In short: Even better, thanks to 'bonus' hills! In full: Just when you think it can't get better - or worse (depending upon your point of view), Dr Rob adds a nice, extra 2k of hilly terrain to what was already a killer race. Thanks for that stroll up Zig Zag, Dr Rob! Once again, this race proved to be a high point on the calendar, with great camaraderie, top-notch marshalling, and excellent post-race goodies to ease the pain. Loved the tech shirt, and the heat-reactive coffee mug. Though the course conditions were challenging, the rain held off. However, this did not make the Box Hill steps any easier! Thanks to all, and see you in 2013. Date of review: January 1, 2012
In short: A good morning run in Autumn - and a timely reminder about ecology In full: Those who made the dynamic choice to run 10K rather than watch the Great North Run on TV were rewarded with a very fine race, run under excellent conditions. The course is a good test as the X-country season begins, combining grassy paths, clay and chip trails, and having two uphills, at the beginning and end of the out-and-back course.
The philosophy of this race is important; events of this kind create ecological effects, and it's great that these are being highlighted in a race that is trying to make a difference. The t-shirt and medal were handsome, and all the more so because of their eco-friendly origins. As runners, we leave man footprints, but it is good that these should be as light as possible. Thanks to Dr Rob and the Ashstead Running Group for their excellent work. Date of review: September 19, 2010
In short: Another excellent set of races by Events to Live In full: Hot on the heels of the Surrey Badger last week, the good people of Events to Live put on a super half-marathon and marathon, taking a circular off-road course through Denbie's Winery, past Dorking and Westcott, up the hill to Ranmore, and then back down the hill to Denbie's via a bit of the North Downs Way.
We had a beautiful autumn day, excellent conditions for a tough off-roader, and this one really delivered. The atmosphere at Denbie's was great; there were many people in fancy dress - and I must confess that I was passed near the end by the Powerbar guys in horse (or donkey?) costumes. There were several booths with various things to see and buy, and the Denbie's vintage flowed pretty freely, though I have to say that it does not make a good mix with GU Tri-Berry energy gel. Just a handy hint, there.
The course itself was terrific, if a bit tough. The trails were uneven in places, and there was a heartbreaking, LONG uphill in the middle of the race. Perhaps the most gutting bit was the half mile switchback that formed Mile 12; just when you thought the downhill would begin, there was another flat mile on concrete to cope with. But overall, it was a great course, and one that I shall use often in training. I also think that it's great that gels are laid-on along with the water (not to mention the wine); in these tough races, it really helps after a long hill climb!
As usual with Events to Live, the organisation was spot-on; the marshalling was just great, and we got a handsome medal, fab t-shirt and decent goody bag at the end. I didn't stay to the BBQ, but think that it's a great idea.
I'll be back next year - perhaps for the two-loop full marathon! Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: A glorious - and testing - autumn half mara In full: We had ideal conditions for this tough half mara that makes a loop from Leatherhead, up through the green and leafy Surrey Hills to Bockett's Farm (a tasty 976 feet of elevation according to the Garmin - not the Midsummer Munro, but tough enough!) and then back down, round on the dual carriageway to end up at the Leisure Centre. Great start, with Dr Rob of Union Jack shorts fame leading us all in the usual stirring rendition of 'God Save the Queen', and then proceeding to run past most of us in the early miles! Thanks, Dr. Rob! Tricky climb up through Norbury and the into the trail sections, and then the really challenging hill up to Bockett's. We were rewarded with some amazing views, though! I linked up with two people running my pace, and the chat about the parlous state of global economics got me though the worst bits. Thanks Brian and 'Blue'! After conjuring with a narrow trail with lots of roots, the downhill started, and that was just fantastic. My husband drove by while I was on the home stretch on the dual carriageway, and seeing him gave me a real lift, so my pace home was quite decent, and I felt strong. A last run across the playing field, and I crossed the line. Job done! A gentle rain just started to fall as I finished. Some nice goodies, including a Badger ale and a t-shirt, then home to chill out.
I really recommend this race. It's a beautiful environment, well-marshalled and challenging. Well done to Events to Live!
Make sure you do your hill work, though! Intervals up Box Hill (a stone's throw away) might be a good idea...
In short: Another great race in the New Forest In full: Well done to New Forest Runners for hosting this outstanding race. The whole event was spot-on as a combination of a great event for serious runners with a family-friendly ethos. While I take the point that others have made about the heat, I have to say that this race is excellent preparation for those of us aiming for autumn marathons in potentially hot climates - so I'd leave the timing as is. Learning to maintain a steady pace in heat is a valuable skill! Date of review: July 11, 2010
In short: A good way to celebrate Spring In full: This is a challenging 10-miler that rewards the strong-hearted with excellent views after some lengthy climbs. The combination of this event with the Fun Run and 5K made for a good family atmosphere, without taking away from the serious intent of the front runners. Well done to the organisers. Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: As good (and as mad) as ever... Dr Rob rules! In full: I love this race!
It is good that we humans forget pain, or there would be a tiny crowd for the Knackercracker. As it happens, it has been great to return to the New Year insanity that is the Knackercracker, and lots of costumed people clearly agree. It was a good day for it, and the race was organised with Dr Rob's usual brilliance. Well done to the speedy winners, and to Masai Warrior and Bathing Woman for their winning costumes. Thanks to all the great marshalls - the cowbells were an excellent addition this year - and thanks to Mrs Dr Rob and family for the end of race soup and rolls. I've already forgotten the agony of the climbs and the steps, so am ready to sign up for 2010!! Bring it on! Date of review: January 1, 2009
In short: Well worth the pain! In full: This was my first Beachy, and I'll be back. We had a beautiful day - ideal conditions - and the cameraderie of the participants and organisers/marshalls was just superb. It was tough, though! Time to do more hill work! Date of review: October 25, 2008
In short: The sun smiled upon this race... In full: All hail Dr. Rob for yet another superbly organised race. It's not the toughest one on the Trionium calendar, but there are enough ups and downs to keep runners honest. As usual, the race planning was clockwork smooth, the course was well-marshalled, and had a very fun, companionable atmosphere. This one is brilliant for families, and it was great to see kids in green T-shirts, having completed their 2K funrun. And, fortunately, we had the most sun that has been seen in weeks. What a bonus! A beautiful day out. Thanks Dr. Rob, and the Ashsted Running Group. Date of review: September 14, 2008
In short: A terrific inaugural half marathon In full: Thank you to the good people at Run to Live for putting on such a fine half marathon. It's great to have such a race in Mole Valley at this time of year. The race route was very cleverly planned. After Dr. Rob's customary leadership of the group rendition of 'God Save the Queen' we started with a level warm-up mile paralleling the River Mole, then a steep, but not heartbreaking, uphill into Nobury Park, a long and varied section of up and down trail running around Norbury, past Bockett's Farm, and then a return retracing the first three miles or so of the route.
Weather had made the course muddy, and it is a hilly course in parts, but it works extremely well in terms of variety of effort needed; the downhills came at the best psychological moment, and the tracks were wide enough so that the rapid runners could pass slower ones with no jostling. It is a beautiful run for those who love nature, and included some stunning views down into the valleys. Although the course had been rained upon, we were fortunate that not much rain fell durig the race itself, and in temperature terms, it was ideal for a half.
The organisation was very fine, with smooth registration, and clear instructions at the start. The one niggle at the beginning was that there were no loos obviously accessible near the actual start point as the shopping centre loos were locked. Today, the parking lot adjacent to the start will have had more than its fair share of organic fertiliser!
But the course was very clearly marked, the marshalling superb, and the drink stations well-spaced. The goody bag was also generous, and included a T-shirt with the cute Badger logo, and many more items. There was also a convivial atmosphere to the whole event.
I'll be signing up for the 2009 version! This was great fun! Date of review: September 7, 2008