In short: Unique and superb In full: A wonderful race. Proper old-school x-country conditions - gates to be hurdled, ice, mud and rutted tracks to contend with - but in an utterly beautiful part of the world. The bore is extraordinary. The race organisation was pretty much faultless. I loved it. Date of review: January 14, 2013
In short: really tough, really well run. In full: Excellently run and very good value race. Glorious scenery, obv. Clockwork organisation (with a half mark deducted for messy finish through the carpark, but I'm not sure what else could be done). Very, very tough - the hills were bad enough but the second half rolling so much that there was hardly a level step in it means that I ache in new places. Overall, 10/10 - but do make sure you train well. Date of review: June 10, 2012
In short: only april fools missed it In full: The weather made an already excellent race absolutely first class. Well done to all involved. The only (tiny) suggestion I'd make would be to try a bit harder to persuade people to start in the appropriate place - there were a lot of slow runners starting pretty near the front. But that's tiny and it's a special race. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: challenging and wonderful In full: My second time doing this race and I loved it. Wonderful course, scenic, challenging but not ridiculously so. The river crossing was indeed a highlight but so was the towpath, the woods (some of) the hills etc. Very friendly and efficient marshals. Hats off to avr for an excellent race. Date of review: November 13, 2011
In short: fun, but should be much better. In full: The course was gorgeous, if tougher than I had expected, and the conditions were perfect. It's a shame that the organisers got so many things wrong. The transition area wasn't remotely adequate. In and out of transition was very unclear. The marshalling was wierd, loads of cadets whooping at one point of the course but mile after mile with no-one. The goody bag had 5 flyers and one gel in. There was no bag storage. The t-shirt (excellent quality) was just a t-shirt, no markings to do with the event.
Overall none of this really mattered too much but it wasn't remotely good enough for an event costing 30 quid. Date of review: October 16, 2011
In short: Good, but not great. In full: Pro: Pretty flat course. Very well organised, especially the large, well-run, water / drinks sections. Good support in the city centre. Good start/finish. Excellent supportive marshalling.
Cons: Not great three last miles - windy and lonely through the business quarter. The goodies bag is just so silly that they'd be better off without. It costs about £5 too much. It would also be great if they could put in a couple more uplifting sections: the Heart FM stations were really welcome and a New Orleans-style jazz band like they had in the 10k would have gone down very well.
Overall I'll keep on doing it as it's only 10 min walk from me but imo the organisers will need to pick up just a couple of things, or drop the price a little, to stop the decline in numbers. Date of review: September 12, 2011
In short: 2nd time doing it and will be back many more times In full: Excellent race, even though the huge proportion of people in club colours is a tiny bit intimidating. Thought the start was slightly messy this time: while it was nice it being in the same place as the finish it did mean that there were a couple of early bottlenecks. After that everything was spot on. Clear mile markers, clear and encouraging marshals, plenty of water stops and a simply beautiful course. I smashed my pb (second time in two years) as did someone I spent a while running with: there are a couple of small hills but it's a very fast course. Date of review: March 14, 2011
In short: Glorious race on a glorious day In full: Absolutely stunning scenery, fast course, well organised (hats off for four drink stations) and a good range of friendly runners - it's easy to see why it's so popular. Hope they can sort out marshalling the traffic over the middle miles a little better next year; get that sorted and it'll be one of my all-time favourites. Date of review: March 7, 2010
In short: Glorious weather, glorious scenery - and the run's pretty great too. In full: First time doing it and will be back. Starting and finishing on the beach is wonderful. The woods are fantastic (the hill's not that tough but puts paid to a PB) and the run over the causeway was absolutely out of this world. The steps near the beginning aren't great and I think the race would be improved if they could be skirted or, at least, they could be further into the run - they were a real bottleneck being so near the start. Date of review: February 15, 2010