marathon on the Town Moor, but he freely admits even he might not run it. If you like multiple laps with virtually the whole route in view, then this was a great little race with some PB potential. The usual suspects were out in force, with dozens of 100 club members and Fetchies, so it was very friendly; an advantage of multi-laps with a fair bit of doubling back is the chance to spot people quite frequently and exchange a wave. We were very lucky with the weather, it's fairly exposed on the Town Moor, but it only got breezy in the last few laps. Appreciated the free drink voucher in the goody bag, a great way to get everyone down to the pub afterwards! Date of review: November 24, 2009
In short: Superb race in glorious surroundings In full: One of the tougher road marathons in England, but the views are more than rewarding. Was pleased to have taken it steady enough throughout to pass lot of people and run the hills in the last few miles. It's a very clubby race with a fast field, but extremely friendly, and the organisation was faultless. Well done East Cornwall Harriers, I'll definitely be back next year. Date of review: November 18, 2009