In short: Adventurous Weather and challenging course In full: Was cursing myself around this course....”never again, never again”.....it was my first hilly race in these sorts of conditions and I found it psychologically challenging. The rain, sleet and winds left me red raw down my right hand side however the buzz after was well worth it!
A special mention has to go to the marshal’s and lovely Goring folk who dragged themselves out of their toasty fire-lit homes to cheer us crazy runners on. One bloke even stopped in his Mini, got out the passenger side and started cheering us all on whilst leaving his (presumed) missus cringing in the driver’s seat! A lot of respect to all - so thank you.
Shame about weather but would have been a beautiful course (why rated as Scenery good).
Organisation - great! Yummy flapjacks at finish, average goody bag and nice medal!
Not sure what happened to the parking situation....couldn’t see any directions to car parks so just parked on side street.
Didn’t wait around for my free tea. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Good PB potential - shame about the atmosphere In full: Overall average race. At times psychologically difficult - no crowd enthusiasm (tends to be what drives you fast the last mile)! I was only doing the 10k - felt for all the half marathoners out there! Airfield location was different for me although I probably wouldn’t do that style race again – love my cross country too much. Important features for me: Parking - Great and close by to race HQ Toilets - Again lots of them and close to race HQ Goody bag - was a bit rushed in queue so didn't pick up all flyer's etc and sweets! Loved the fruit at the end and medal was nice. Price - Nice and cheap, that's why I did it!
Although the PB potential was there (ie long flat course), it would have been helped by crowd encouragement. Date of review: November 20, 2011
In short: Gorgeous scenery and even more glorious weather (certainly not for running though!!) In full: Again, yer some negative reviews but it was a huge race in very unusual (impossible to predict at this time of year) weather conditions.
Positives: I think BHF did a grand job and although there are many complaints on here I had a great day. Although the course was what I would call VERY undulating (the BHF website described it as flat/undulating), this is something BHF should look to amend next year. A welcomed massage by the excellent Oxford School of Sports Massage did me wonders, they were very professional and pleasant. Also marshals handing out gels - a grateful surprise at 10 miles! A shower from the marshal on both laps near the cross point also pulled me through!
Negative: Getting out of Blenheim Palace at the end of the day was a complete joke! I grew so impatient after 25 mins sitting in stationary traffic waiting for people to siphon into 1 lane .... I ran to the exit where my partner picked me up .... picked my car up 2 hours later! Date of review: October 3, 2011
In short: Beautiful scenery. Good organisation & v.friendly staff (apart from one member of the public...see notes!)!) In full: Nothing like the smell of horses and pounding pavement at the same time! I am a horsey person so seeing gorgeous well maintained Polo horses out for their daily walk was a pleasure in itself. Nice views, however I am not always keen on 'lap' races, the beautiful scenery made up for this! Great atmosphere and encouraging marshalls and staff, not so sure about some sideline members of the public....whilst running my 2nd lap a man shouted from the dark depths of the woods, "only 4 more laps to go"! Felt like dragging him along with me!! Date of review: August 8, 2011
In short: 2011 - great atmosphere, nice new route, HOT HOT HOT! In full: This review is for 2011 - They changed the course this year which meant running out into Oxford. I, personally, enjoyed this as I remember the year before looping University Park which was a bit boring. You can’t beat the atmosphere at Race for Life events and for that reason I would certainly do it again. I ran it competitively this year in just under 21 mins - a PB for me and 2nd 5k. Typical that the race was on the 'hottest day' so far that year!! Overall great atmosphere, a little expensive could do with being £12.99, disappointing goody bag (i.e. no food!! just Bodyform, toothpaste and Radox!), great new course and support. One aspect of this race I don’t like (which unfortunately cant be helped) are the dodgy looking lone men sitting in dark corners and on benches watching all the women and children running by. Maybe I am just being paranoid ? There were quite a few lone rangers in the park...of course I’m sure they were just bored on a Sunday morning at 10am!!!! Date of review: June 30, 2011
In short: My first Race.......and ooh ek it hurt! In full: This was my 1st competitive race (recently completed a half marathon with mother at half speed :-)....). I was there by myself and surrounded by lots of t-shirts (i.e. clubs) which was a little intimidating for a first timer! Although the typical English weather put a bit of a downer to the surrounding countryside, I still managed to take in the beauty of it and the clear fresh air. That tarmac hill was a killer! I truely thought I was going to walk it....pushed through though and came in at 49mins. Good goodie bag - a medal would have been nice. Well organised and some friendly smiles at the end. Would do again. Date of review: October 3, 2010