In short: Good course, great to be part of the Highland Games, smooth, but where did that sun come from?! In full: The race was great. Good turnout (nearly 200), good atmosphere. The Highland Games crowd got in the way a bit in the final stages, but brought such a fantastic atmosphere to the finish that it was a good trade-off. Marshals and volunteers at the water stops were friendly and encouraging. Thanks to the man with the shower hose out - it was welcome in the unusually hot sun. The sponges were a welcome treat. Excellent goodie bag. Fast course - if the wind hadn't come up so strong as to blow down the beer tent, it would have been a very fast course indeed. Great job to Nairn Road Runners for putting together an excellent local race. We may put this one on the annual "to-do" list. It could do with starting in the morning, to make the most of cool conditions, if there's likely to ever be such hot sunny weather again. Date of review: August 21, 2012
In short: What an amazing and thoroughly exhausting race! Long hills, good support, friendly organizers and runners alike! In full: What an amazing day of racing. It's already hit the calendar for next year. The long sweeping downhills and brutal wooded ascents make for a gruelling battle between mind and legs - especially if you do the Red Kite Challenge on the Saturday. Friendly organization, plentiful water stations, great prizes, and a bit of sunshine helped to make this one of the highlights of my racing year so far. Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: Great inaugural event. Challenging but enjoyable course. Good organization. In full: First-time events are always tough. The organizers did a great job to make sure there were plenty of enthusiastic marshals, good water stations, and a really fun atmosphere in the finish area. The course is certainly undulating, and the "sting in the tail" isn't too bad if you remember to hold something in the tank for it. The wind wasn't too bad through the exposed areas, so the course ran a lot faster than it could be on a different day. Got an unexpected PB, so am thoroughly happy. Date of review: March 11, 2012
In short: A nice race, great falafel van, and an awesome river crossing - but it's certainly not the most picturesque marathon in the UK. In full: The scenery was grand, the weather was phenomenal, the organization was slick. The first 18 miles were pretty reasonable underfoot for a trail run, so you can definitely get in a pretty quick trail time. The ameneties at the finish were great - I really loved the Falafelicious in place of a standard burger van. I'd recommend keeping the river crossing every year that it's not too deep - that was incredibly refreshing. My Garmin measured in at 25.2, without any unexpected deviations. I checked with another runner wearing a different model at 13.2, and his matched, so I guess the last-minute re-routing caused some issues. I'd dispute the claim to "most picturesque marathon in the UK". It was beautiful, for sure, but it's not in the same class as the EnduranceLife CTS races I've done this year. A good day out, but I'm not sure I'd feel the need to travel to again. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Wonderful cause, wonderful organization, great for fun runners, but a bit too much traffic In full: Thank you to everyone involved in the organization, marshalling, support, and general excellence of the race. There was a nice mix of faster and fun runners. The second half had a lot more traffic than I would normally like, although all of the drivers were incredibly tolerant of the hundreds of runners in their way. Date of review: May 30, 2011
In short: One of my all time favourite races. I love the course, the field is fast but friendly. In full: I love this race. It's my third attempt, and the first where I've been healthy enough to race it properly. The quick start is offset by the long drag just before half way. But, what goes up must come down, and you can really pick up the speed on the descent. The beer, burger, and t-shirt are all worth the queues. Thanks again, Cheltenham & Co. Harriers! See you next year! Date of review: August 4, 2010
In short: A nice way to spend a sunny Sunday In full: The Ironbridge half is described as multiterrain, but "multisurface" is probably better. It was on tarmacked or sound cinder tracks for almost the entire distance. Thankfully, I took options with me, because it wouldn't have been fun in my trail shoes. Crowd and marshalls were all friendly and supportive. The high point was running through Ironbridge and across the bridge. Both sides of the road were lined with cheering supporters - a very mini Tower Bridge! All told, it was an enjoyable race. The key ring is great - the goody bag was nice all round. Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Fantastic challenge, amazing location, wonderful staff! In full: Wow, what a race! The registration the night before was friendly and slick.
The scenery was breath-taking at times, which was a shame, because I needed that breath to help get me up that last killer hill! It was so amazing, we went out the next day to enjoy the view.
Because of the incredible amount of rain in the weeks before, there was plenty of mud and boggy fun. The path that was a running stream offered a chance to cool tired feet. The hills themselves weren't such a departure from my normal training, but add in the wind and soft going, and the result was the most challenging course I've done in years.
36 hours later, I'm still all smiles. Thanks, Endurancelife! Date of review: December 6, 2009
In short: Good challenging course, but nothing special In full: The race is well organized, with plenty of marshals and some good crowd support. The course is challenging without any killer hills, but it has too many twists and turns for a flowing run. I didn't hate it, but it didn't leave me wanting it on next year's schedule either. Date of review: November 1, 2009
In short: Great course, fun race, hard work In full: Well done Stroud & District for a good atmosphere and well-run event. I came out for a good tough training run somewhere new, and boy, did I get it! I may have to come back next year to improve my time. And thanks to the runner who noticed the GPS lost in a tumble and brought it to the finish! Date of review: August 16, 2009