In short: Room for improvement next year In full: A lot of people are pretty unhappy with this race, but I don't think it was that bad. I'm assuming this is the first year it was run, and there are always teething problems. I'm sure the organisers will do better next year.
To begin with the start of the race: the bag drop, as mentioned, was not the best, although I have seen worse. The race started late, but this appeared to be a direct result of the bag drop being slow, so once that's fixed, I expect the race would start promptly. And the weather was quite nice, so it wasn't too much of a problem to wait around, apart from the inevitable warming up/toilet problems which go along with a late start. There were plenty of portaloos supplied and a proper toilet as well in the sports ground buildings. I had been away from home for a few days and was unable to bring my number and chip which had been posted out, but they managed to give me a number anyway although no additional chips were available.
The race itself was lovely to run, mainly through beautiful woods and around the common. It was muddy, but not really unexpected for the terrain and time of year. I understand that a group of people at the front went the wrong way and ran significantly more than 10k because there weren't adequate directions, which must have been very annoying. By the time I got there (closer to the mid/back of the field), the marshalls seemed to have sorted it out and I don't think there were any further problems, but clearly something to work out for next year. The course I ran was under 10K (about 5.5 miles), but I think that this was due to diverting the runners as a result of muddy conditions on the planned route, so better than getting stuck in a quagmire! There was a well-manned water stop about half way round and quite a lot of support along the way, which is always appreciated.
It would have been nice to get something at the end (medal/t-shirt?) but for a standard 10k it's not that unusual to just receive a bottle of water, which there was.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the race itself, and although the organisation could have been better the atmosphere was good and people seemed to generally enjoy it. I should think that next year's event - and I hope there is one - will work out some of the difficulties. At least some of the problems this year were definitely a result of weather conditions on the day.
My only big complaint was the lack of wombles running.
In short: Fun fun fun In full: I had a great time in this race. It was lovely to start and finish at the stadium, and the atmosphere along the route was excellent - lots of people clapping etc. (Top marks to the bloke with the sign saying "Run like you've stolen something"). The eight bands along the route just added to the fun and really encouraged you to run faster. It was also a nice flattish route which allowed me to get a PB. The run through Christchurch Meadows and along the river was very scenic as well. The bag drop queue was, as other people have mentioned, epic, but I expect this will be improved next year. My suggestion for general organisation: have the signs to toilets, info, bag drop etc. that can be seen above the crowd. I think this would help people to organise themselves a bit better. But over all, I had a fabulous time and would like to return next year. Date of review: October 14, 2012
In short: Heaven at Heveningham In full: Lovely race through the Heveningham Hall estate. The only really hard part was the long grass across the fields at the beginning and end of the race, and there was plenty of shade through the woods. The added bonus was free entry to the Heveningham Country Fair afterwards which made the day really excellent. I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: July 11, 2011
In short: Great course, but quite hard In full: Really enjoyed this race. Well organised and good fun! This was definitely the most challenging course that I have run up till now (not that I have run that many!) but a great sense of achievement at the end. It was very nice running under the trees most of the way - the shade made the rather steep hills much more bearable. I hope to be back next year! Date of review: May 15, 2011
In short: Best race this year so far In full: Loved this race. The organisation was really good, the atmosphere was lovely and the course was a great level - enough scope for improvement with some challenges. We had very good weather on the day and all in all it was a really excellent experience. Definitely going back next year! Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Some challenges but great fun In full: Lovely atmosphere here, especially the morris dancers at the start and the children's 500m race beforehand. Also nice location on farm. The course was fairly challenging for a relative beginner like me (plenty of ups and downs) with a variety of terrains. I would have preferred a circular route rather than repeating, but the landscape was very pretty and made up for it. There could have been more direction at some points on the course, but generally the organisation was good and since this was the inaugural race which had an unexpected number of on-the-day entries, it was done very well indeed. Great day! Thanks chaps. Date of review: May 1, 2011
In short: Good first time 10K In full: Enjoyed this undulating course which was great as my first 10K. Very nice friendly atmosphere. Also a bit miffed about the parking - it was not at all clear for non-locals how far the start was from the car park. Overall, had a great time! Date of review: May 1, 2011
In short: Beautiful setting - nice road race In full: For a complete beginner this was an excellent race to choose. A small number of runners, a relaxed atmosphere and a lovely rural setting in deepest Norfolk. Very happy to finish and a great experience. Date of review: July 2, 2010