In short: Challenging run in glorious surroundings. Well organised In full: First time I have done a trail marathon, which I naively thought would take the same time as a 'normal' half marathon. Beautiful run throgh spectacular scenery. First half mainly through the forest along narrowish paths. This gave much needed shade on a hot day, but lots of tree roots made it hazardous in places ( I fell twice). Second half tougher as it was more out in the blazing sun, also a couple of mean hills. My only gripe would be the marshalls at the top of the hill at 8.5 miles saying it was all down hill from there. Given the steepest part of the course was yet to come it was no doubt well meant but not helpful for anyone like myself doing the run for the first time. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: Great run, organization could be improved In full: Wonderful morning, great course along traffic free Warwickshire lanes and roads. Organization a bit chaotic at the start, particularly around the bag drop area. Shame as everything else was good, particularly the stewarding around the course. I have done a lot of HMs throughout the country, and one of the best organized is in Stratford just down the road, so the organizers should liaise with them to pick up some tips. Date of review: March 28, 2014
In short: Great experience, well organized run through beautiful scenery In full: Have done this several times now, and it never fails to impress. Well organized, friendly stewarding and hugely supportive crowds, particularly at the beginning and end. If you have never done a marathon before, this is as good a one as any to start.
Only gripe would be the cost, which is a tad high given no T shirt or goody bag afterwards, but I understand most of the proceeds go to charity , so hey ho.
Many thanks organizers, see you next year Date of review: May 1, 2013
In short: Great Race, well orrganized In full: Very well organised race. A few hills but they don't last long, and the second half is pretty much downhill all the way. Friendly, supportive marshalls. My only gripe would be the lack of medal - for an event of this size and status it should have one. A big thanks to all who laid on the event Date of review: February 7, 2011
In short: Great Organisation. Not just a warm up race, has its own charm. In full: I've done this one many times, and it is always one of my favourites. Many other race events could learn from Stratford AC, as the overall organisation of the day is invariably the best I come across all year - plenty of parking spaces well managed by helpful marshalls, good toilet facilities at the start, friendly, supportive marshalling all the way round, and a great welcome at the end, including nice T shirt.
They obviously have good connections with higher forces as the weather always seems to be kind as well.
Well done on another wonderful day! Date of review: January 17, 2011
In short: Great race, very challenging. Not one for PBs! In full: Very demanding race. I know it was going to be hilly, but it seemd that the course was 75% uphill - the downward sections were steep and wrecked my knees. Great marshalling, very well organised. Shame there was no medal at the end - given those hills I felt I had deserved it. A message for anyone who did this as their first half marathon - don't be put off - they are not all like this!
In short: A corker of a half marathon In full: My 5th half marathon of the year and definitely the best. I've done this race several times now and am always impressed with it. Organisation is good, marshals are friendly and encouraging, course is varied and challenging, but apart from one hill pretty flat so has PB material. From the other comments I would suggest that this is a better half marathon than full marathon, which given the fact that the full course is more or less the half course twice is perhaps not surprising. Improvements for next year? Having timing pens at the start to make sure there are less bottlenecks in the first mile.
Well done organisers - another great occasion Date of review: April 26, 2010
In short: Beautiful course, great weather - a great event In full: A well organised route through stunning countryside. Various gates and soft conditions underfoot meant that this was never going to be a PB occasion, but the scenery and friendly marshals more than made up. Facilities both pre and post race were excellent.
Only jarring note was the officious Bisham Abbey employee who told my wife in no uncertain terms that our dog was not allowed on the premises and would have to leave. This was despite minimal signage and the fact that they had been on site for 2 hours before being hustled out and missing the finish. This was a Bisham Abbey employee rather than any race official, who were excellent - someone should have a word. Date of review: March 22, 2010
In short: Beautiful weather, great scenery, challenging hills In full: A great race, ideal warm up for marathons later in the year. A few testing hills that are challenging, but plenty of downhill sections to recover. Not much PB potential, but beautiful surroundings take your mind off the clock. Only suggestion for next year would be to have the fun run start either well before the HM or afterwards. It got pretty congested around the 3-4 mile mark, both from fun runners and cars - I guess the weather brought out the day trippers . Otherwise a great event, well done to the organisers.
Also well done to the Stig, who overtook me at Ashridge House Date of review: March 8, 2010