In short: Not an easy course, but fantastic value for money In full: This is a great community event with kids' races as well as the 10k. It cost me about £12 to enter and for that I received a medal, technical ladies-fit t-shirt, watercress (as Alresford is in watercress country and on the Watercress Line steam railway) and a filled plastic water bottle.
The course is an out and back and rather undulating. If you've done your hill training you will be ok. If you haven't (I hadn't due to Achilles problems) you won't. It was the furthest I'd run in two months, but taking it gently worked for me and I ran completely even splits.
I definitely recommend this event. Date of review: June 21, 2015
In short: Great race - one of my favourites In full: This was the 3rd time I'd done the Hook 6, last year I was injured and the year before I did the 10 mile option. I was injured this year too, but managed to get round in a not-too-shabby time.
Nice medal (it would be nice if they differentiated between the 2.5, 6 and 10, maybe they could do so on the ribbon) and generally great organisation.
The only thing I would say is that it would help if they briefed the fun runners and walkers to ensure that they keep left (or right) as they approach the finish, as it is difficult for 6 and 10 milers to get past them at times - I had to shout "coming through" or "excuse me" a few times when I was exhausted.
A great community event - maybe the Green Park 10k could avoid clashing with it in future so I can do both events in another year! Date of review: May 17, 2015
In short: Great little race, shame not more participants In full: I think this might be the smallest race I've ever done. There were 20 ladies running of all abilities from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. It takes place in a small country park close to Heathrow and alongside the M25 and BA's HQ. Planes go overhead every minute or so.
Trail shoes are probably a good idea as it's all off-road but road shoes would be ok if it's not been raining beforehand.
You meet in a car park (there are toilets available). The start and finish is a chalk line on the path. The race was well marshaled and marked. A bit twisty and a few small hills to keep you busy but what goes up must come down.
At the end we were presented with a large medal and a carnation. Thank you to the marshals and officials who stood out in the pouring rain, and the results were delivered by email this morning, very efficient. A great little race - definitely deserves far more participants. Date of review: May 7, 2015
In short: Well organised but I wouldn't want to do it when it was muddy In full: I entered the 5 mile race (10 miles is two laps) on the day, so it was quite expensive, but as I'd been injured in the lead-up I had to take a view on the day and actually I'd rather pay a bit more to enter on the day than have to enter in advance and then lose the money when I can't run.
The course is pretty flat and was very dry. I don't think I would have enjoyed the course after a prolonged wet spell. That said, I found the ground very uneven even in trail shoes, so although the course was flat I didn't find it very fast.
It was quite exciting at the beginning, as we all set off, only to come to a grinding halt as a horse had got onto the course! So back we went and started again. I think that's the first time I've ever done a race that had to be restarted! There was water and a banana at the end, and a decent medal. I finished in the top ten ladies, so despite the slower time than I wanted, was happy with the result. Well done to Ellie and her team and I've entered most of the Dinton Pastures series for this summer now. Date of review: April 24, 2015
In short: Challenging but well organised In full: I've wanted to do this race ever since my husband did it in 2011 (in the days when there was an autumn Tempest as well). The medal was fabulous and I like my bling. Well the medal has got even better and is a lovely bespoke medal designed by Laurie King. You also get a chocolate bar at the end and plenty to drink. I also liked the fact that the race director shakes your hand at the finish and thanked people for their support.
I only drank water on the way round but there were gels and jelly babies as well. It's a great race if you are marathon training (although I am not sure I'd want to do two laps, it must be quite mentally challenging to go through the finish and go round again) and the 10 mile variant is a good test in its own right, or as preparation for a half marathon.
I would have liked a slightly faster time, but it is quite undulating and I still came in as 9th lady, so happy with the position.
Thank you to everyone involved in putting on the race in windy, rainy conditions, not so bad for running in but horrible to be standing around marshalling, at drinks stations etc. Thank you again if you are reading this, your efforts were very much appreciated. Date of review: April 1, 2015
In short: A regular visit for me In full: This race starts a short hop from my local parkrun course and is a good mix of trail, road and canal towpath (although this can make choosing appropriate shoes tricky). This was the 4th time I have done the race. It's well organised and a scenic route.
It would be nice to have a more bespoke medal.
But I'll be back next year as it's a great race and an interesting distance. Date of review: January 19, 2015
In short: Great course, great medal, both in shape of pig In full: I believe that the reason this race is a slightly weird distance (11.7 km or 7.2 miles) is because it follows the shape of a pig. I didn't realise this until I downloaded my run and looked at the map on Garmin Connect. For those not local, it is called the Hog's Back due to the name of the hill outside Guildford.
The route is hilly but you'll definitely do a negative split as much of the uphill is in the first half and there is a glorious downhill section which goes on for at least a mile so you get your reward for the uphill, it's fantastic.
It was a cold morning and started to rain while I was in the toilet queue (more loos would be good, as ever). I was feeling miserable and was all for going home again! But the rain stopped and once I got going I felt much better. There was a slight delay due to the queue to collect race numbers, maybe people should arrive a little bit earlier. It's a 9am start, there are no closed roads so I wonder if the start could be made a bit later in future years so people can get out of bed at a slightly more civilised time, including the organisers and volunteers.
The only thing I would say is that I felt slightly misled by the "free refreshments at the end" on the website - I thought this meant tea and cake. What it actually meant was water and bananas. I don't like bananas, but I do like cake. Maybe the organisers could consider it for next year.
In the end it was a great race, I would definitely do it again and it's a good step-up from a 10k for newer runners. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: My local race, always do it In full: The race was marketed very efficiently this year which meant that it was a lot busier than in previous years and it took me a while to cross the line which was significant as there is only gun to chip timing. The organisers have said that they are looking into chip to chip timing for next year and I would suggest that they talk to Torbay AC about the Torbay Regatta 10k as I am pretty sure they had chip to chip timing yet only needed to close the road seconds before the runners started.
The route is a bit boring, two loops of Fleet, but there is a reasonable amount of support. I always do it as it is close to my house and there was a really good medal this year (MUCH better than the dreary Fleet half marathon 2014 medal). It is my PB course but I've been a bit slower the last couple of years. I'll be back next year. Date of review: October 26, 2014
In short: Great ladies race for beginners and experienced runners alike by organisers of Windsor HM In full: This race is organised by Windsor half marathon organisers and benefits from its infrastructure - plenty of loos, bouncy castle for the kids etc. It used to be an 8k but after a flirtation with "She Runs" last year, became a 10k. I hope that the organisers will consider reverting back to the 8k, as there are plenty of 10ks, 8k is a nice stepping stone from parkrun to 10k and is an interesting distance in its own right. But taken as a 10k, it's an undulating, challenging route, all on closed roads through Windsor Great Park and you can see the castle for the last mile or so.
It was a warm day - I found the two water stations sufficient and the cups didn't bother me as I don't like carrying a bottle when running. However, the bottles of water at the end were rather small, although you could top up from a tap - I think they should be 500ml. The race started at 12 noon. I can see from the Windsor half marathon reviews that there were several comments about the 1pm start. I am not sure, but I don't think this is the organisers being stubborn or reckless about safety - I think the park authorities don't allow the events to take place earlier - there is something else going on in the park.
The medal was good and the Mars bar appreciated. After a half marathon I might have wanted a bit more but it was fine for 10k. This was the 4th time I had run this event (3 times when it was 8k) and I will be back next year. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Great race again but what have they done to the medal? In full: This is my local HM and starts around 10 minutes walk from my house. I got a PB last year but was running with a cold today so was 10 minutes slower. Marshals and onlookers very supportive and it was a beautiful day which wasn't good for fast times but helped a lovely atmosphere.
But what a disappointment at the finish. The medals in the last three years have been bespoke, really nice ones. Reading really raised its game this year, but for some reason Fleet went down a cheap route - it may not matter to lots of runners but if you are running your first HM you really want a special medal for it. What a shame - otherwise a perfect event. Date of review: March 16, 2014