In short: Stunning Ultra taking on some massive climbs In full: Great Race, well done to the organisers. Challenging routes and some serious climbs (over a mile of ascent over 40 mile route). Stunning views of the Brecons and a very enjoyable race. You are supplied with a Map (which you will in a few place - weather dependent) and the mandatory kit list which its highly recommended that you adhear too (respect the mountains). Nice Finishing momentos. Part of a great ultra series. Loved it! Date of review: June 12, 2012
In short: Not a bad Half Marathon, but 3/4 of a miles too short In full: Hard climb to start off the race, also a few narrow sections of track which made overtaking tricky. The race was well marked, marshalled and wartered. Decent Goddie bag at the end: tech t-shirt, medal, drink; As you would expect for £20. Race route was noticable short by 3/4 of a mile (according to mine, and other runners GPS watches). Nice race, much promise for future years with a few tweeks. Date of review: June 12, 2012
In short: Hard Race with some nice forest views along the way In full: The New Forest marathon is well organised and marshalled. There are decent crowds in places and the route is well stocked in terms of water supplies. There is a killer hill at 22 miles (the route has changed from previous years) and a few trail sections before this which make this a challenging course, certainly not some where to go seeking a PB. There are some nice views to be had of the New Forest, these views were a little bit lost on me as I run them most weeks, still nice though even through the pain of a marathon. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Muddy Fun In full: Ok, this is a fun event. Key word being Fun as its not a route that lends itself to anything other than a mad dash and splash through some pretty cold water, under cargo nets and through some extra sticky mud. Great laugh to run as a group, would run this again next year. Date of review: August 30, 2011
In short: Nice 10k with a sting in the tail In full: Nice race, well organised, bang on distance and well supported by club and non-club runners alike. The 1st 5k has PB written all over it, pancake flat on good road surfaces. The final 5k has enough of an "undulation" in it to take away a potential PB (unless your having a blindingly good race). That being said, its still a good course and well organised. well done to all those involved in making it happen. Date of review: August 21, 2011
In short: Hard course but good as a scenic training run In full: Ok so this course has got some great, no amazing! views and is mostly well arranged. Good facilities (you can use the showers at the nearby leasure centre for free post race). Chip times integrated into your race number, results and pictures available within 24 hours; all good so far. Downside is the route is not well marshalled beyond the water stations and there are far to many places to get lost (seriously, who thought dark green signs on tree's would be easy to see when your knackered from running). The 30k is well over distance (by about a mile), but thats fine if your using this event as a training run. When considering the course the route is hard, decent climbs, very very mixed surfaces. The last few finishing miles are great, even if you have to pick your way past pedestrians as you fly past the cathedral. I very much enjoyed the race, and as such would recommend it. Others might not like it but they can write the own review. Date of review: August 15, 2011
In short: Great Value, Charming and Enjoyable run In full: Not often is the word 'enjoyable' associated with a half marathon but in the case of the Sturminster Half its well deservered. The Route is well laid out, with excellent support in terms of the numerous water stations and comedy marshalls (in a good way: they were wearing themed fancy dress). The route is plesent with a few undulations to mix the tempo up a bit; there are some nice views of the surrounding areas and although the roads aren't closed there aren't that many cars to contend with. The race its self is an absoloute bargain! Very Nice T-shirt and an awesome cake at the finish, non-nom-nom. Excellent event, well worth putting in your calender for next year. I normally go for XC half marathons but this race could sway me back towards some more road runs. Date of review: August 8, 2011
In short: Hard Work rewarded by amazing views In full: Having previously completed a few XC half marathons I came to North Devon AONB Half Marathon with high expectations in terms of performance and results. My thoughts of a PB disapeared at around the 6 mile point.
The event is organised with the full marathon runners starting ~ 15 min prior to the Half. The 1st few miles are relativly easy, offers some amazing views and can be ran with only a few stops (for gates, etc). A well marshalled beach run section is hard going but over quickly. This leads onto the 1st major set of climbs and some steps, making running very tricky if your picking your way past walking marathon back markers. The last 6 or so miles of the course is a mixture of fell, gravel, more steps and is very tough.
The entire route is well marked and marshalled. Water and snack stations are placed about every 3 miles of so (very much needed as it was 28C when I did it in 2011 and apparently 31C in 2010). The marshall's were very supportive and full of enthusiasem.
The event attracts decent supporting crowds and is well support by local buisnesses. Cream tea at the finish and a nicely designed medal. Only one down side, post race winners awards were less generous than last years, even though there were more runners. Only one team award fot 1st place team, even though the event is very well attended by club runners. Also the annoucer really needed a mic or tannoy as you could barely hear him.
Overall, top race which will only become more popular with time if they can maintain this standard of organisation. Up there with the Needles XC half in terms of views and challenge. Recommended to all levels of XC runners, from Fell to recreational. Date of review: July 1, 2011
In short: Nice Race, Glorious Views, Good day Out In full: If ever there was a place that provides amazing sights and challenging terrain in equal measure, the isle of wight is such a place. The West Wights Sports center is the race hq, start and finish and offers bicycle parking, lockers, showers and a cafe. It offers excellent facilities which are certainly needed before/after this event. The Route is a plesent mix of road leading to trails leading to grass and then road again. The 1st half can be ran with a few hills to introduce you to the island. The 2nd half features a near vertical slog up the side of tennyson down (which I, and most around me, couldn't run up). The views from the peaks are stunning and worth the trip alone. A well organised event, short and sweet. Recommended. Date of review: May 3, 2011