In short: Friendly, scenic 10K with a couple of gentle-ish climbs to keep you honest In full: Very enjoyable race from start to finish that ticks all the boxes. Easy to park close by on the surrounding roads and no problems finding the start/finish as it's close to the gate.
Everyone involved with organising was cheerful and friendly with free baggage drop off and even a drink of water available before the race had started. A turnout of somewhere between 250-300 was perfect for a good atmosphere without the race feeling too packed or cramped once it got going.
Loved the multi-terrain course around the park, scenic enough that you can still enjoy it on the second lap. Also the route meant you do most of the climbing at the beginning of the lap and can enjoy a fairly fast downhill finish, which is definitely the best way round! The climbs and the fact you have other park goers using the paths at the same time means that this isn't the ideal race for a PB but having said that I did manage to set one so I'd say it's on the quick side.
It's chip timed, as most races are these days, but the organisers also do regular print outs as runners finish so you can see your placing and official chip time a few minutes after you're done which is a nice touch, as are the cakes and biscuits at the end! Excellent race, will almost certainly be back! Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Attractive, well-organised race in a great location. In full: This is probably my favourite race of the 10-15 I've done so far in my fledgeling running career. The River Lee Country Park makes a great venue for a race with it's scenic, winding footpaths running alongside streams, lakes and canals providing an attractive and traffic-free route. It's very organised with marshals at each turn and almost every one clapped and gave encouragement as I went by. Much appreciated!
The start is located in a large field with loads of room for parking only a few hundred yards away so you can leave all your stuff in your car and only have to find space to carry a key while running. There's music, refreshments and free massages going on too giving a nice relaxed atmosphere, great for beginners. This is also the only race I've done where there has been enough toilets provided to avoid massive queues!
It's a very flat race and the footpaths are mostly paved so there is decent potential for a PB here. Some bits are rather twisty though and, what with it being July and rather hot, there are certainly faster races out there if that's what you are looking for. Personally I managed to beat my time from last year but not quite manage a PB.
You only get a bottle of water and a T-shirt at the end, but if it helps keep the cost down to a tenner then I'm all for it! All in all, it's a great event that's very difficult to fault, I'm surprised it's not more popular! Date of review: July 5, 2010
In short: Scenic race, fast course but a little too crowded. In full: A scenic and well supported race with a fairly flat course that offers you a decent chance of getting a PB. There are a couple of inclines to keep you honest but the last Kilometre is mostly downhill which is always a bonus.
The route is very picturesq, starting in the village and looping off into the attractive surrounding countryside twice in a figure of 8, allowing spectators to see the race in the middle as well as at the start and the end. There were plenty of spectators too, shouting encouragement all along the course, which definitely helps.
The only downside of this race for me is that it just feels a bit too crowded. With over 1300 runners, plus their supporters, plus people coming for the village fete, which the run is part of, parking is at a premium. The start of the race was also a bit of a mad scramble, with so many runners packing the streets of a small village, it was difficult to get into any sort of rhythm over the first K or so.
All in all it's a very enjoyable race once it gets going but you definitely need to get there early and be prepared to fight your corner on the start line! Date of review: June 1, 2010
In short: Scenic, hilly, welcoming race. In full: Really enjoyed this race, thanks mainly to the splendid course that tracks through the Chilterns and great weather. It is hilly but there is only 1 particularly steep bit and some good downhill sections to make up for it.
There was a good crowd at the start which gave the race a nice atmosphere, and quite a few people lining the course clapping and cheering you on too. As someone else mentioned, special thanks to the lad with the cow bell, it really gave me a boost just when I needed it!
I agree with some of the complaints others have raised though, the announcer at the start could definitely do with having the volume turned up for one thing. It was only by chance I wandered to the start at the right time.
I was quite fortunate with the traffic but I can quite understand how it would have caused problems. The road through the woods between miles 3 and 4 is particularly problematic as you have traffic coming both ways confining you to the narrow footpath just as you need to overtake the fun runners. This coupled with the hills means it's never going to be a great race for a PB but the scenery and general vibe makes up for it in my book.
I think I'm alone in that I quite liked the medal (I have more than enough low quality T-shirts) and the banana at the end was very welcome too. Well almost certainly be doing this one again. Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: A well-organised, fast, flat race almost perfect for getting that PB In full: After 5-6 months off running last year I signed up to this one hoping to get what proper athletes would call a season's best. Thanks to this very well organised race on an almost perfectly flat course I actually managed to beat my best ever 10K time!
The scenery is nothing to write home about but it's certainly not an ugly race and I, for one, didn't mind the loop around the airfield. It still beats my usual winter training routes along suburban streets with heavy traffic!
The organisation was very good on the whole, the marshals did an excellent job, what with having to direct runners and traffic in both directions on one part of the course! The free baggage storage was a very nice and extremely useful touch too.
My only criticism of the organisation would be the rather hap-hazard start at the corner of the field then marching us down to the road. Although I understand they didn't want to block the road off with hundreds of runners standing around it did mean that people started all over the place with sub 40 runners at the back and visa versa. If they just had a roped off section on the field with signs for sub 40, sub 50, sub 60 etc. so people could order themselves I think it would have helped a lot.
All in all this was a very enjoyable event and I plan to back next year! Date of review: December 14, 2009
In short: Hilly, wet and tough but still worth it! In full: To be honest, when I woke up and saw the weather out the window I very nearly pulled the covers back up and went back to sleep. It really makes you question your sanity when you're getting up at 8am on a Sunday to run 13 miles in heavy rain up steep hills and you've paid for the privilege! But by the time I crossed the finish line I already wanted to sign up again for next year.
This race was extremely well organised, excellently marshalled and has a very friendly atmosphere. There's even a plasma screen at the end so you can see your official time straight away. The course itself is pretty tough with a steady uphill start and two very sharp climbs at around the 8 and 11 mile points but on the plus side there's lots of lovely Chiltern countryside and woods to take your mind off the pain and the last mile and a half is all downhill. Will definitely be doing this one again. Date of review: November 3, 2009
In short: Fast, scenic, well-organised race In full: Very difficult to fault this race, almost everything was spot on. Easy parking (for free!) about 200 yards from the start, enough toilets Date of review: July 10, 2009
In short: Flat course and nice location, shame about the accuracy claims! In full: I did the April race and, like others, found that the course was several hundred meters too long. It's a shame as this race would be perfect for a PB if it was the correct length and if the course was proper laps of the lake to get rid of all the 180 degree turns. In fact, the course they had laid out this time seemed even worse than last year's effort as there were several points where runners were going head-to-head very narrow paths. It gives you the impression that F3events are trying to use as little of the available paths as possible for some reason.
In general, the organisation was better than I found last year, and other people's experiences in the March and Feb races, but this was mainly due to a low turnout. There was probably only 150 runners in total compared to nearly 400 last year so the lack of toilets and tight course weren't as big an issue.
Overall, I do like Dorney lake as a venue for running races and I would definitely do one there again. Just not so sure if it will be one of the ones organised by F3events though.
In short: A bit hap-hazard with the organisation, but great once it got going In full: Great location for a race, nice scenery and the flat terrain is perfect for getting a PB. As others have said, would have preferred to do laps rather than the up and down one side course they laid out though. The tight turns at either end weren't a great idea in the wet weather.
Organisation was a bit of a let down too, took ages queuing up just to park for some reason, which I think is the main reason it started late. Still the marshals were friendly and helpful and there was quite a good crowd of spectators considering the bad weather. If it was slightly better co-ordinated it has the potential to be a really good event. Date of review: April 14, 2008