In short: Great race, I love the festival ground finish with great crowd support. In full: Fantastic day - well done Chalgrove Festival 10K. How did you organise such great weather, even if it was a little too warm !! Race was started by Penny Smith from GMTV with a giant cannon - certainly got the race off with a BANG !!!!! Nice finisher's technical t-shirt and a very friendly set of marshals and volunteers helps make this one of my favourite races. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Lovely run in beautiful surroundings In full: Lovely run in beautiful surroundings, well organised and a nice touch to have Roger Bannister start the race.
Very enjoyable run held for a great cause so no complaints on a generic medal - all monies raised go to the BHF, so what isn't spent on the run goes to helping someone who really needs the BHF's support. Well done BHF.
For results, which aren't yet up on the BHF website, go to: http://www.chiptiming.co.uk/results.php Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Excellent race - my favourite half marathon In full: Great atmosphere and excellent organisation makes this a memorable race, and one that is well worth doing. Despite two or three upward slopes the course is extremely fast - so much so that I knocked over 3 minutes off my PB which was set in Feb 2012 at the pancake flat Race Your Pace HM. Obviously I'm very happy! I would agree that 13,000 runners is now probably the limit so as to prevent the course getting too crowded. The colour coded timing pens seemed to work pretty well, though I admit that it does get frustrating when you find yourself stuck behind someone who is walking / going slowly after half a mile. The goody bag was full of treats, the medal good and the finish at the Madejski added a real incentive to run all out for the final few yard. Logistically I know it would be hard to do, but it would be great to run the entire circuit of the pitch and not just a quarter of it. I have no complaints with the Garmin distance issue that others have mentioned. Yes, mine came out at 13.30 miles - however, they are rarely 100% accurate (and never claim to be) so a degree of error is to be expected. Also, with such a large number of runners and twists and turns on the course it is doubtful that anyone other than the fast guys at the front was able to run the racing line. I have 100% confidence that the course is accurately measured to UKA's satisfaction, and if its good enough for them then its good enough for me. Date of review: April 19, 2012
In short: Rain, rain go away - and don't even think about coming back another day In full: My first running of this race and I loved it despite the atrocious weather. I'm not sure I have ever got wetter during a run, but that's not the organisers' fault and they can hardly be blamed for most of the course being underwater. In fact, I think that made the race more enjoyable and provided a real good post race buzz. Just as well I brought some dry clothes to change into straight afterwards.
The hills weren't as bad as I feared, the first 1K was a gentle uphill rise but I didn't really notice it as the pace at the start was a little slower with so many runners getting into their stride. A piece of constructive criticism would be to have the timing pens a little more defined. The one I was in was for 40-60 minutes which is obviously a pretty wide range of runners. Maybe break it down so there is a 40-50 minute section then a 50-60 minute section. May help reduce congestion on the first hill?
Hill between 7K and 8K was a little tougher and the cross wind made it quite challenging. But as I said, not as bad as I feared. But after that there is a glorious downhill finish which really helps - I loved that !!
Well done to all the organisers, marshals and volunteers. In extremely difficult conditions you did a great job and I'm sure all runners would agree and pass on their thanks to you. Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: Fast and flat, but a race with no soul or heart. In full: I had read the previous years' review of this race but despite that I still decided to gice this event a go as I wanted to guage my running before the Reading Half Marathon in 6 weeks time.
The course is exactly as it says on the tin - fast and flat but not exciting. Having done a 10K here last year I knew what to expect. However, even knowing that it didn't stop the race from becoming very boring. Four laps of scenery that doesn't change isn't much fun. In fact, the strong winds, along the outward straight in particular, helped break things up and provided a good mental refresher to keep going.
The support from the marshals was virtually non-existent. I only one of them shout out encouragement (a brief "Well done"). This is a real shame and, whilst everything was pretty efficient on the course, it left me feeling that this was a race without a heart or soul.
I had no problems parking or with the loos as I got there at about 8.40. But had I arrived a few minutes later it's obvious that things would have been different for me. I do feel sorry for those who had already gone to the start line for the 10am start whilst an announcement was being made at the Boat House (5 minutes from the start) that the start was delayed. A good decision to delay the start but communication is the key here.
Two other things: (1) A tribute to all those runners still going whilst I was walking back to my car. You guys are the real heroes - out in the wind and not giving up really takes some guts. (2) It was good to see the RW pace team there, my suggestion for anyone wanting to use a pacer is to get yourself just in front of them and in that way you avoid the congestion.
All in all, it's a come on Human Race, with a bit of extra effort and passion this could actually be a very good race. Throw in some pre-race announcements to gee people up, get some attractions (bands, music, supporters, anything) along the route and it would help lift everyone's spirit and provide a much needed atmosphere. Date of review: February 19, 2012
In short: First time at Cliveden XC and will be back !! In full: Lovely scenery and glorious weather. This was my first xc race and really enjoyed it. It made a nice change to just go out and enjoy the run without worrying about trying to get a PB. The two sets of 170+ steps in miles 3 and 6, plus another sneaky big hill in mile 6, made this a challenging but oh so rewarding run. I look forward to running this again with the aim of being able to run past step 60 this time! Date of review: January 10, 2012
In short: Excellent organisation and a nice fast race In full: An excellent race, well organised and all that you could want from a December event. Somewhere nice and warm to gather before and after the race in the sports hall, car parking only a few minutes walk away, a nice T-shirt and a pretty flat route. Very friendly race - as demonstrated by the kind person who handed in my car key after I had lost it. That saved me from a major panic! THANK YOU! The decision to put the start time back to 10.30 was a good one, although no frost this year it's a sensible move to give the course time to thaw out if there is a frost. One piece of constructive criticism, as we gathered in the field before the start I couldn't hear the chap making his announcement. Maybe a mega phone for next year to help? I look forward to entering next year. Date of review: December 12, 2011
In short: This marathon is simply PERFECTION In full: All marathons should be like this. As the last review from 2010 said, low numbers beats big city marathons.
Obviously support isn't going to be in the numbers for something like the VLM, but for a course that is run mainly on open country roads the support was outstanding. Many, many thanks to the supporters who made the effort to come out and cheer us running idiots on. Your support means a lot and that's why I'm scoring atmosphere so highly.
Great marshalling too. Loads of marshals and loads of water stops, plus isotonic drinks and solids at various stages. Without the marshals this race, like all others, couldn't happen. So you guys giving up half a day to stand around helping us out is well appreciated.
As for the race itself, I don't think you could get better weather. A chilly start with the sun rising in the sky made way for a pleasant slightly cloudy morning and then the sun came back to shine on us at the finish. Wonderful.
Oh, and I got a PB with 3:55 so I'm one happy Chubster.
Other marathon organisers - get hold of Dene Stringfellow and his team for advice. They know what they're doing and I've been at a number of superb runs by these guys this year. Absolutelty faultless from my point of view. Date of review: October 16, 2011
In short: Lovely scenery with some challenging hills In full: Things don't get much better than a race which allows you to storm past Steve Naylor three times (well admittedly he was a marshall).
First time I have done a multi lap race but thoroughly enjoyed it, which was a bonus as I didn't think I would. Mile 3,7, and 11 through the woods at the back of Blenheim Palace were a fantastic array of early autumnal colours and a great reward for the hill that had just been tackled.
As a non-club runner I didn't feel out of place.
Excellent value race, great support from the marshalls and a nice small field meant it never got too crowded. Date of review: September 21, 2011
In short: Zoom zoom zoom to a PB !! In full: First time at this event for me and I thought it was great. Flattest course I have ever seen which helped me knock over 90 seconds off my PB. It was fantastic to be able to get into a good running rythym and hardly any turns (only one sharpish u-turn at about 7.5k). Excellent announcer before the race kept us up to date with all that was happening. Nice medal and goody bag - the random appearance of toothbrush and toothpaste made me smile (aha, maybe that was the point as we should all have been smiling on this super duper PB course). Date of review: July 30, 2011