In short: Tough Hills, Great support on Course. In full: Marshalls were great. Well I am a member of the club that supplies the marshals so I could expect to get a lot of support. Not run this course on this new route but it is harder now. New hills at dead mans ash and fir tree hill as well as grove mill lane made this hard going. Possibly harder than Berko now? Would have liked something to eat (banana?) at the end after a tough run and had to settle for the burger stall. Inside the marquee was nice and the changing areas with built in heating were nice but due to the crowds and layout of the seating it was difficult to get to baggage drop off so this would benefit different layout next year. On course I started well back due (as I wanted to warm up slowly) but then found that that packs of runners had formed around the pacers making it difficult to overtake on the narrow lanes that the course is run on. Great support on course from the locals. Toilets looked back but as there was a urinal (which took some locating) I didn't have issues. Large queues noticeable. Date of review: February 8, 2016
In short: Very well organised race, hilly but enjoyable race In full: A bit nervous about this race as not come across it before and was suprised about how good the organisation was. Not much to fault this race so recommended to all. Only minor gripes were unattended baggage tent and no uka discount but these are vastly out weighed by the very good race. Car parks are close by so you can leave stuff in cars if need be. I was suprised by the number of happy marshalls on route and the goody bag consiting of a medal, a reusable draw string bag and a tech t-shirt were nice touches. The course itself are footpaths along side roads with a couple or road crossings. Its quite hilly from mile 7 to 10 but then I like hilly courses so this suited me fine. Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: Bad baggage collection lets down what would be a great race In full: Good points, very generous goody bag, stadium finish, good course, well supported on course and traffic free Bad points; the baggage collection; the tannoy announcements; plenty of stewards/security rather than willing (and helpful) volunteers. I don’t know what the organisers were thinking with the horrendous baggage collection for the men. Why are their separate baggage tents for men and women? This makes no sense at all. The queues are predictable as the numbers seem to be linked to speed hence the bottlenecks. I.e the first 5000 males runners to cross the line all have to go the same tent, All the tents need to be in a line with big wide entrances so that you get the largest number of runners to the tables at once not queuing one at time. I did Cardiff half in October they used a similar format to the London a long line of trucks where runners can access maximum frontage without having to queue. They could see there was a problem (as there were vague announcements about delays) why did the organisers not talk to the baggage tents co-ordinators and move staff around to deal with the peaks. Rather than sending in the stewards to get us cold and wet runners to queue the organisers should have been sending up to the stadium or under cover to keep us warm. I tried to seek shelter when I realised the monster of a queue but was turned away from the stadium and told to walk around to where the buses where. I was tired cold to I just gave up and sat on the floor.
The changing tent was not better, muddy floor and a long walk from the kit tent. The nail in the coffin for this race was when I had got changed and was eating some hot food was the tannoy telling people to hurry up and collect their bags as they queues had now gone. I went home for fear of a serious sense of humour failure.
In short: Great new race, Road shoes a must In full: A well organised race with a good combination of running club expertise and local business support. The course was undulating with plentiful hills. Somehow I had it my head it was a trail run and wore trial shoes. My mistake its predominately road and I paid the price with sore calfs and a slow time but thats my own fault. The support on course from marshalls and public was excellent given it was freezing. The low entry fee and great organisation puts some well established and more expensive races to shame. Well done, keep it up. Date of review: February 25, 2013
In short: Hills, hills, hills, but well organised In full: Well I should have known better being that I run with one of the watford clubs but the course was a lot harder than I remembered it to be. Those hills keeping coming meaning you have to keep the pace even all the way through. Liked the marquee and set up in the park was well done. A little disappointed by the goody bag. Best just stick with a t-shirt and drink next year. Signage for the water station needs improving and little annoyed that the sponge station was signed as a drinks station leaving quite a few annoyed and frustrated runners around me. Marshalls were great but then I was wearing the right colours! Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Excellent course, but one for the prepared. Its a challenge trail race! In full: Well I was told it would be hard but what with the very hot conditions yesterday I found this a tough going. I am used to running off road but this was hardwork. However reflecting on it the day after I did really enjoy this and its a very well organised race with directions, map and a garmin route to download. Don't go out expecting a road race this is a race you have to navigate and carry water,gels etc to get you round. I was suprised after crossing the line to be offered a choice of memento, buff or mug given it only cost £9 to enter. Hot showers were welcome. I believe there was free food and drink as well but I had to go given I was 1hr 15mins outside of my PB time for road! This is great race just, go out enjoy it but and don't worry about your time. Date of review: September 10, 2012
In short: A flat course doesnt guarantee a fast course In full: It had all the frills and fantastic goodie bags, t-shirts and medals that the Wycombe Half had but sorry I didn't enjoy it. I came as others had flagged the fast pb course but I was disappointed. The start was too congested 1400 runners crammed into a 4m wide path with fencing either side. More gaps were needed in the fence to allow runners to get into the pens. The course itself was a very twisty turny through the streets of Marlow. This for me made it difficult to keep the pace going. Lots of sharp bends where others were jumping up and down kerbs to go quicker. The whole race reminds me of the bits I hated about the the Wycombe half i.e the dull hosing estates. Thankfully the roads were closed which meant a mostly traffic free run. Date of review: May 13, 2012
In short: Well organised marathon In full: An excellent first marathon for me. Well marshalled and organised. Nice shower and memento at the end. 5 hour cut off excludes the slower runners though so quite a clubby run. Lots of water stations and people handing out sweets. Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Thousands of runners and a flat course. In full: Well it was flat and fast but I couldn't make use of as the course was heavily congested in places. Trying to squeeze 11,000 runners into one lane in places was bound to cause issues. My pace suffered and I won't be trying this again for a while. Its quite an expensive race given that all you get at the end it a hand towel/flannel. It a fantastic race for new runners and its a worth a go (once). Date of review: October 17, 2010
In short: Fantasic trail race through uplifting countryside. In full: Excellent and well organised run. Closer to 10 miles than the advertised 15K but I really enjoyed it so not bothered. Nice t-shirt as a memento as well. Challenging hills but combined with nice flats or downhills to compensate. Date of review: October 14, 2010