In short: The location makes up for the other aspects In full: The beautiful Burnham Beeches in autumn is a fabulous setting for an off-road race and this 2 lap course os challenging (although nice and dry this year!). The race organisation is rather haphazard. The race email came in the night before and did not include key information. And the cost is high (admittedly it all goes to charity) when the only giveaway is a mug and a small bottle of water. Plus they charged an extra £3 to park and then you got locked in, as very few people stayed around to cheer the last runners in or have a cup of coffee at the lovely coffee shop afterwards. Friends who were beginners rather regretted taking on such a hard course, but hopefully we cheered them loudly enough that the memory of the pain will pass! Date of review: October 22, 2016
In short: Beautiful, brutal - but a little quicker this time! In full: Once again, this is a wonderful location and really well organised race. I was so happy to see the lovely little girl with Jelly Babies at the top of the ridgeway - never known anything taste so good. I love the parts through the woods - both up and down :-) And the water stations are so well placed (even if the photographer was only well placed to catch grimaces!) Many thanks to the organisers and volunteers. Date of review: October 13, 2016
In short: I would not make a long drive for this, but if you are in the area... In full: This is a village 10K, complete with lovely tea stall with the Scouts, funfair etc. The route is nice and some pretty lanes and views - undulating, but you can pick up speed on the downhills. The challenge really is the traffic. None of the roads are closed and at times all of the pavement is blocked by pedestrians. So you are dodging your way through - and there are not so many marshals to help you. So be very alert! This took the edge off y enjoyment, I have to say. It is also a shame that there are no team prizes - just the fast individuals. But to be fair, this went to very age group including the V70's and both the male and female winners here were in great shape!
In short: Cannot recommend this race highly enough - brilliant! In full: The scenery and atmosphere of this event made it incredibly special. That started from the Facebook page banter and joining instructions, but went into every aspect of the day. Everyone was SOOO enthusiastic and helpful. The arrival was well-signposted, parking was easy, enough loos, easy baggage drop and great announcements and music. The run itself was a stunning route - really beautiful. I chose trainers for extra support vs trail shoes for grip (even though it has been a wet week) and was pleased with the choice as lots of flinty paths. The run itself was multi-terrain and had lots of hilly sections with a killer hill within the first mile! (That's why the views were so breath-taking!) The organisers and marshals were all so enthusiastic, and the finish was great - local real ale in your finisher's glass, nice medal, great goody bag, home made cakes, burger van, massage tent, ice cream van, music... a really good vibe - if I had not had to rush home I would have hung out for a good few hours more to see all of the marathon finishers come back in. I'll be back, for sure! Date of review: June 19, 2016
In short: Lovely 10K - will add this as a regular one in the calendar! In full: My first time doing this race. Brilliantly organised - from parking to kit to logistics and the refreshments etc. Really appreciated the massage at the end! The run was an out and back, muddy in sections (so glad of lightweight trail shoes) and definitely hilly! I really enjoyed the ambiance amongst participants, marshals, the crowd etc. The bluebell woods were breathtaking, but I was too out of breath to enjoy them - so will come back for a gentler walk with the family to enjoy them again! Date of review: April 17, 2016
In short: Nice race that will struggle if it gets much bigger In full: Whilst they say that they can take a 3,000 person field, at 1557 runners today, I would say that it is close to capacity. Most of the race is narrow and shared with other users (cyclists, pedestrians, kids, buggies etc) and some of the runners ran very aggressively to push their way through. A good proportion of the race is on trails, and after the heavy rain, I should have worn trail shoes (you run parts of both Kingston and Old Deer Park parkrun courses, so worth taking their advice on the status of the course). I would say that the organisation was really good and it was great to see pacers for every 5 min step. I would just have 3 builds: (i) some kind of marking or pens at the start would have enabled a better start, (ii) one more water station would have helped a lot between 3.5 mi and 8mi - and asking all of the water stations to fill the cups a bit more: we had hydration issues and (iii) some marshals out between 8mi and 11mi - there was a girl complaining of palpitations and inability to breathe and it was 2 miles before we saw any marshal, so we did what we could. That said, the set up at the race village and finish was excellent - lots of toilets, quick bag drop-off/pick-up and brilliant T-shirt, medal, cowl and goodie bag! Even deck chairs to sit in - amazing!
In short: Really well organised, fast race In full: It always feels like a good start to Easter when I have run this race. Once again it was glorious weather, and some extraordinarily fast running across all age groups. Well marshaled and well supported, plus a fantastic sports massage from the Flying Physios at the end! Wow. Date of review: April 3, 2016
In short: Really nice marathon - small, friendly and pretty In full: I really enjoyed this event. The organisation was brilliant and the support back in Kingston was great. Out on the course, you are more on your own - just a marshal at the 2 turn points and you need your watch to know how far you have gone. It is beside the river, so some lovely race photos (thanks!) and scenery, but does mean that it can be a bit uneven. I did see two runners have trips. Plus I saw another hit by a rowing boat as an 8 lifted and spun their boat and took him out - so keep your eyes peeled! Date of review: October 18, 2015
In short: Beautiful run in the Great Park - recommended! In full: The scenery is so beautiful on this run. As always with Datchet Dashers, it is very well organised and friendly. The cheers from the commentator and the other runners & supporters after you have pushed yourself up to the Copper Horse and along some of the Long Mile will definitely make up for the tiredness if you have pushed yourself on the hills! It is all terrain (sand, grass, trails and mud) - would recommend trail shoes. Date of review: October 18, 2015
In short: Love this race - sold out this year, so don't miss out! In full: Such a beautiful run in the autumnal scenery. Very well supported and marshaled with lots of water stations, and the school children and locals cheering, singing and very supportive. There is massage, lots of lovely food, a creche and every penny goes to computers and resources for the kids at the school. Date of review: October 18, 2015