In short: Great for non-competitive runners In full: After doing this event 2 years ago as my first ever race, I was happy to return to run it again. I'm a bit more of a 'runner' now and started right near the front - this isn't a very competitive event so anyone running 25 minutes or under should start right at the front.
It's a great atmosphere on the day, decent value for money and a nice course. Running under hertford bridge to cheers of the crowd outside the sheldonian theatre, then legging it up a traffic-free Parks road was pretty amazing. Bring a picnic blanket and you'll be set for the afternoon!
The only down sides were:
It took so long for all the walkers to cross the start line that I was waiting 10 minutes after I'd finished running before my supporters could cross the stream of walkers to meet me! I'm not sure why it was so slow getting them all started...
As the 3rd placed runner the whole way round there was no-one ready to direct me to the finish and someone actually cut the course (substantially) to come in ahead of me. It's OK because it's not competitive and times/places aren't even recorded but it was awfully confusing when I arrived at the finish to be announced as fourth!? (The story is here: http://maketimetorun.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/my-most-confusing-race-ever-at-oxford.html?spref=tw)
That said, I'd like to thank the organisers who quickly made sure that area was marshalled after I flagged it up.
The medal was nice, but the random chocolate brioche I had shoved in my hand was a strange idea, and I didn't get a goody bag... probably due to the confusion as i was trying to tell the marshalls about the lack of direction at the finish.
If you're going to walk/jog this is a great race for you!! If you're a runner then you might find it a little frustrating. But never mind, we all kicked cancers butt anyway!
In short: Bare-bones organisation but a great experience In full: Good points: Frequent water stations, Mostly flat course, Good crowd support Slick organisation in bag drop & finish.
Average points: The start seemed strangely congested even though there weren't that many runners, it needs to be in timed corrals like every other race out there (not just red/green!). As others have mentioned the inclines of underpasses in the last 6 miles were pretty tough (my garmin says 181m of elevation gain, not 118 like the online map!?) but as it was my first it was always going to be a PB! The goody bad was pretty average and that t-shirt will never be worn by most of us... it's already in the rag bin. The organisers need to state in advance which gels/energy drinks will be on course (not just 'High5 and gatorade' as each of those brands make a number of different products. I know it sounds picky, but so are runners tummies! There needed to be more signage in general (ie. "to the start" when I arrived at the stadium it wasn't at all clear where everything was) There was no 'race village' to speak of apart from a few charity tents.
Bad points: Couldn't hear announcements at the start at all or find the pacers. (Take a leaf out of Runners World pacers book and have flags/signs that rise above the runners please) The 'gatorade' stations needed to have water too (especially that last one!!) and I'm shocked that some other reviewers said some stations ran out! Where were the bands en-route!? The website promised bands and warned against brining iPods but there was no music at all!!
Sorry there are more 'bad' points than good overall I really enjoyed almost all of it, perhaps in a few years with a few more tweaks people will be raving about it! Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Lovely views and great cake! In full: Thoroughly enjoyed this year's Pewsey half marathon. The views in the first quarter were absolutely lovely, and seeing a white horse on a hillside on the way round was a surprise. Only one proper hill, nothing scary about it! Lovely friendly crowd and thanks to the marshalls and water station volunteers - especially the ones who thought to use double cups so we didn't spill the water everywhere! Date of review: August 27, 2012