In short: Glorious! In full: A perfect 10k trail run. Smooth, unflustered organisation, great event area to keep supporters entertained, nice memento and a beautiful, if challenging course! Parade through the village before setting off over mixed tarmac, trail, shale, rock and even a section of lake! Great community feel to the whole event and excellent value kids races. Big thankyou to all involved. Date of review: June 13, 2011
In short: Fabulous event for runners and spectators alike In full: A scorcher of a day this year added to the challenge of the two testing ascents on the course. The last mile or so over fields and stiles is a killer on tired legs, followed by an exhilarating down hill finale from the top of Retson Scar back down to the village! Really gave my soft, road runnign legs a severe workout! Carnival atmosphere all day at the start/finish, and nice to see the locals joining in with cake stalls on the streets. the open air entertainment from Pete Lashley gave it a min--festival feel, or that have been the post-race Jenninmgs ale going to my de-hydrated head! Wonderful day all round and I have alrerady signed up for the Keswick race! Date of review: June 5, 2011
In short: Glorious scenery - killer inclines! In full: The first 6 miles of this Half put paid to any illusions of a PB with inclines so tough that it is tempting to see if walking up them is any quicker! Of course, what comes up can also come back down again at an unnaturally accelerated pace to make up some time... but by miles 10 of this race my legs were paying the pain overdraft taken out in the first 6!
The beauty of the scenery almost goes without saying. All that up-hill battling is just about worth it for the reward of glorious views of Borrowdale and then over Derwentwater from the vanatge point of Catbells. It was unusually hot this year, but the water stations were frequent enough and provided proper bottled water rather than a half full plastic cup. Marsahlls were on the ball and knew their job. The support of bemused walkers caught up in the lycra stampede whilst out enjoying a days walk was amusing. the support in the villages from those lucky people soaking up the sun and the beer outside various pubs was also wonderful... if heartbreaking for those of us with several miles left to travel before sight of a bar!
£11 for a Half represents fabulous value these days, with the option to buy a slate coaster as a memento for those who wanted it. The friendliness at the Rugby club house made for a good atmosphere and an alltogether enjoyable day.
Excellent grass roots race in a heavenly setting. Date of review: May 2, 2011
In short: Muddy good fun! In full: For some reason an off road romp through ankle deep muddy fields and leg sapping hills ends up being so much more plain simple fun than a flat out PB 10k. This race benefited from a surfeit of rain over the last few weeks ensuring the little kid in all of us was catered for with a plethora of puddles and gloop. A back to basics trail run organised like clockwork with a cosy, friendly community spirit throughout. As a first trail race its low key, all-inclusive feel made for a perfect introduction to the delights of green lane running. If you are thinking about trying a trail run, stop thinking and do this one - its brill! Date of review: February 19, 2011
In short: Hugely popular race for very good reasons In full: Great atmosphere before during and after this classic Winter Half. Fabulous organisation from the Helsby club, with the commemorative Buff being an imaginative and quality memento. The medallion in its own presentation case was a lovely touch too. It may be a testing course, but if approached tactically, those hilly stretches can still produce fast times if you run the downhills to full effect: lots of PB's this year proves the point. A clock at mile 10 was a great idea I'd like to see catch on elsewhere!
From the marshalls at the park and ride, to the Rotary Club guys and the marsahals out on the course I've never met a cheerier and more friendly bunch: a real community event with the organisers obviously, and rightly proud of the race.
This is on my must do list for next year. Thanks to all involved Date of review: January 24, 2011
In short: Flat out PB Course In full: Not a pretty course but this is a dream for those chasing a PB, (cock up on the first lap not-withstanding). Apart from a railway bridge to cross, there is barely an incline on this flat, fast course and the majority of runners seemed rto be set on a fast time. Brilliant marshalling over the few road crossings helped to keep the rythym up. The finishers mug is a nice touch too: bright red with the race details on it. Soup available at the end was welcome on such a fresh day too! Got a PB this year and will be back for more next year. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Friendly race with a pretty route In full: This had a real proper local club feeling to it, although there were plenty of non-club runners present to add to the grass roots atmosphere. Some traffic congestion getting to the venue caused long queues to collect on-line applications, which is something which could be addressed by posting out numbers maybe next year. The organisers coped well with the problem and had everyone sorted and ready to go with just a 10 minute delay.
The first mile was a little congested due to the narrow cycle track, but soon opened up once over the bridge as the route followed the river out into the country.
Anyone hunting a PB should beware the hills from around mile 7 which are somewhat more than "undulations" and added a bit of a challenge to an otherwise generally flat route.
Water stations were frequent and enthusiastically manned with good support from marshalls along the way. Finishing with a half circuit of the track was good, and the medal was a nice touch. Some runners were also lucky enough to get a spot prize t-shirt too!
All in a very friendly and satisfying race. Date of review: November 7, 2010
In short: There's just something special about this one In full: Despite pre-race organisational hiccups, there is still something about this race that leaves me feeling good. I suspect that the last 4 or 5 miles being generally down hill helps to leave a pleasant impression in your mind after what is quite a tough course for the first 7 or 8 up-hill!
The race suffered this year from loss of sponsorship, (no sports drinks en route, sparse goody bag, low key t-shirt), but the organisers still managed to put on an extremely slick event on the day. Marshalling was first class, toilets plentiful, route well marked, water stations well organised etc.
My finishers t-shirt had the race logo emblazoned upon it, but others apparently only got a plain white technical tee - odd....
With a bit of luck, and improvements here and there, this could become a classic: secure baggage would be good, a few more diversions for spectators at the start/finish and they need to sort out this collection of chips and numbers business. However, this is a big event and only in its second year so can be forgiven for a few growing pains - I'd love to see it grown in stature to become THE English Half! Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Iconic Event for a reason! In full: I have never known any event carry such a spine tingling atmosphere. This is a unique running experience and everybody has to do it at least once. The route is tougher than you would expect for such a beginner friendly run, so beware if chasing a PB: this course will hurt! Date of review: September 27, 2010
In short: Friendly, Tough, Great Value Ace race In full: A proper grass roots 10k event with a fabulous community feel, superb organisation, great facilities, (changing rooms, showers), a bar and buffet aferwards and all for a fiver! A great race to take part in if you happen to be holidaying locally. Fautless and one of my all time favourite: thanks to everyone involved. Date of review: August 6, 2010