In short: Great fun - even the last "hill" In full: I use quotes around hill, as one runner put it afterwards:" it was like trying to climb up the north face of the Eiger" - according to Strava gradient it reached 32% at one point, so that description isn't far off. Would definitely run again if in the area. Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: Good as always... In full: Another good Shepshed race - the only issue as with every year is the totally inaccurate mile and 10k markers - come on organisers you really can sort this out!!!! Date of review: November 6, 2011
In short: A good off-road jaunt in the cotswolds In full: An interesting race, the chip timing seemed a bit over the top, for an off-road race precise timing is not normally the first thing you think of, but perhaps we three races going on virtually simultaneously then perhaps it was necessary. Could have been better marked in place, could have done with more water stations - a gap between 4ish miles and 11ish miles without drinks not ideal, especially as it was a tad warm today! All in all a good fun run! Date of review: October 15, 2011
In short: UKA Gold Graded event?!?! In full: Think the organizers have been telling a few porky pies here. According to run britain they don't have a UKA race license, yet alone a gold grading!
That said they seemed reasonably well intentioned, if slightly clueless about the organizing of the race itself. Doing a presentation where the prize winners are called up by Race number rather than name was an interesting first. The course itself was definitely not measured accurately, which is a shame, given it involved loops of a track at the start and finish, they could easily have adjusted it to the correct length. A loop of Norman Park itself is approx 1900m, so with 1350m round the track on the way out and then 750m on the way back the total race length was about 9.7km...
Fine if you are looking for a hard training run (which luckily I was) - if I was looking for a proper 10k, I would have been a bit p!!!ed off! Date of review: September 17, 2011
In short: Well organized and challenging half marathon In full: A well organized event with some challenging hills between miles 5 and 8. One thing for the organizers to note is to sort out the correct positioning of the mile markers. When a course is officially measured, the measurer will have given you detailed description of the precise location of the mile markers. Please use these, rather than what appears to have happened, someone going around and putting up markers based on a gps or equivalent. Given that a half marathon is 13 miles 176 metres in distance, it should be fairly clear to you that something isn't right when your 13 mile marker is placed 75 metres before your 200m to go sign!!! Otherwise a very well organized event!! Date of review: March 3, 2011
In short: A great way to spend the weekend! In full: A new course for 2010, starting in the town centre, so plenty of support early doors. The course then heads out for two loops of the countryside (one if you are doing the 10k). The weather, scenery and support were all excellent and this is definitely one of my favourite races!
However don't be deceived by mentions of PB potential in the official course description - this course is a great example of how sticking a pin at the start and the finish and measuring descent doesn't tell the whole story! Yes, the course might net be 200ft downhill, but when you expand that to 650ft uphill, 850ft downhill you then realise why you won't be running anywhere near a PB!
Remember though you come to Alderney for a different pace of life and that's what counts! Date of review: September 8, 2010
In short: Good chance for a PB In full: On the plus side there is a good chance of running a PB on this course which, apart from one very short slight incline followed by an equally short sharp descent, is pancake flat. Apart from that though there isn't a great deal to recommend this race. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it -apart from a distinct lack of toilet facilities, given the number of participants - everything's just kind of average really. The views weren't anything special, there weren't many spectators, the one water stop was terribly efficient etc. etc. BUT if you want to run a fast time, you will undoubtedly want to do this race. Date of review: April 5, 2010
In short: Good pre London warm up! In full: My first time at the SD20 and I wasn't disappointed. The course takes you along the Taf Trail, does a little loop, with a brief off-road section, up a climb, with a lot of steps and then back along the trail to Merthyr.
On the whole, well organized, although could have done with a marshall in a couple of additional places, most notably on the down slope of the underpass at around 16m, where at pace it was quite possible to miss arrows pointing the right way. Given the number of marshalls out on the course, I am sure the organizers will rectify that one next year. I was not a huge fan of the step section back up to the trail, but then again I would have been less of a fan of a longer run along the trail section, which is definitely not what you want in a road race!!! Date of review: March 28, 2010
In short: mid Wales at its finest... In full: The Welsh like creating challenging events, be it chasing after horses or trains, snorkelling through peat bogs etc. etc., so it should come as no surprise that the locals here discovered that you could run continuously uphill for 2.75 miles during the first 6 miles of a 20 mile race. The advantage of this is that as well as the spectacular views, you then have the benefit of a half marathon race that is mainly downhill with a slight rise again after a bridge at 7.5 and another steady climb between 14 and 15. Then there is a stiffer test between 18 and 19, and a cheeky uphill climb, that will stymie those amongst us who set off too hard, at the finish as you come back into the town.
Thanks to people in Birmingham who needed fresh water, for helping to create the reservoirs in the Elan Valley that we all got to run round! Date of review: March 21, 2010