In short: Ugly Beast of a race! In full: Yep, this was a tough one. I wasn't in the best frame of mind for this race to be honest, as my mind has been on the Purbeck marathon in a fortnights time, but that said, this was a "training race" due to the hilly reputation. In fact, I found it tougher than Purbeck - because it's only a half (!), you try and up the pace and attack the hills a bit more - but that means it hurts more. The stunning scenery keeps you going, along with the fact the runners keep eachother going - because we're all in pain! And the steps... It's quite an awesome sight when you reach that first step - but then reality hits that if it is tough going downhill, it's going to be something else going up! Organisation was good, parking right next to the finish and no issues leaving after. My only moan was the 3 energy gel sachets found en-route from other runners - if you do use them, please keep hold of them until the next water stop or bin - the race is held in a beautiful part of the world - let's not ruin it! Date of review: September 3, 2014
In short: Beautiful, wonderful torture! In full: My first marathon, 12 weeks of training, upto 21 miles and included plenty of hill training, but I only felt 50% prepared following this race - the hills were tough, some that seemed to go on and on, and some that seemed to be almost vertical, but add that to the energy sapping terrain of uneven coastal path, thick grass and stony tracks and you begin to get a sense of how hard this was. But WOW - what a route, leaving Swanage behind, we were led along the coastal path with great views of the Jurassic coast. Then, inland bound, up the ridgeway, through quaint villages towards Corfe Castle, and then finally back up the ridgeway and homeward bound to Swanage for a seafront finish. A couple of things to mention - firstly the organisation was very impressive, especially for a first event. Secondly, as mentioned on the other reviews, the water stops and marshals couldn't have been friendlier or more encouraging! Despite the pain i'm in now, i'm already looking forward to next year! Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Scenic, but tough 10k In full: Course was a lovely off-road run around Englefield park and village - I was expecting maybe half off-road and half on, but it was nearly all off-road. The course was tough, after a flat 1st kilometre it was then undulating for the majority of the course - even the flat parts was on energy sapping long, uneven grass - and the final hill near the end really saps your legs. I enjoyed the day, but some observations for next year: - Start went straight through a very uneven wooded section, right next to a lovely flat grassy area - with 200 or so runners dodging holes, nettles and trees it may be more logical to start on the even ground? - Kids fun run could be done early so the parents could join in? - 11am start wasn't a problem as wasn't too warm - but in August could be problematic if a hot day. - Some areas of the course had some hidden holes and even barbed wire(!) which could have done with a marshall/sign to warn runners Date of review: August 27, 2012
In short: Pleasant race around scenic Berkshire countryside In full: Missed last years race and after reading reviews really wanted to make this one, especially as I often run around part of the course. I arrived in plenty of time and made my way to the start area, plenty of room for stretching, but running needed to be done on the road along with cars. A note for the organisers, can the start not be moved to the recreation ground along with the finish or maybe finish on the Street itself? It's a shame that the roads are open and the result is a disjointed start. Aside from that, a really well organised race, a lovely course (which wasn't nearly as hilly as I though it would be at Farley Hill) and good finish area with decent goody bag. BBQ, cake stall and massage tent would've probably been used if the weather was better. For me, not quite a PB as I had to stop while a spooked horse sorted itself out - I was forced into the verge and prayed not to be kicked! Probably cost me 20-30 seconds, but I guess I was just unlucky - lets hope the Horse event doesn't clash with the 10K next year!!!
In short: Tranquil run on a warm summers day In full: Lovely run through country lanes with undulations throughout. Small field, meant for quick getaway and able to settle into my goal pace. Well organised and marshalled. Seemed alot of club runners so not sure whether it would suit a beginner and due to country lanes the atmosphere was lacking. In fact, despite glorious weather, very few people at the start/finish to cheer on the runners. Hopefully back next year Date of review: July 3, 2011
In short: Friendly, informal 10k In full: Course - Needs work to remove the 2 laps of the memorial ground before hitting the rest of the course. With woodland and country lanes all around, a better course is out there. The hill at 7-9km is a welcome challenge!
Value - £6 entry is a bargain - and shows that some 10k's over complicate things with chip timing that adds unnecessarily to the cost.
Organisation - Well organised, well marshalled. Decent medal. Also had a fair for friends/family as well as kids race and 8km walk.