In short: I lapped it up... In full: 26x1mile laps + 0.2ml at start. Run on grass (that is not a training tip). Friendly organisers. Chip-timing. Good tec-tee and running socks plus a medal the size and weight of a dustbin lid. Just water and energy drink in cups, but easy to leave your own bits and bobs. Lots of facilities at Littledown centre - free parking, plenty of toilets, café etc. I shall run this again. Date of review: June 15, 2014
In short: Could become a top-run In full: Beautiful country views (if that's your 'thing') - nothing urban during entire run: 1 village, lots of farms, tracks and footpaths, some very minor back-roads. Very peaceful - often just the sound of one's own breathing and the rhythmic beat of your running.
Course had to be changed (slightly) due to underfoot conditioned - very smoothly done. Waymarking excellent (some of us went wrong at one point, soon sorted).
Water-stations well stocked and womanned well - helpful and encouraging, as were the marshals.
Nice atmosphere at start - quite a few camping. Free parking in the field adjacent to start, portaloos enough for all.
Finish low-key but efficient - excellent medals, tec tee, voucher for food.
The course itself is hilly (rises well over 5000ft according to my Endomondo), however they are (mostly) not soul destroying - that is until The Hill at about the mile from home mark...cruel and inhuman punishment! A USP for the event.
In short: well organised and friendlh In full: Parking good - a minibus takes you to the start rand drops you back post race. Good facilities - changing, toilets and showers Very friendly and enthusiastic support from those manning the 5 water stations (water in cups/jelly babies)
The course follows the Imber Range path - approx. 33miles. There are few marshals on course, but runners are supplied with maps and written detailed instructions...the course is not as complicated as these suggest! Undulating best describes the course - not 'silly hilly' but enough to make you know it is not flat.There is a good mixture of grass and nud, rutted paths and good quality concrete (and ashphalt) roads - I wore road shoes which were perfect.
Overall a challenging and more than worthwhile run to do....particularly on a balmy day such as today. Date of review: March 10, 2014
In short: lots of runners... In full: After the initial couple of miles there was plenty of space to breathe....even more so after the 10milers finished. A good course....not traffic free, but I had no problems with cars or cyclists - well marshalled. Enough water stations - but only water or glucose drinks in plastic cups. Toilet facilities at Start excellent - I arrived at 10.10am for the 10.30am Start...still had time to queue, use them, put my baggage in the (very basic) bag store and be at the start line before 10.25. In an ideal world there would be a tee-shirt to look forward to...
In short: Balmy....! In full: For those who took part last year this was relatively...repeat relatively...straightforward - if steep-climbs and narrow/rutted/rocky/muddy paths can ever be considered straightforward! The sun shone and the wind blew. The marshals were excellent. The water stations were well stocked with jelly-babies, cake and much more. The scout-hall was crowded and all is well with the world. If you want off-road running (there are some farm-tracks but only 2ish miles of v. quiet roads) and a low-key atmosphere, with a great sense of achievement at the finish, then I highly recommend this run. Date of review: February 9, 2014
In short: Perfect first run of year In full: Plenty of ups and downs - but not ridiculous hills. Marshals and all of the officials friendly and efficient - the Car-parking team are fantastic. Lots of lovely cake (and bacon sandwiches) available Plenty of water-stations Not much traffic Great value, good cause and a tee-shirt.
In an ideal world there would be showers and bag storage....but I can live without them. All in all a charming and worthwhile Sunday morning - a very civilised Start time as well. Date of review: February 2, 2014
In short: Special because of the course and time of year In full: I love this course - flat but with character. Better organised than last year. Still work to be done. Needs better bag drop - as has been suggested same bag and race number could save much time. No 'real' changing facilities - the 50p for a shower in the Pyramid centre is very useful, however. Toilets, toilets, toilets required - anyone in the 'know' used public ones in the vicinity.
Good, free on-road parking within easy walking distance. Goodie bag a nice surprise. Date of review: December 24, 2013
In short: Pleasant local race In full: Challenging enough, gradients abound on the backroads of Gillingham (Dorset). Friendly...good marshals...everything you would expect from a local running group. 3x as many runners this year as last, I wonder why? Date of review: November 3, 2013
In short: A mini classic In full: Everything about this event is sooooo satisfying. The venue; Shillingstone railway station - long-closed, but the hub of a thriving group of railway enthusiasts; cafe, souvenirs etc. This year the Car-park contained vintage vehicles (remember Rootes, anyone?) The course; it's the 10 miler that thinks it's a half-marathon. It is no disgrace to walk up the hills. The first 4 miles must surely be one of the most satisfying runs of any race, anywhere. - a hideous climb followed by a long downhill stretch, both through glorious wooded countryside. ....excellent marshals, good car-parking, lovely tea and cake available, plenty of toilets.... Great mementos. This year one of those Jack Sparrow headgear things...you know what I mean....and a shopping-bag. Look at the cost! What a bargain! Organised by runners, for runners. Date of review: October 27, 2013