In short: Superb in every way In full: My wife brought me an entry for the 10k race as something different for my birthday. This is the first time I have gone to event like this and was immediately surprised by the friendliness of the runners and staff and the relaxed vibe about the place. The organisation was slick and everything was very well managed and coordinated.
From looking on the website I saw that there was quite a bit of elevation gain at the start and also that the second part of the race was all downhill, this was going to be quite different from a Hants League XC race!
The start of the race was interesting with a competitor and completer type system going on and very few of us stepping up. Just before we set off I found myself in the second row, fine for what i'm used two but perhaps not here!?
My fears were ill founded as we headed off along a beautiful river and then up quite a steep path onto the cliff path. The views were absolutely stunning and although windy the day was fantastically clear and bright.
The next section was nice, pretty much flat on grass before turning onto a path going through some heather and up to the high point.
I gave a stone to the Cairn God then leathered it back down to a checkpoint (another new experience). Once crossing the road the decent got a little steeper and I found myself having to ease off a bit but again, terrific fun.
Once off the hill the decent continued through some woods on a lovely dried earth trail. It was at this point the trail gods grabbed the newbie by the foot and I stacked it face first into the earth. The gent behind stopped check I was ok (yet another new experience) before passing. I dusted myself off, absolutely fine and pressed on. On the slightly flatter parts of the decent I was flying but there were a couple more sections where I was out of my depth.
Once down there was a pleasant path before breaking out onto the road and back to the start, finishing 22nd.
I left the event on a real high feeling like I had discovered a whole new type of running... and a hole new type of event!
Later on I released that I tend to enter paid events organised by running clubs or rotary clubs and avoid commercially organised companies thinking they were a rip off.
I think in the case of Endurancelife that would be rather unfair. The course and organisation were faultless.
For your hard cash (I think my wife paid around £30) you got a good quality, and trendy Polyester shirt with Endurancelife branding, a decent medal, some energy bars and free parking. I would argue that that represents very good value for money.
They had also clearly worked closely with the National Trust and there was another event the next day to get involved in some path repairs, what a superb idea.
My only observations were that the drop of point system didn't really work as the road was too narrow.
The second one was the thorny issue of race photography. My view is hire a photographer, absorb the cost into the entry and release free photos with strong event organisers branding. We all like photos and the likelihood is that they will end up on social media and there you have a fantastic form off free advertising.
All in all tip top, I will be keeping an eye out to see if the CTS will return to Doreset next year, and if it does I will be there! Date of review: April 18, 2015
In short: This race sorts the men from the boys... In full: .. and this year I was definitely one of the boys. This race always signals to me the start of the cross country season and yesterday really whetted my appetite. Great course, great administration of the event and great competition. Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Fantastic Race In full: Really great race today, the organisation was exceptional and the marshalls were really supportive. The chap at mile 5 with the hose pipe deserves a medal, great touch. The course was nice and flat and the trees gave some good shelter from the sun.
New Forest runners now how to put on a show! Date of review: July 11, 2010
In short: Fantastic In full: This race really was fantastic. Running along the shingle was hard but apart from that couldnt fault a thing. Hardley runners are such a friendly club from entering the car park and the supportive smiling martials all the way round. This is a traiumph for Martin and his fellow clubmates. Date of review: March 15, 2010
In short: Excellent! Well done to Ryde Harriers In full: A great 8 mile dash around the western part of island. Ill be back for the Needles half and the Fell series. Big thanks to all those at Ryde Harriers for making this a great Bank Holiday. Date of review: April 13, 2009
In short: The best race i have run this year In full: The best challenge I have had this year. It was great, all we needed was bergens and shouting and it could of been an Army PT outing. That goes for the organisation too. I cant fault anything. Just wish i got the medal, it looked cool! Date of review: October 17, 2008
In short: A run around my back yard In full: First time I have done the NF half, and I really enjoyed it. Nice friendly support along the route, what better way to spend a Sunday morning... apart for going out on the pony drift ;-) Date of review: September 26, 2008