In short: Perfect! In full: Lovely country route through lots of woody areas. Organised perfectly. No complaints. And happy to not have a medal for a technical t shirt. Would have liked something to munch on at the end but did see lots of people carrying asics carriers so maybe i missed out?
Wasn't hilly more undulating. 2 possible hills but no more than 1-2 mins running each and long drags down after. I got a PB. I chatted to a guy on the way back to the station training for a duathlon... please add me on facebook if you see this!
I'll be doing this race again, for sure. Date of review: February 3, 2013
In short: mud! In full: Good points - Flat. Terrain I think would have been interesting and OK had it not been for the downpour over the previous days... Scenic. Nice out and back route. Nice atmosphere. Great facilities and showers at finish.
Points to improve - the medal is sh*te! The water stations were also rubbish, you only get away with that because of the cold weather. Just water in plastic cups, orange squash if lucky! The mud was a challenge but I managed a PB somehow despite this! Date of review: December 23, 2012
In short: Thoroughly enjoyed In full: I'm a 'newby' to off road running and was scared at the start when trail shoes were recommended! However plenty of people managed in trainers like me and it was OK. There were 6 laps for this half and the first lap I thought 'it's not hilly just undulating' but by the next lap they felt more like hills. Always short though, no long drags. The atmosphere and organisation were splended and I thoroughly appreciated the tea (even if badly made!) and cake at the end. I was anxious about the bag storage being the space behind the registration desk and put my bag in unnecessarily early because of this but most runners seemed to driver there and not require bag storage. The course was 50% undulations on grass and 50% muddy trails in the woods. I ran 14 mins slower than my pb (of 2 hours) and i will definitely be back next year! Thanks to the marshalls/organisers. Date of review: October 28, 2012
In short: lovely route from mile 6 In full: I travelled up from London for this one and will do again next year. I stayed at the holiday inn which is RIGHT BY the kassam stadium and they kindly locked my case in their store room so i didn't have to endure what looked like a very long queue afterwards!
Route - flat, gorgeous from mile 6 and the reason i'd coma again. I kind of enjoyed the dual carriageway bit to be honest, kind of cool having your own lane ;)
Loved having the Cliff bar to eat at the end. Was a shame we couldn't get our times becaue they put the chip timer tent too close to the finish and it caused a bottleneck, but that's minor.
I'm not fussed about the technical t shirt though it was a nice addition, shame the medal had a mini on it but i guess that's how they were paid for...
I was sad i couldn't hear sir roger bannister at the start cos the speakers were rubbish! :(
In short: Nice route, some basic organisational errors In full: I was due to run the half and not the full. HOwever I would not come back to do the full in future, only the half. The main reason for this is that I would probably die of hyponatraemia or dehydration in a full marathon in hot weather with NO isotonic fluids and mostly plastic cups of water to keep you going. Just dangerous. I brought an isotonic drink with me for the half and despite the driving rain, really was thankful for it.
My other main issue was that on the website it advertised the Cadet Hut as a place to store bags. When I got there (ignoring the misery of the wind and rain and mud!) i squelched about and couldn't find a cadet hut (it wasn't marked on the map on the website) so squelched again over to the information desk and the woman told me bags can be left at the changing rooms at the boat club!! So i squelched to the boat club, soaked through, and the changing room was tiny, and not secure, and other runners were leaving bags with their purses etc in there as they had no choice! This was a terrible start.
The route itself was pleasant, a couple of hills rewarded with long downhill sections. The greenway would be a nice flat end to the half in normal weather, unfortunately on this day was very exposed with an insane headwind that made even the hardiest of runners walk.
No banana or medal at the finish was a shame, but I survived ;) Date of review: May 1, 2012