In short: Lovely village 10k over green fields and footpaths In full: Starts off on a very charming, narrow road. Only issue at the start is quite a lot of people (as always) get their pace wrong and start off too far at the back/front. It led to quite a lot of runners trying to squeeze through a slow bottleneck. Nothing the organisers could do here to improve this - just comes down to runners being able to predict their pace, which is always a difficulty.
Once the runners spread out, the course takes you up a lovely trail path covered by leafy trees. Not a road in sight - the only thing flanking the route were crop fields.
The course then wiggles through some fields - again, only issue on these parts were the fact that the trodden path was single file. The fields were quite up-and-down; so runners who chose to go quicker on the downhills were flying past slower runners on some very uneven shrubbery. Led to a few falls from what I could see. All part of the challenge though, really - I wasn't sure if I should feel bad for a farmer somewhere that I was kicking his plants around.
After the series of fields, the course gets back to a trail path. Dotted around the course are various intersections where small groups of family members shouted words of encouragement to all runners. Very nice for such a small event.
A much needed water station at 7k (not at 3k - be careful of how you interpret the map), and the rest of the course is straight and very flat back to the finish line.
The last chance of scenery is only during the final 300 metres when the course comes out onto grassy fields and you get a lovely home straight with 100s of people cheering everyone who crosses the line.
Water and a medal given at the end of the race.
Well marshalled event, not very hilly, moderate trail terrain, lovely family event. I'd do it again next year! Date of review: May 19, 2013
In short: Fun, cold, hard as hell In full: Well organised before the start. Plenty of people helping out, and lots of space to mill around and wait.
Two starting waves - half an hour apart - which was a good idea. The first wave started 10 minutes late, and that impacted the second wave - and I think the second wave started around 15 minutes late eventually because the first wave got in the way of the proposed starting route of the second wave.
12 to 13 mile course.
The first mile or two were essentially just cross-country; up and down fields and hills, wonderful scenery, past the odd (angry) cow, and fairly easy terrain.
After we looped back over the the starting line, the run took an interesting turn into a forest. We didn't emerge from the trees until the very end of the race. Slippery, steep muddy hills became commonplace; and lots of people were falling about everywhere. Some parts were single-file, but only for short stretches.
Very nice atmosphere.
After around 7 miles or so came 'the bog'. As others have said, it was a waist/chest high mud/sludge/ice mixture which was unavoidable. Pretty fun getting through it, very sticky, but well manned - and music pumping through speakers to help you get out! Nice touch.
Lots of people mentioning they were freezing by this stage; some very numb looking feet, and people began to ask if there was a drinks station anywhere on the course. There was one - at around mile 6 I think - with people giving out water. Much appreciated.
The course carried on climbing and falling over very steep hills - two stretches of uphill terrain were nigh on vertical. Very challenging and unique obstacle - a couple of people had quite nasty falls after they slipped, but the worst injuries were only to pride.
The next challenge - at around mile 8 I think - was a stream - basically 40 feet or so through a knee-high water. People started to grumble at this stage due to the extreme cold. The November afternoon gave us wonderfully still and sunny weather - but the thermometer must have maxed out at around 4 degrees in the shade, which left a lot of people very uncomfortable. Can't complain to the organisers on this - people knew what they were in for!
The final few miles were typically woody and tough - but then came a long stretch of the course in chest-high water. What made it extremely annoying was the queue; we were stood in water for what felt like about 10 minutes waiting for people in front to move. One lady comforted her friend as she tried to stave off the cold with a sad bout of icy tears.
Seemed pretty dangerous to have everyone stood around in such cold, deep water for so long; maybe a small amount of marshalling would have gone a long way on this part; but I suppose it is Hellrunner, so maybe that's not the point.
Extremely satisfying to finish, amazing feeling of accomplishment afterwards.
A very unique course, back down south I go for 2013 though; I'm too soft to come back for more next year! Date of review: November 3, 2012