In short: UPS AND (SOUTH) DOWNS In full: A very nice low-key event for a worthwhile charity cause. Well organised by Portsmouth Joggers and there were plenty of cheery marshals. Very club-runner oriented, but was friendly and welcoming for all. It was a windy day which added some extra challenge to the stiff hills at various intervals. As it clearly stated in advance - the run is all run on minor roads, which aren't closed, but there were no traffic issues. Not sure why the roads came as a surprise to one earlier reviewer. Great way to break up the Xmas over-indulgence :) Date of review: December 28, 2013
In short: excellent - but can be improved In full: Other reviews describe the course and atmosphere very well. I loved it, but it is pretty tough, especially first 5k. Loseley estate is a great start/finish venue. The car parking wasn't ideal and lucky it wasn't a rainy day. Sad that they gave the last bananas away spectators but when last few runners finished there were none left? Might seem trivial but a bit of smack in the chops to them? Free photos is a nice touch and you get between 20 and 40 of you to choose from! Date of review: December 10, 2013
In short: Promising beginnings In full: This was the second year of the revived Miners race but last year was regarded as too tough a course to encourage mass entry. So radical changes were made to the 2013 course and they were very welcome. Mainly flat or downhill and with only one very steep climb between 2 and 3k. Flat courses on a valley side are not easy to find so this was a good compromise. I was pretty concerned about the application process as the website was flaky for a while and only 3 days before the event they changed mail out numbers to collect on the day (which was the most logical way anyway)
But on the day things seemed to go smoothly. The organisers and marshalls were cheerful and plentiful. The centre of Prudhoe is a bit bleak but running through the town centre is only 20% of the race. The frequent Tyne valley views and the final 4k along the riverside were delightful.
The tech t-shirt was brilliant - one of the best I've ever had and the junior races after the main event (1.5 and 3k) were great fun. It also meant the finish area was very busy with spectators and families and thats always a good buzz.
Final beautiful touch was that sponsors SCA (household paper products) gave the various winners large packs of toilet roll as their prizes. Laughs all around...., but very practical!
I was so pleased my old hometown has got its act together and organised an event of this type. Perhaps next year they can make an even bigger noise about in the town itself to attract a bigger field and more spectators.
But overall it felt like an event that can become an annual feature and runners from all over many North East clubs attended (plus me from Surrey!)
Well done guys PLEASE RUN IT AGAIN IN 2014 :)) Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: EVIL COURSE BUT A GREAT DAY In full: Agree with the other comments. Brilliant organising, signage and marshalls. Plenty of water on a hot day. Scenery as good as it gets in SE of England but crikey those hills were killers. The long one at 8 miles nearly finished me off! Train hard for this folks. Fun runner/beginners should be warned!
I agree with Gary McCawley about the horse incident. The lady did not use common sense and could've waited a few minutes for the race to pass. She wouldn't have dragged her horses into the road if cars had been passing? "This is the countryside" she yelled. Yes thats right - our countryside as well, not just yours.
We then all passed some sensible horse riders a mile later with no issues. Anyway it was a minor issue on a tough but excellent day. Date of review: August 6, 2013
In short: Brilliant job again In full: Just a quick note to say how superb this race was. Its been two years since I last ran it and its still superb. The route is nothing extraordinary (except quite quick) but the organisation, the marshalls and the atmosphere are just fantastic. For a one-off weekend event it would all be impressive - for a three times a year midweek event is amazing!! Date of review: July 4, 2013
In short: LUMPY RATHER THAN HILLY? In full: A lovely day and a lovely atmosphere. Lots of little kids doing high fives near the end and liked the self contained start/finish in the recreation ground. Loved the cress and the bananas. Hills feel tough at the time but none of them last long. Marshalls were great but I was generally too puffed up hill to say thank you! Date of review: June 17, 2013
In short: NOT PERFECT BUT A GREAT DAY In full: This is my second Trailblazer having done forest of dean in 2012 when it was blistering hot. The day is very well delivered with a relaxed atmosphere thats very inclusive and great for spectators as well. It makes the day into an event, not just a run. Beautiful location especially on a nice sunny day. One thing to bear in mind - the wave start gives space out on the run, but also gives later waves easy access to the toilets! The course was superb with only the steep climb between 9 and 9.5k being what you'd call "extreme". The final half km through the trees wasn't ideal as it was short of space, but hey - thats trail running. If you want more space then run in the first wave and be able to run in c.40minutes - otherwise take a chill pill and just enjoy the atmosphere. My text time came through at 3pm and was correct. Note to Rat Race - can next year's tech shirts not be black please? Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: woggle-tastic ...again! In full: Third year of this race and it was better than ever. The new 10k course was tough but beautiful and the organisation fantastic. Marshalls around every bend it seemed, and all with smiles and encouragement. But no aspect of the event surpasses the bacon sandwiches and the cakes. Now thats what a good run is ALL about. I think they need to sort out the rather cramped first 1k - with either staggered 10k/5k start or chip timing (I don't mind paying an extra couple of quid) but thats a minor quibble. A great day and wonderful atmosphere. Well done guys. Date of review: May 19, 2013
In short: and God was in his heaven.... In full: A beautiful run, wonderfully organised and hosted. One more water stop may have been useful, but it was quite exceptionally hot. The start/finish village with its food, drinks and freebies was a great atmosphere. I enjoyed it all so much I even did the dancy warm-up mularkey at the start - which is not really my scene (expert dad-dancer) The hot weather made the run very tough, but it also made the before and after very relaxed and on balance I'll take that any day. Date of review: May 29, 2012
In short: Tough run, Superb day In full: Its sounds all sweet and nice being a "Woggle" but there are some vicious climbs in a testing but stunning trail run. About 70% is off road. There was a wonderful, warm atmosphere with great marshalls, super little Cubs on the water station and brilliant post run cakes and bacon sandwiches. The slight course alteration this year separated the 10k from the walkers through the narrow woodland section at 7-8k and that was a benefit for all. Well done to all involved - a lovely day. Date of review: May 21, 2012