In short: Good race at ideal time of year to blow away the cobwebs In full: This is an enjoyable race in pleasant countryside, and ideal for get movng again after Christmas excess. Lack of toilets at start is a pain, and I would happily forgo the T-shirt for a drink at the finish. The road is congested for the first half mile with cars lining both sides of the street, but they are runners' cars, so the solution to that problem lies in reducing the size of the entry or runners recognising their own responsibilities. I expect it will just remain congested. Overall, a highlight of the winter. Date of review: January 2, 2007
In short: Also my first trail race, and a great introduction. More demanding than I'd anticipated, but a great sense of achievement. Will be back next year, perhaps for the whole series. Date of review: October 9, 2006
In short: Scenic, flat 20 miler ideal for London build-up in the North In full: A truly excellent race, with an out-and-back course along a cycle path on both sides of the Lune. The surface was mostly sealed, some gravelled, and a little on packed earth. Almost no road running at all. Drinks stations every 2-3 miles, and well supplied with water for runners front and back of the field. Well marshalled, with lots of good encouragement. Distinctive T-shirt for finishers, and a club house working flat out to produce lunches made to order.
Weather on the day unseasonably warm, but a significant breeze. Still, can't blame the organisers for that!
I cannot recommend this run highly enough. Date of review: March 20, 2005
In short: Don't let anyone tell you it's fast! In full: This is at the big end of small races. It's size/atmosphere are comparable with Wilmslow Half, knocking on the door of the lesser city races like Liverpool. The organisation is excellent with police controlling the traffic around the Start/Finish, and parking directed by the local Rotarians on industrial land next to the Race HQ. The HQ is Helsby Rugby Club and the club facilities are available to the runners, bacon butties are provided by even more Rotarians, and 2 local sports retailers are onsite. The race itself is "undulating" mainly on quiet country roads, but as these are open to traffic there is the potential for a bit of competition for space with vehicles. There is a section of maybe half a mile between 10 and 11 where there is more traffic in two directions, and only a narrow pavement for escape. The race info promises a fast finish with a downhill run from 11 miles, but you earn your descent with what feels like a fairly continuous climb from 7.5 to 11 with only a couple of respites. I think that the PB potential for an experienced runner is limited, but as a fitness test at a traditionally quieter time of the year, this race has a lot to offer. Date of review: January 23, 2005