In short: Epic Race!!! In full: This now rates as one of my all time favourite races! Truly brilliant from start to finish!
I like many missed out on a place in September, so secured my entry via transfer on the FB page. I then upgraded this on the day with no hassle from Cub to full Grizzly, if only all races let you do this!
The course has a real mix of terrain, shingle beaches, roads, farm tracks, open fields, bogs, forests, water crossings, add to this lots of hills, never ending steps up a cliff, a blustery wind and snow, it made for one hell of a challenge.
Great bunch of runners, and the most amazing marshals, including drummers and bagpipes. I could go on but you really have to experience it to appreciate what a great run it is (despite being the longest in terms of time I have ever run, nearly 1.5hrs over my 20 mile PB!).
Well done Axe Valley Runners I will be there next year. Date of review: March 16, 2013
In short: Very very very expensive!!!! In full: Its difficult to give this an accurate review as I was running with a friend who was completing her first half, and so I had a steady jog round rather than a real race. However, it ticked all the boxes for a first half marathon experience a lot of crowd support, a big race feel etc.
However, £46 entry is far too steep. No technical T Shirt, nothing special in the goody bag, and a very boring and small medal. With the exception of a couple of bottles of lucozade on the course, I didn't see where the extra pounds on the entry were spent. Especially with a 2 lap format this even limited the amount of road closures required. I can see the potential for a PB on this course but there are other significantly cheaper halves that offer comparable courses.
For the entry fee I would expect a much better post race experience, long queues for bags, dechip and having to grab a space blanket (if you spotted them) rather than being handed one. Then to top it all off we ended up having to get a taxi back to the park and ride as the queues for the bus were staggering (and we weren't the only ones!)
If I'd spent £25 on this race I would be happy, but given the price I expected a lot more, sorry Bath! Great for those running there first few halves, for everyone else I'd look for something cheaper! Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: TOUGH!!!!! In full: Tough, Muddy, Tough, Hilly, Tough, Boggy, Tough, Fell-Over-Twice, Tough, Ran-into-a-Tree, Tough, Tough, Tough!!!!
That pretty much sums it up!
Not done it before and the lashing rain on the day and weeks of rain and snow previously made conditions underfoot horrendous. Was glad to get round unscathed, sore hip for a few days after but no lasting damage!
I would consider the weather before running this again next year, 2 falls on my a**e hard and massive bruise on the precipice, it was like an ice rink but on a vertical hill!
Great organisation, great people, tough course!!! Date of review: February 17, 2013
In short: Boom!!! Broke 2:30 so I am happy!!!! In full: This was my target 20 miler (as the next 3 are off road or horrendously hilly) and I knew what to expect after last year, ran an avg/pace of 7:26, my target for London is 7:24, so I was well happy and the course did what it said on the tin.
Good organisation by RR, pretty good value, decent medal and chip timed so can't moan for £21.
Whilst it wasn't warm today it certainly wasn't cold and it was very sunny. Water in cups wasn't really sufficient for me personally, could have done with some bottled, even if only on the water stations on the 2nd lap. However, I can see why the organisers don't do this as entirely agree with the previous comments about littering. If you can carry it for the first 12 miles you can carry it for the last 8, or dispose of it with your cup at the next water station, appalling!!!
Mile 5-6/15-16, and between miles 7-9/17-19 there are some sneaky inclines, whilst not noticed on the first lap they do take their toll on the second lap and need factoring in if your aiming for a time.
Will be back in 2014, Well done RR!!! Date of review: February 17, 2013
In short: Fantastic Race, 11/10!!! In full: From start to finish I can't find fault with this race.
Slick registration by friendly and efficient volunteers. Good race facilities, plenty of toilets and not a portaloo in sight. More smiley, helpful and very vocal marshals than I have experienced before and a nice tech Tee shirt on completion.
Add to that a very speedy flat-as-a-pancake course, bottled water halfway round and accurate chip timing, this race really ticks every box. PBed on this course last year and knocked almost 2 minutes off my time today, despite a very strong headwind in the final few miles.
Excellent job Lliswerry Runners!!! Date of review: January 27, 2013
In short: Need to get those legs moving quicker next time...OR......that wave needs to slow down!!! In full: Second time at Beat the Bore. Last time round, dry and sunny and the rutted tracks were tough. Today a frozen quagmire made for even more tricky conditions underfoot! This race sounds easy on paper but its tough terrain despite being flat. However, its very quirky and charming, and the organisation and value for money is second to none. The other runners also made for an excellent race again.
Like the majority of the field I didn't beat the bore, but I did beat the bus back, so all was not lost! Well done to Simon and the team cracking race!! Date of review: January 13, 2013
In short: Seven Hills & 2 Swims In full: I could almost copy and paste the previous review, as I also started and finished 2012 with Seven Sins!
I think last months review in RW led to a vast increase in numbers, that perhaps were not anticipated by the organizers. We arrived in plenty of time to use the Mallards Pike toilets, park up, register and use the potaloos, so can't comment on parking issues. Given the mild weather today the delayed start didn't really matter but the increased numbers did lead to a bit of congestion on the course. If your not too bad on the hills all of them are runnable without slow traffic in front, the downs were a bit dicey in places given the sheer amount of rain we have had. Two horses out on the course didn't seem to keen on the huffing and puffing collection of fluorescent clad bodies ambling past, not sure if the run uses bridle paths, if so maybe a bit of forewarning for riders would have been useful, as it has the potential for an accident.
I knew the river crossings were going to be deep, waist level on the first and very fast flowing on the second really had to hang onto the trees to not lose your footing! Good job it was so mild or I never would have got my quads going again!
Will definitely be back again as its a great course, and well worth the run. No criticism but just a point maybe look at the organisation with increased numbers, 9/10! Date of review: December 30, 2012
In short: Forget the Sales, this is what Boxing Day is made for! In full: Great little run to blow away the previous days over indulgence.
Almost all the runners ran in fancy dress which added to the atmosphere. Fantastic marshals, cheap entry fee with soup and roll included and free parking. The course wasn't the most scenic, however you did pass the finish after 3 miles, so if you really had overdone it the day before you could always drop out early!!
Forget the hustle and bustle of the dreaded sales, escape the family for an hour or two and give this a try in your best fancy dress outfit, 10/10. Date of review: December 30, 2012
In short: If you like hills this is the one for you! In full: Ran last year, ran this year with Snowdonia hillwork behind me and found it a lot easier despite the course being in a far worse state (I don't remember branches floating in lakes of mud!)Great idea taking the stiles out made for a much smoother first lap, no extra mile this year and as always brilliant marshals really encouraging and friendly. The hills are tough but most are runnable, there are a couple of stretches where it is quicker to walk. On finishing you get a nice T Shirt in smaller sizes for the ladies, a nice medal, and bottle of beer, plus changing with a (cold) shower, pretty good for the money!
The only slight point, its not a criticism, just a thought, is that on the steep, rutted, stony track that leads onto the steep tarmac lane it is a real case of watching where you put your feet rather than watching where other competitors are coming from, I wonder if the course could be modified so that you don't have to pass people in the opposite direction. I didn't notice this last year but with the extra numbers and the route still being open to the public that was the only stretch I didn't enjoy.
This is definitely one for the race calendar, although next year is only a maybe for me as I may try out a local race for a change. As I said last year 11/10, give it a go!!! Date of review: November 29, 2012