In short: A well-run, firendly event In full: The Shakespeare Marathon is a great alternative to that other spring event, with a friendly feel throughout, coupled with great organisation. The first mile around the town is a bit of a bun-fight as there are no starting pens as such - I even overtook someone in a jumper! - but after that it soon settles down, with those running the Half slowly but surely tracking down those doing the Full.
The course splits at 12 miles and has a couple of ups along the way, with the second of these being a longish, gradual ascent before you drop (literally) back down to earth. They are understandably a little tougher the second time around when you are tired, but nothing to really worry about and the rest of the course is pretty flat.
Support out in the sticks is surprisingly vocal at times, with pockets of supporters all along the greenway, and you finish by the banks of the river, with your name being announced over the tannoy. Date of review: April 27, 2016
In short: A good start for the Surrey Half Marathon In full: A very well organised event that was a credit to everyone involved. They kept everyone informed leading up to the race and the village on the day was well organised, if a little busy around the baggage area 30 minutes before the start - it got a bit claustrophobic.
The race was well supported and the out and back course meant that you saw the elites flying back in the other direction just as the early miles, heat and undulations started to add up.
Two minor points ... in the last mile you turn off the road and onto a downhill sandy pathway for a short stretch which makes for interesting running, especially when you are weary. Not sure what could ever be done about this though or if it could ever be covered
The race is expensive - £35-40 - as you are paying for closed roads but to only receive a bottle of water at the end and not even a Mars bar or banana, was a shame. I do not enter races for the goody bag but I could have done with something more substantial.
A good first effort that will hopefully continue to do well. Date of review: March 9, 2014
In short: Excellent pre-London event for all levels In full: An excellently organised event with fantastic marshalls from start to finish, not forgeting the baggage tent which was superbly staffed.
Plenty of loos although most people did not see those at the end of the baggage tent for a while ... which took the pressure of my vist (TMI - sorry).
The course does go up and down quite a bit, however the support through Fleet is noisy for all the right reasons and the localised pockets around the course equally so.
I found the energy drinks at miles 9 & 11 by accident as I wanted water both times and it was definitely a case of bleurrgh-OMG that was so sweet! so maybe they can be flagged more clearly to all runners.
I chose this race over my local event - Reading-as it was cheaper and fitted better with my spring marathon plans and it was easy enough to park within a few minutes of the start without any hassle.
Well done to all at Fleet & Crookham. Date of review: March 31, 2012
In short: A low-key event that over-delivers In full: The Priory 10k is really well organised by a friendly team. It's quite a low key event and it attracts mostly locals from Berkshire and Hampshire as it begins to establish itself.
The route I would describe as undulating, with nothing scary but not quite enough flat stretches to sustain a rhythmn and a few little bumps to keep you on your toes. It's two loops of rural lanes, well marshalled and very friendly.
On Sunday, the biggest challenges were the gusting winds a mile from the finish - certainly made me work hard! - and my own desire to self-destruct by starting too quickly. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Windy, Hot, ... but short on my Garmin?!! In full: I decided to enter Shinfield 10K on the day and found it to be friendly, well-organised and with plenty of marshalls to help on the course. It was quite hot and windy out there but a reasonably fast course with just a few bumps meant it passed without incident.
I have to question the distance though, as it came up short on my Garmin. Date of review: May 2, 2011