In short: Good race in attractive NT parkland setting In full: A good race in the grounds of Dunham Massey hall, a NT property and grounds. It's off-road, 2/3 on tarmac path in the grounds and 1/3 on fast grass, although with the odd tree root to be careful of. Two-and-a-third laps, including a slight drag up a bit of an incline and corresponding drop on the grassy bit, so the km splits are a bit difficult to keep even - go by effort rather than stopwatch. But even with the grassy bit, it's a pretty quick course, traffic free and very picturesque. Probably best described as a 'clubbie' race though, very few fun-runners...
Note there's a 300-runner limit imposed by the NT, and this is a counter in the Spectrum Striders/Altrincham AC 'North Cheshire GP' series of 5 x 5K races so there are a lot of that 300 who are people who've entered the whole series. This means that entries on-the-night are going to be a bit limited - so best to either enter in advance by post or to turn up early : this year some guy was too late and and protesting noisily "But I've come from Chorley !" - sorry mate, but when it's full they won't let you run.
Criticisms - no water at the finish. - could it not be provided back at the Hall, or will NT not allow it because of litter concerns or wanting people to clear the grounds as quickly as possible ? (not a big issue - turn left out of the exit and The Vine is 1/4 mile along...
And where the finish line actually is isn't very obvious - I sprinted into the funnel, the people finishing just before me slowed to a walk towards the end of the funnel, I slowed too so as to keep position for the finish recorders, only for someone net to the funnel to say "keep going, you haven't crossed the finishing line yet !" Much confusion as we all started to sprint/stagger a few paces more. I saw the position recorders but not the timer, so still don't know where the line was. Altrincham - even if the NT won't let you set-up a big fancy finish gantry, you could make the line more obvious... Date of review: June 8, 2008
In short: Well organised friendly clubbie race, fast course In full: A well organised friendly small clubbie race. Fast course with definite PB potential. Well marshalled, good turnout, easy to find. I'll do it again.
As for Rob Barker's review... I think Rob, that if you took that attitude into the race you were definitely not going to enjoy it.
It isn't a beginners' race, doesn't claim to be one, doesn't have big sponsors or razzmatazz, that's why there's no momento or goody bag.
As for the finish funnel, did you know that the times are recorded as you cross the line but your race number is noted at the end of the funnel ? Which is why you have to keep moving along and keep your position relative to those who finished just in front or behind you, or you'll mess-up the whole of the results. If you stopped dead in the funnel at a busy time with lots of others finishing at roughly the same time, I'm not surprised you were hustled along it by a marshal - the hassle and stress of finish-line marshalling is enough to give grey hairs to those who are, remember, unpaid volunteers.
From saying you paid £8, you clearly aren't a member of a running club or it would have been only £6. Perhaps you should consider joining a club, saving yourself £2 for every race entered and you'd soon find yourself out marshalling at your club's race or maybe involved in race organisation, putting something into the sport... Date of review: May 11, 2008
In short: Fast, well organised race In full: Third time I've done this - so that says something ! Fast race on country lanes, PB potential, good for club runners but newbies would be OK. Good that there was option to pay a higher fee and get a medal, or pay a lower fee for those who don't want one. Date of review: March 9, 2008
In short: Good race, would recommend In full: I’ll declare at the start that I really don’t like city-centre races : some of you people seem to love them, but I’d much rather be running on country lanes and urban races don’t do it for me, so I found the course, which initially runs right through Llandudno town centre, then doubles back and does it again, not a great highlight. It starts on the prom, which is great as it’s plenty wide enough for 1200 people without any crowding or delays at the start. And it finishes on the prom too, which is good as you come down from a bit of a hill to build up speed and then have a half-mile flat run-in with the finish in sight so you can easily pace your finish effort.
There’s a fairish hill from 3-5 miles, and a smaller one at 9, but a fair bit’s flat and if you can gain-back what you lose on the ups going downhill then it’s pretty quick. The weather was slightly unpleasant as there was a strong headwind on some bits of the course, plus drizzle/rain, but it was very mild at 10oC or so, so it was fine in just a vest, but I can imagine that if it were cold this race has the potential to be very unpleasant - but, hey ! it's in North Wales in November, what d’you expect !
Most impressive was the marshalling and organisation, as there were lots of people out – and there needs to be as you do 3 miles in the main street straight through the town centre and then later cross what must be some of the major routes in and out – and everywhere the traffic was brought to a standstill by the race and the crossings were well handled by marshals and police.
Thanks to NWRRC, organisers, marshals, etc – this race must take a lot of organisation and cooperation from the council and the police, and it’s good to see that a race like this, which must cause a bit of inconvenience to residents and visitors, can still be organised these days. Date of review: November 22, 2004
In short: Too big for the organisation and course In full: Won't be doing this race again. It's a mix of a club-runners race and a first-timers fun-run - but don't think it works as either as it's too big and the organisation & course can't cope with the numbers. Did it in 2002, with the old startline, but that was still an overcrowded shambles at the start, so won't bother again.
It could be a great fun-run, to get lots of novice runners out and then they can have a day in the zoo with the family, but if you're after a fast time, don't bother. It's poor value if you don't want to get into the zoo, and you'll probably spend an hour trying to get out of the carpark.
There were 1200 finishers, including a large number of novices (wearing coats/fleeces/sweatshirts as it was 'cold' - fair enough, but why try to line-up at the front ?) plus a large number of club runners who wanted to line-up in front of them, all trying to squeeze into a narrow country lane, so there was much mayhem at the startline. Through this mayhem, late arrivals were still coming and trying to drive into the carpark through the start crowds. And as the startline wasn't marked, lots of people were upto about 100yds over it and some weren't even clear which way the race went, so much shouting by the start marshals and much pushing and shoving between those who had to move back and those who had their position and weren't going to be budged from it, leading to what has to be probably the most agressive starts I've ever experienced, with lots of elbowing and pushing presumably because everyone was wound-up by it all. Utter shambles...
The course itself isn't so bad, but I was near the front and the crowds thinned out fairly quickly for me, but friends behind complained of being crowded for several miles. It's flat for the first half, then becomes undulating and has a steepish hill at about 9km. It's on fairly picturesque country lanes, plus bridges over/under the motorway, so is fairly good. But the 7 km marker was way-out and I really didn't like the revised finish, as it was a sprint across slippy, muddy grass between barriers just waiting to trip someone.
Afterwards, we had a butty in the car and watched the traffic jam going nowhere as people trying to leave the field through the one gate got bogged in the mud, etc. It's fine if you go into the zoo and can leave a while later, but not if you're in a hurry to leave after the race. Date of review: October 18, 2004
In short: Good value, no-frills local 10K - run this if you want a good run, not big crowds and a goody bag. Seemed to be quite a number of beginners as well as club runners. Fairly fast course, semi-rural/semi-urban. Date of review: September 27, 2004
In short: Perhaps everyone should do it once, but I've done it now and never again. In full: Fine for beginners, fun-runners, charity money-raisers, etc. But too slow, too crowded, too loud, depressing dull course (three or four highlights in 26.2M).
In short: Good fast 10K, pretty flat, largely rural course. In full: Ensure you know where the finish is though - it's not the same place as the start. Some bloke tried to outsprint me to the finish, only to find he had another 1/4mile still to go ! Date of review: September 20, 2004
In short: Excellent race. In middle-of-nowhere Mid-Wales, but roads are good if a bit slow. Great scenery, pretty quick. In full: New start & finish lines compared to last year, and not a successful move. Start was chaotic, with too many slow beginners mixed-up near the front, then finish was very narrow & congested - difficult and dangerous for sprint finish. But this is feedback for the organisers - overall it's an excellent race. Date of review: September 20, 2004
In short: Nice countryside; first half flat but then hilly but good downhill before finish; pretty popular with all abilities; well marshalled, good facilities, friendly. Dependent on January weather ! Date of review: August 24, 2004