In short: Beautiful course, fantastically organised. In full: This tops my calendar of races. Such beautiful scenery and lovely rolling hills - the pleasant variety! Every marshal we spoke to at base wished us a good race. Plenty of water stations, 3 miles apart. And of course, the famous hoodie to take home at the end. Thanks again Bedford! :) Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Lovely course to set a PB! In full: A very fast course with friendly marshalls. There are quite a lot of bollards en-route though, so watch where you run! Marshalls did shout out warnings at bollard-areas. Excellent value for money, although could have done with a nice choccy bar or some sort of food at the finish! Date of review: December 3, 2012
In short: A fantastic friendly race - no wonder it fills up within days! In full: The organisation was excellent, the queues - minimal, goody bags filled with lovely treats, supportive marshalls and locals cheering us on, a really attractive technical long-sleeved top upon finishing and it was great having chip timing on the number, rather than having to fuss with your trainers before the race. Results were on the website before I had even gotten home from the race! I shall definitely be back next year! Date of review: November 19, 2012
In short: Really enjoyable first marathon. In full: I really, really enjoyed the race. The weather was absolutely crazy, and at one point I ran through a puddle to discover in the middle it was as high as my knee! Completely out of control of the organisers though!
Good points: 1) This will make for a beautiful course in good weather as we ran round several lakes, cycle paths and along the outskirts of nice estates. 2) Nutrition and drinks stations positioned frequently and in all the right places. 3) Support was excellent despite the poor weather.
Points to consider for next year: 1) Minimal toilets around the course. I was desperate at about 6.5 miles and managed to hang on until mile 10 where I queued 10 mins for a portaloo. (I was worried I would have sunk in the mud if I had squatted behind a bush!) 2) Allegedly some spectators had to help unload the baggage lorry upon finishing. 3) I wasn't really sure where the finish was, and found out later that several people had stopped too early, when they first entered the stadium. 4) Unsure if I could have parked without paying, as nobody checked my booking when I arrived...?! Date of review: June 26, 2012
In short: Beautiful scenery and fantastic marshalls. In full: This was my first 20 mile race, and Oakley made me really enjoy the experience.
The scenery was really pretty, there was lots of local support, regular water stations on what turned out to be a much hotter day than expected and some fantastic marshalls. Several marshalls towards the end (I must have looked drained by this point!) questionned me to check I was OK. The hills were quite nice, and kept the course interesting. There was nothing overly steep, and I always knew that when I had gone up, I would be going down again soon! The downside was the queueing for the toilets until 9:58 when the race began at 10. We had been queueing for nearly half an hour! Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Nice, varied scenery with a helpful up/downhill off-road. In full: This was my first 10 mile race and everybody in the build-up to the race had commented on the horrific hill just before mile 2. As I relatively new runner I didn't find this hill horrific at all! It was nice and gradual and lovely to discover that we ran back down it on the way back. The race was very well organised, with no confusion about where I should have been when, or what I should have been doing at any point. I shall be back next year to beat my time! Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: Very well organised, lovely course with friendly marshalls. In full: I was very impressed with the organisation both pre-race and post-race. The marshalls were all friendly and helpful and runners all received chocolate, an energy bar and water on completion of the race. I had already picked up my free t-shirt before the race had begun. Transport was provided for the 3/4 mile (ish) distance from carpark to start line and back again after the race. As a first-timer of the 15 mile distance I really enjoyed this race. I had been pre-warned about the 'awful' hill towards the end of both laps. But I didn't feel that it earnt the 'awful' title and there was much encouragement in the form of marshalls and general public on both of my laps at this point. I will definitely be back next year! Date of review: January 29, 2012