In short: Common or garden race In full: Well organised race if nothing exceptional. It is all uphill for first few miles but it is a steady rather than steep incline. Sections along main roads not much fun with traffic bombing by. For some reason it's always freeeezing at the start of this race. I wouldn't travel any distance to do it if it wasn't for a mate who lives by the course and provides a slap-up breakfast after. Yes the mileage markers are confusing, I assume race must actually be less than 8 miles. Walk back to parking is actually a nice country path warm-down if you jog it. I don't think this race can be much fun for beginners & tail-enders as they have to dodge around the early finishers exiting Losely House. Date of review: January 5, 2009
In short: Fantastic event In full: Thanks everyone involved. My first non big city marathon and really enjoyed the change. Not saying better or worse but definitely different. On the plus side friendly atmosphere, no hassle, queues or crowds, benefits of a stadium start & finish (hot & cold drinks!)and you can see and hear your support if you have any. But you won't have massed crowds urging you on or sports drinks at the water stations. Fast course, the only incline of any note is only an underpass but it's at about 24 miles so felt like a mountain! After that every kerb looked about 3 feet high, I'm sure some of them had snow on top. Would definitely do it again. Only quibble would be on the return route through town centre had to cross road a few times with traffic running and wasn't mentally up to that particular challenge at that point. Shutting eyes and running towards the marshall's voice seemed to work - DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS.
In short: Friendly hilly muddy sloggery In full: This is a superb cross-country half on a tough hilly course. Very efficiently run by friendly organisers and marshalls - thank you for braving the elements. Not one for anyone who wants to keeps their socks white, run a PB or likes the repetitive monotony of miles of tarmac. Very slippy this year after the morning deluge, I felt sorry for anyone who wasn't wearing trail shoes. Lowlight was standing in an innocent-looking puddle that swallowed my leg to the knee, but that's what this run is about, pitting yourself against the random challenge of the trail. Organisation was slicker than last year, the changes to allow pre-registration worked. Also the paths seemed wider, bushes trimmed and the stile bottleneck removed. Well done organisers! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Well organised - does what it says on the tin In full: First time doing this. Sizeable field but no bottlenecks. Very well organised and marshalled. Seemed a PBable course, no real hills but I struggled on a humid evening. Date of review: August 7, 2008
In short: Nothing like it In full: Amazing. Last ran it in 2000 and I couldn't believe how much better the support is now, hardly a quiet spot all the way round. Tower Bridge made the hairs stand on back of my neck. Blown away by the support, cheering in the rain. This race can restore your faith in humanity. Date of review: April 14, 2008
In short: Extreme cruelty to calves! In full: Beautiful location on a cracking Spring day. Very well organised, friendly marshalls. Good test for ankles which need to pivot in every direction as you run up, down, along hills. Only annoyance was a couple of moutain bikers going in opposite direction on one of the narrow sections. Date of review: March 5, 2007
In short: A game of two halves - up and down. In full: Ffffffffffrrrrrreeeeeeezing start almost made the hill welcome, anything to get warmed up! Nice thing about the route is that once at top of hill you know you're on your way home and downhill pretty much all the way. Long walk back to carpark - make sure you have sent something to pull on in the luggage van - or jog back if you're up to it. Traffic is a bit heavy in parts - need your wits about you on the main road stretches. Date of review: December 11, 2006
In short: A dirty pleasure - takes almost as long but much more fun than a road half marathon. In full: Despite hills, sand, hills, puddles, bogs, hills and hills it was the lack of mile markers I found hardest - difficult to mentally plot your way round the course when you don't know what's left to come. Eventually formulated a simple rule that worked well enough - whatever you've been through up to now, there's worse to come. Well named event, increasing evilness culminating in the seventh circle of hell - climbing and descending on loose sand. Found several new species of pondweed in my socks after. Date of review: November 13, 2006