In short: Great race over a tough but rewarding course, top goody bag! In full: Interesting and varied course with a mixture of terrain - tarmac, grass, firm trail, muddy trail, some long tough climbs and fun descents.
I think the 16.5 mile option is a good one - as it is a tough challenge but just about short enough that you can 'race' it without having to write off as long a recovery period as you would for the marathon. The final long climb out of Corfe Castle and up onto the ridge is particularly tough and I wouldn't fancy having that at the end of a race-effort marathon!
The atmosphere among runners, marshals, spectators and organisers was good. The goody bag was excellent. Shame that the forecast cloud did not appear as this year it was too hot for me - obviously cannot blame the organisers for that - the Dorset ice cream at the finish was a nice touch though!
If I was to have any criticisms it would be that the middle section - where the 16.5 route separates from the marathon route - could do with more/clearer marking. Might be partly down to my lack of experience at being at the sharp end of trail races, but I ran longer than necessary a few times as did the guy ahead of me whom I managed to call back a couple of times when he missed turns (if I'd have kept quiet I could have had his 2nd place!).
Enjoyable day though and I hope to be back...
Also note - nice to see races like these which bother to get a UKA Licence - so many offroad events do not. For those who take note of runbritainrankings this race hit the difficulty measurement cap with an SSS of 6.0! Date of review: October 12, 2015
In short: Well organised race on a challenging course, great day out. In full: The hilly parts were steep, and the flat parts were windy. Add in some great views and a fast (net downhill) final mile and the result was a challenging but rewarding race.
A well organised and well marshalled event that seemed to run smoothly, with a decent clubhouse that made for a good post-race atmosphere in the warm.
I don't think I'd travel across from the mainland on my own just for this, but with a good group it makes for a great day out. I'm sure I'll be back for this one again... Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Great value, flat first half, undulating second half In full: I found this race a bit of a slow one with the hot day and the undulating second half of the course, however the good weather encouraged us to take advantage of being a short drive from the various beaches in the area.
Atmosphere was good, did not have to queue for toilets, plenty of car parking right by finish area so no fussing with baggage drops.
Great value post-race freebies: Two cereal bars handed to me in the finish funnel; Assortment of squash drinks; Decent sports massage, got the knots out of my calves; Medal fairly generic although the ribbon was event-specific;
Only negative for me was that numbers were not posted out in advance, so meant queuing for numbers out in the sunshine. However given the low cost of entry I wouldn't complain about them saving on the postage costs! Date of review: August 26, 2012
In short: Fast course with mild undulations, smoothly run for a first-time event In full: Before the day the cost seemed a touch expensive for a relatively low-key 10k, however after the event it seems like good value and certainly not expensive compared to the local and well-established Eastleigh 10k.
- Road closures and loads of marshals - I suspect many more than essential for the course; - plenty of local support throughout the route; - choice of water stations - one for the cup lovers and one for the bottle lovers; - track start and finish with chip timing and large timing clock; - 'big top' for registration and for shade on this one sunny day of the month; - registration, toilets and baggage drop all reasonably close to the start; - results available quickly, online and on powerof10 the same day; - reasonable medal and goody bag and bottled water at the finish;
This event seemed to take the best of both worlds of small club runner events and large charity events and cater for everyone at a reasonable price with a good atmosphere.
If I was nitpicking then these would be the things I would have pointed out: - a banana or some such other recovery munch by the finish would have been nice, so that people can wait and cheer on others finishing without needing to go back to the baggage retrieval first; - given the quality of all the technology at the start, it seemed hopeful that this could be one of those rare days when you can actually hear the pre-race briefing. Alas, I could barely make out a word through the soft muffled PA, even for the token five seconds when runners genuinely tried to be quiet and listen before giving up and carrying on talking. - is it me or were those safety pins humongous? :-)
Despite what others have written, I thought this was a fast course and it was a PB for me. Not quite flat, just mildly undulating enough to vary the muscle groups in use in a way that a truly flat course does not. If Garmin Connect is to be believed then there is a drop of ~10m and back up from 1.5km to 2.5km and then the same on return at 7.5km to 8.5km, I certainly wouldn't describe it as 'hilly' though. According to powerof10 there were 9 PBs among the top 30 finishers. Date of review: July 16, 2012
In short: Fast flat course with friendly community feel In full: A bargain at £5 for affiliated entry for a UKA licensed race on an officially measured course with a bottle of water and tech t-shirt included.
A shame that the t-shirts were all size Large though - I'd need to put on 2-3 stone to fit mine! Not sure what happened to the advertised medals either - but I'm not too fussed about finisher medals and the race was already a bargain anyway. The event had the low price of an established club-organised midweek 5k series, but with many little touches usually reserved for larger events such as the finish arch and large digital clock.
This is a fast near-flat two and a bit lap course clockwise around the village, the only sharp turn is the right angle into the slightly-downhill 200m finish straight, which makes for a fun finish.
The route is on wide even pavements on the inside of the block, rather than on the road. So no road closures necessary as there were friendly encouraging marshals on any inner streets connecting the course lap. The pavement course did however mean I was very nearly hit by a car leaving an adjacent driveway where the driver was clearly looking for road traffic rather than pedestrian traffic. Fortunately I was able to jump out into the road just in time, but a split second earlier and things could have been messy!
Overall a friendly low key event in pleasant community surroundings, mixed field suitable for beginners or for experienced runners looking for somewhere to run a 5K road PB. Also a treat to have parking, registration, toilets, start and finish all so close together!
Would I do it again? I'm only in this part of the country once or twice a year, but if I was, then yes I would... Date of review: July 2, 2012