In short: Boring course in a beautiful area! Not enough water stops either In full: I was really looking forward to this flat course after a hilly but magnificent Bacchus Half Marathon. Arrived easily enough and there was plenty of parking but only 6 toilets which, unless you got there early, meant very long queues as the start time approached.
The course itself started ok, out along the river before turning around and running back. At one point the course went through a gateway under a tree with a wasps/bee nest right at head height which was a bit worrying. The rest of the course was really, really boring! You are made to run around the edge of some fields along a massively stony track which was actually painful. You then run a long out and back towards Henley Bridge with people trying to ride their bikes and walk their dogs/kids along in a very narrow space so it was a bit narrow and slow. The out and back was far too long and really uninteresting and then when you got back close to the finish line you had to loop back round and do that horrific stony field again. Really soul destroying and I heard quite a few people say how they really didn't enjoy it at all.
It was a blisteringly hot day and there were nowhere near enough water stops on the route, I saw runners asking spectators for water at one point and even a few stopping the ambulance people on bikes asking for water! The area of the course is really, really pretty so it is such a shame the course just does out and backs and makes you run a boring loop twice, surely there are better trails that make one big loop so you don't feel like you are running the same route over and over?
The can of Red Bull at the end is a strange choice, normally you expect some kind of 'sports' energy drink but Red Bull is a pretty unhealthy thing to offer up to very dehydrated runners as they cross the finish line.
Value for money was ok - it was a nice medal. Would have been nice to get a little goody bag instead of Red Bull if I am honest.
Won't do this one again as I really struggled to enjoy this one despite the picturesque scenery.
The route is flat and PB potential is there if you have the mental strength to deal with slow towpath sections with lots of pedestrians in the way, long out and backs and having to run past the finish line and back around a large field which you've already run once! Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: Amazing race, amazing countryside and massive fun In full: Initially I thought Bacchus was rather expensive but having completed the 2014 race I have to say it is worth every penny! The atmosphere was brilliant, the setting (both Denbies and the surrounding countryside) cannot be beaten and the organisation of the whole event was second to none. I really loved the festival atmosphere on the way around and at the end. The wine and hog roast BBQ was a fantastic touch. Loved the quality medal and tshirt as well.
Thanks to everyone involved and can't wait to come back in 2015. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Best race of the year In full: This is my 4th year running the slog and I can't get enough! Brilliant atmosphere, hilarious moments, great course marshals and lots of mud, what more could you ask for? Loved the socks instead of a race t-shirt as they replace the socks I wore during the race because they are beyond saving. It always amazes me how fun this race is and how well run it is. If you are thinking about entering the slog for the first time next year then do it! Just prepare for the mud! Date of review: November 11, 2013
In short: Amazing muddy run! In full: I did the slog for the first time last year and instantly it became a favourite. I would travel from abroad to come back to this race.
Organisation is fantastic, crowds are brilliant, the course just makes you grin like an idiot the whole way round and the 2 minute silence prior to the race is a great moment for all to remember those lost.
Slight shame that there is no longer a race t-shirt in the goodie bag and my only tiny tiny fault is that the goodie bag seemed far less quality this year than before.
Also, have to laugh at those who entered the slog and did their best to avoid all the mud, not really sure of the point since the slog is known for the mud. Just get in and enjoy yourself!
All in all a fantastic run (despite losing my shoe!So glad I found it again!) Date of review: November 15, 2011
In short: I've never enjoyed a race so much! In full: First time runner and had an amazing time.
I can't believe how much I enjoyed the cold wet mud but it was so enjoyable thanks to the FANTASTIC support all the way round the course from the spectators and the marshalls. Organisation was excellent as well as a great race bag at the end.
Leave it to the Bristolians to show others how it should be done! Date of review: November 15, 2010
In short: Fast, lovely course but the finish was a bit of a joke along with the 'goodie bag' In full: Cardiff was my 3rd half (Paris and Bristol being the other two) and it was a good one (with just a few negatives). Couldn't have asked for better weather!
Good bits 1. Nice flat course allowing you to get a good pace 2. Scenic - really enjoyed the Bay area and coming back towards the city centre. 3. Quite well organised and the text with your race times at the end was impressive.
Bad bits. 1. Making us run past the finish? What a joke. A lot of us started picking up pace when we saw the finish and then realised that we had to continue on past it before turning round to come back. Really hard on those who put everything in to that last stretch.
2. Congested in places, especially around the park and I think that is due to a lot of people who were in the wrong timing sections. I was in the sub 2 hour and quite a lot of people in this group started walking after just a mile or two. Along with some people who were just ambling along chatting away 2 or 3 abreast on narrow sections, forcing other runners out onto the mud/into the road to get past them.
3) Dodging pedestrians - quite a few people almost collided with pedestrians when they were walking across in front of everyone. What is that about?
4) Couldn't hear a word of the PA system because of the music they kept playing but not that big of a deal as the screen showed us when people had started. But would be harder for the people unable to see it!
5)Mile markers..or lack of. Normally the mile markers jump out at me to torment me but I only saw 4,5, 9 and 13. Not sure if not seeing them actually helped me more than anything but I think a lot of people appreciate them.
5)Race bag at the end. What a joke. For the price you expect a bit more than a flannel (where is the t-shirt they mentioned before?) and a couple of nut bars. I can't even eat nuts so that was a bit of a waste. The medal was very nice though, as always.
6)Crowd..while there were a lot of people out and about I have to say the supporters were a bit on the quiet side! I say this coming from the Bristol half marathon where EVERYONE was cheering and clapping regardless and it was amazing. In Cardiff there were a few sporadic cheers and claps (mostly for people they knew) so it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Bristol definately had the best atmosphere of any run I've done to date.
All in all though a good half marathon which I would do again. Would be even better if they maybe adressed the position of the finish line and provided a better goodie bag. Date of review: October 18, 2010