I have now taken part in this event for teh past 4 years and it has become one of my favourites. This year however it felt different and not in a good way. The organisation seems to have changed and with it several things for the worst.
Firstly they have changed the start/finish so you now finish the race with a 90 degree corner with people immediately after the finish line handing out medals meaning you actually run into them. This is if you havn't turned your ankle or knee negotiating this last turn which is also on grass which was so lucky that the rain held off or this would have been dangerous. It's stupid and I felt awful running head first into a young lad handing out medals. What were the organisers thinking? Athletes are running at the top speed here to get every bit of energy out to get beat that time ticking away. I'm just grateful I've come away uninjured as I race most weekends. I've rated the safety question as 1 owing to this.
The local support is always good but today I found it quite strange that they only seemed to be cheering on the local club vests and it went quiet when the rest of us passed them. This I found to be eerie but really funny.
The course itself is as always first class and takes in the whole of the city which is challenging even before you go out onto the country lanes which challenge you further.
Posted on 17.06.18
This was the first time I had ran the Madrid R&R half having previously taken part in the Dublin and Liverpool events several times over and enjoying them more than other races I have done. Sadly the Madrid event is far from as good as the other events but well worthy of taking part in.
The registration process is the first hurdle to get over. You have to collect your race number and pack the day before the event which means you have to take moe time in Madrid to get there. This is held in a running expo which is quite poor and very over crowded.
I tried to book in for my race number after queuing for 5 minutes only to be told that International runners had to go over to the opposite side of the hall get a print out of your registration then return (after queing again) to get your number. You are then send to another desk to collect your race pack and bag before being sent to a further desk to collect my t-shirt. None of these desks are next to each other and you have to queue each time. Very poor and soured my taste for this race from the start.
As it was crowded I decided to leave and take my kit back to my room only to then be informed that there was a free "pasta party" for all runners back at the expo. Perfect as I was about to eat I caught the undergound train back to the expo to be told that showing my entry on my phone was not enough but I needed a slip that unbeknown to me at that point was attached to my race number (and still is) sitting in my room. I left and ate at a restaurant.
The morning of the race as with all events I got up early and tried to find a restaurant or cafe to get breakfast. Word of warning to all that do this, don't do it in Madrid as nowhere opens until after 10 well after the race start unless you go to a McDonalds which I was shocked to find filled and queuing outside with drunken revellers still out from teh night before. Two bananas and a few biscuits was all I could get from a supermarket. I will definately use a B&B next time.
The event use a local security company who quite clearly take their role overseriously in herding the athletes about into the corals. They did not want to show a happy demeanour but a serious and strict appearence.
The half marathnin and full marathnon races start at the same time and location as each other inclusing the same corals which seemed strange especially as the 10k had started 20 minutes prior from a little further up the road. This meant that the for 5k of my race was heavily congested and slow with athletes running shulder to shoulder with each other unable to get into their own pace. It is only when you think your free of this crowd that you find yourself catching up with teh slow runners from the 10k. All quite frustrating really.
The course itself is quite nice but not what I would call scenic. There were so many options that could have been used to take in the beautiful city but sadly not taken.
The finish is on a hill but unlike every other R&R event I've taken part in there is no bands there to enjoy at the end. In fact there is quite a shortage of musicians throughout this event in comparison with its sister races. At the conclusion of the race there was very much a feeling of "is this it" as it felt like any other half marathon really when you do these events for the music and atmosphere.
I would do this event again but only if I don't get a place in the London Marathon which is on the same date yet again. In the main because it makes a nice couples weekend away in a pretty city. The medal is first class and the t-shirt not bad either.
Posted on 08.05.18
This is the seciond time I've taken part in the 10k having found it to be a perfect route through a beautiful park. It feels completely safe and unlike the half marathon it stays inside the park.
You don't tend to get many supporters for this event but I'm fine with that as the marshalls are first class and give great support themselves.
The course is quite challenging however quite forgiving for any racing mistakes that you make on any part of it. It's so undulating that you can make up for any mistakes you made before and get your beat back.
If you want to try a 10k for the first time then this is the one for you.
Posted on 11.03.18
This was the first time I'd taken part in this event and despite the previous reviews saying how "chalenging" the course was I wanted to give it my all. I'm so pleased I did as everything about this event is first class from the atmosphere down to the parking. I cannot fault the event in any way.
The athletes village was set in the school hall and so nicely organised with the registration and refreshments, along with the sponsors shop available to browse (I was actually pretty frustrated I hadn't brought any cash along to make purchases). Spending time in the school hall with the other athletes provided a great atmosphere that builds your mood prior to the walk to the start line.
There's no medal but a good quality t-shirt and quite a nice goody bag on the finish line.
Out on the course you are treated to the beautiful scenary that Rugeley has to offer including a section taking in Cannock Chase where the public support was fantastic as was it throughout the race. Added to the pleasure of the running on these lovely roads was the minimal traffic which I can only commend the perfect marshalling for keeping us all safe.
Bottles rather than cups of water out on the course is always the preferred option by many so this was also impressive for an event that is so well priced.
All in all I found this event to be just about perfect. It provided a good old school style of a race meeting I love so much about the NSRRA races. Well done!!!
Posted on 19.02.18
Not a bad little race. It's not a distance I would normally consider but found the atmosphere on the day to be just as good as the longer races. The lap system makes it better for supporters although the route isn't the most picturesque.
The parking arrangements were fine as we were able to find a space on the roads nearby without any issues.
My ony issue on the day was a traffic marshall who I ran towards on a T junction asking which way to go without him telling me I was going the wrong way. His reply "I'm here for the traffic!" yeah thanks for that.
Its a back to basic race that is such a nice feeling to take part in especially prior to teh start when everyone socialises in the school halls.
Posted on 11.02.18
What a lovely event this race is. As others have obseved and reviewed everything is so well organised with great friendly atmosphere.
Ive never done this race before but it's going onto my regular race list for sure. It's certainly a fast course and one of the best for a PB.
Well done to the organisers, see you again next year.
Posted on 27.11.17
Hi Tim, thank you very much for taking the time to review our race and for your positive feedback. We love the festive atmosphere to our event and we’re so glad to hear it’s going to be on your regular race list. Thank you very much and look forward to seeing you next year.
Posted on 28.11.17
After last years teething problems over getting into the venue in time for the start, this year was faultless. The mashalls were really second to none and got everyone in without any issues at all.
The race itself is now one of my favourite throughout the year (and I take part in 12 halfs every year) with the venue supplying stunning countryside to run through and first class oragnisation.
When taking part in an event the feeling of being safe is very important and this race makes you feel safe and secure throughout. The brief time on the road is perfectly marshalled as all the way through the park.
A bespoke medal and t-shirt along with the post race massage make this a stunning event.
Well done on making the improvements from last year. It's now close to perfect!
Posted on 12.11.17
This was one of the better Wiggle rides despite Storm Brian making me feel like I had a parachute on my back. I don't think I've ever experienced the wind that can hold me back to a crawl on deserts before!
Almost all signage was far more superior than other events until the staggered junction which had arrows in differing directions without route names and not only sent myself but lots of riders the wrong way. This cost me 20 minutes in my time from going the wrong way then being stopped by another rider coming back the other way pointing out the error they'd also made as they had a sat nav (I didn't), I then spent time pointing out the signage disaster to a marshal (nice helpful guy) so I am very very annoyed by this time that was lost as I ended up with a Silver and not the Gold I was aiming for. I've checked back on my Garmin and I would indeed have been under the Gold time!!!
The finishers gifts are great (socks and neck warmer) and so much better than the normal cheap t-shirt that I use to decorate in before I bin it. Even the quality of the medal is better than previous races I've done this year (this was my third this year). It would be lovely to have the name of each event on the medal.
I would definitely take part in this event again and the staff were lovely. It would be lovely to see more events around the Midlands area rather than the majority all in the South of the Country. The scenery today was incredible!
Posted on 22.10.17
This is a real test of stamina as it's not as flat as many say but has numerous gradual climbs that test you. I have to admit I prefer the hills in races rather than the ongoing subtle climbs as I like the tempo change. This was quite similar to running on a machine in a gym if I'm honest.
The organisation for this race is second to none and the marshalls fantastic. Everything from the bag drop to the good amount of toilets available at the start was good. The local support was first class and closed roads really did mean closed roads making me feel very safe and secure throughout.
The water stations have bottles which makes quite a diference and there seemed to be energy gells available to all that wanted the extra boost.
With regards to the scenary there really isn't any unless your a fan of tarmac and orange cones and it's sincerly a dissapointment that none of the city centre sights were viewed. When I take part in city centre races I always prefer that you do indeed see the city. I like to look at the views whilst I'm running.
This is a really good event to take part in particularly for anyone running their first half marathon. I'm not sure I would do this race again though as there are many others on this date which I prefer but thats just my personal view.
Good bespoke medal and nice quality t-shirt at the finish for you too.
Posted on 15.10.17
This is one of the best half marathons and I ensure I book my place year on year where it never fails to disappoint.
The course is scenic on open roads however the marshalling is so good you feel safe and secure throughout. It is certainly a challenging course with good hills throughout. I always find myself looking accross the fieldsto appreciate the views throughout this event which taes you ind off any pain from your legs.
The organisation is perfect and the atmosphere is second to none with in the main serious athletes who love their sport where no-one is unwilling to socialise even throughout the race. Parking is free and very well organised by the marshalls.
The only downside for this race is the water stations are cups which as every runner knows are not easy to run and drink from.
There is no medal for this event but always a good quality t-shirt which I noted for the first time has a sponsor plastered on it which kind of spoils it this year.
I've already booked the time off from work for next year.
Posted on 12.10.17
After having taken part in the Spring event in the wet and cold I loved the race so much I had to do the Autumn race. I certainly did not regrest this decision.
The date was quite significant for me as it was my birthday and there were numerous events to choose from on this day. This was an easy choice for me to make. I also took advantage of a full loayalty card from the organisers and got this race free.
The course is unique with it being on the racetrack however I find these to be the best locations for a duathlon. The safety element is taken very seriously by the organisers and the marshalls were strict but very pleasant. This is important when you are leaving your expensive kit in transition so you know they won't let anyone walk away with it.
This is a five star event and I have already planned both these events into next years schedule for next year.
Posted on 12.10.17
This is a very good race with quite a fast course. The location is beautiful and a pleasure to run through the grounds. You do have to be aware that the park is open to the public and their dogs at the same time who will be using the pathways you're running on.
Although not entirely set inside the park the stretch of road used outside is a closed road and marshalled very well.
The only downside was the entering of the location which was frankly chaotic and the queues with our vehicles went on for hours. This is not an exaggeration. I had to park my car and run to the start which had thankfuly been delayed but not by long enough so I received no race briefing which obviously includes safety advice. The race started as I reached the start line so no time for any stretching etc either.
Would I do this again? Yes I would as I'm hoping that the parking situation has been addressed this year.
Posted on 12.10.17
Without doubt this is one of the best 10k races in the UK. Mainly down to the fantastic and very professional organisation behind the scenes as demonstrated the previous year for the very first one. Everything is easy for you and relaxed, providing an incredible atmosphere. It is a perfect partner to the Stafford Half Marathon.
The route is quick however does have a few challenging hills to climb and the traffic free routes provided by the organisers are just that. Traffic free! Throughout the course the local support is first class with some of the nicest people out cheering you on.
At the conclusion there is a bespoke medal and t-shirt to reward you for your efforts presented to you by happy smiling staff along with your banana and water. What more do you need?
The only thing I would want to change would be an earlier start time alike most other events.
Well done to all and I will be back again next year.
Posted on 24.09.17
As with other Super Series sportives this is first class and everything about it well organised.
The feed stations are great with friendly staff at all of them and a great selection as always of easy to eat foods with the option for takeaway items to go into your pockets and a chance to fill your bottles with either water or energy drinks.
I cannot recomment these events more. Well done to all and see you again next year.
Posted on 18.09.17
This is the was challenging and difficult of the Super Series that I have experienced however the scenary and views are the most incredible and rival the best in mainland Europe.
When you stop at the feed stations the staff are amazing and so pleasant and helpful with a great selection of foods and drinks. Some to eat there or place into your pockets. There is such a nice feeling at these stations with like minded athletes that you want to stay longer.
With the most difficult hill having the road closed to vehicles is an added bonus as you really need to the full width of the road to zig zag your way up as you legs burn.
I'm a huge fan of these Super Series rides and try to take part in at least 3 a year.
Would recommend this to all and I would definately sign up again.
Posted on 18.09.17
This is by far one of the best and most well organised events on the calender. All marshalls were smiling and helpful to athletes making the day far more enjoyable particularly when your feeling a little tired mid way. The welcoming and friendly attiude of the staff can be seen from teh first registration.
The course is unique in it having the bridges out and back to contend with on the run. You can almost hear the Rocky Soundtrack playing as you climb. I love this part as it's such a challenge to your tired legs which I know of in no other event. The only downside is the hedges overgrowing onto the paths during the run which make things a little difficult.
At the finish line the reception you are greeted with is second to none by everyone involved and the photographs being free are a bonus.
A bespoke medal designed for this event would be better than the Xtra Mile Events medal they use for most races albeit with a different ribbon though, but the quality of the finishers tshirt is good which is why I dont mind purchasing this seperately.
I would recommend this race to all athletes regardless of their level. Great atmosphere too.
Posted on 18.09.17
Previously one of my favourite races on the calender with a unique challenging course, however this event has sadly been taken over by DMH and it is now clearly all about saving money on the race organisation and maximum profit for the charity. This makes perfect sense for a charity race however this has not been done very well at all and every corner has been cut.
The marshals simply had no idea what they were doing with one even walking along the course race line in the way of runners .25km from the start, forcing runners to collide with each other to pass her. The marshals were even rude at the finish by pushing people out of the way as they hadn't taped a finishing area off unlike other events.
Upon leaving the park from the start onto the roads I had to side step being hit by an oncoming car on this 'closed roads' event. This happened again about half way when a car pulled across my path causing me to low right down. Both incidents infront of marshals.
There isn't even a nice medal to take away as in previous years but a cheap nasty one that you will throw away. I'd rather not have one as it was quite patronising really to be given this and a waste of money the charity could have saved.
The only plus about this race is the course which I actually think has improved slightly and still kept the best unique parts from before.
When you consider DMH have had 2 years to arrange this event you would have thought it was put together in a weekend. They even arranged it on the same date as two other local races being the Trentham Triathlon and Lichfield 10k which many runners would no doubt have prefered had they not already paid for this event thanks to last years cancellations which were rolled over to this year.
Posted on 10.09.17
I have never experienced such a poorly ran and confusing event. It was even more heartbreaking that my family did not come along to support me as they would have each had to have paid £5 each. £5 to stand in an open field without any protection from the weather as it rained that day.
The swim is within a very murky lake with a route set out by so many bouys it was actualy confusing to figure it out. Yes the safety boats appeared to be quite good but I was so flustered listening to the pre-race briefing that I was solely thinking that I would be needing to be rescued as I actually had my self confidence destroyed at that point. The route is not simply 'out and back' as stated in the programs!
The cycle route is along open busy roads which have little space for drivers to pass you. Just have a look at how much money you have paid to ride along these busy roads without any protection.
To have a marshall in the transition area then tell a competitor who was feeling unwell prior to the race and doing the correct thing by pulling out rather than risk anything detrimental happening to their health on the course. After the competitor stated they had been poorly for a few days and vomitted twice that morning the marshall stated they should still do the race as it was "out of your system now". Really stupid advice for an endurance sport and very dangerous one too.
The wannabe DJ on the radio mic wandered around actually insulting people with their comments. To belittle people taking part was terrible.
The event is probably one of the most expensive events you will take part in. This certainly was the most expensive for me.
On the lead up to the event I was receiving emails for somone else which prompted me to go to drive for over an hour the day before to complete the pre-registration as I was actually scared that I may have been turned away on the day of the race. I turned up a little early to be told by a rude manner that the pre registration was strictly between 1630hrs and 1730hrs despite the staff all being present. There was then a very long outdoor queue to endure after I had spent my time sitting in my car waiting patiently.
I see no bonus for anyone in taking part in this event and I fail to see what justification there is for the huge amount of money it costs. Thanks to the pre registration on the day before I only attended due to the organisors getting my details all wrong I wasted two days on this event.
Posted on 25.06.17
I loved this race and done it for the passed few years. It has a great course with nice scenary and it's lovely to run through the City Centre. The home crowds are first class and the athletes village very well prepared and organised with plenty of toilets which is often the main downside for many other events.
My main issue with this race and that has stopped me signing up again for next year is the lady that does the admin. She is far from pleasant when you have any issues. Unhelpful and quite rude.
I am aware my friend had a simillar run in with this female and won't do the race again either. I've asked him to complete a review also.
Posted on 20.06.17
Everything about this race is great. The course is perfect and although not what I would call challenging it's not that easy either.
The organisation is perfect and the athlete village such a pleasure to walk around and socialise within.
Posted on 19.06.17
Everything about this race says retro old school. Firstly the athletes village is the high school which is where everyone meets before walking into the road for the start. You then run off into the beautiful countryside with open roads which are well marshalled. You don't get a medal at the end of this race either but you do get a top quality t-shirt.
The course is very challenging but such a pleasure to run.
A race that has no gimmicks but lovely like minded people like yourself to run alongside. Lovely.
Posted on 19.06.17
The atmosphere for this event is what makes this a truly great race. The athlete village is busy throughout the day owing to the waves going on throughout the morning.
I would certainly recommend this event and I would definately do it again.
The pool swim for me is the only downside as the pool is only 25 metres in length therefore there are alot of you in each lane. It's just me though as I prefer the open water events. The set up of the pool and transition area are just the right distance though.
Posted on 19.06.17
This was the first time I've competed in this event and it was so well organised by all involved. Although you don't actually run through the city centre itself unlike the half marathon you certainly get to see some beautiful scenary in the roads surounding the city.
I always rate the triathlons/duathlons by how safe I feel my kit is in the transition area and this is perfectly looked after by the observant staff keeping a look out on the gates.
The run section is by way of a lap system therefore the supporters fill the sides to the max making the atmoshere first class. Yes the route could be improved by taking in some of the city sights but it's still nice.
Bespoke medal, t-shirt and towel were perfect.
Posted on 19.06.17
Everything about this race is so perfect. From the registration to the great atmosphere on the finish line.
The route is by far one of the best and is in itself a very challenging run with some great contrast from running through the heart of the city (twice) to going off into teh countryside.
This is a closed road event which is handled perfectly by the marhalls who are themselves so friendly and clearly having a good time themselves. The athlete village is so well organised and the free masages provided at the start/finish are perfect.
Would I do this race again? Without doubt.
Posted on 19.06.17
Firstly this is my home half marathon and a race I never fail to take part in. It is often a very hot day and this year was no exception so the fantastic support was needed more than ever. The local people come out in force to support all of the runners from the first to the last. I noted several members of the public setting up their own water stations using bottles they had spent their own cash on to hand out to runners as they passed.
The route takes in some of the most challenging hills the city has to offer and Heartbreak Hill near to the end should not be underestimated. This is all what makes this race such a huge challenge providing you with an amazing sense of achievement at the finish. It does actually add almost 10 minutes to your normal PB from a flat course though.
The gold, silver and bronze medals are a fantastic idea depending on your finish time. I still want that elusive gold. As the home of Pottery it's so fit that you are rewarded on the finish line with a unique finishers pottery plate and a pottery coaster.
I will certainly be back on that start line again next year.
Posted on 19.06.17
I've completed this race fr the last two years and loved it so much I've registered already for next year.
The course is so unique and cleverly incorporates the best of Liverpool so you see the sights as you run. Brilliant!
The local support is truly first class with what feels like the population of teh City lining the streets. All people clapping and shouting you support as you pass them. The marshals too are amazing and really seem to be enjoying themselves which helps with your own energy as you run.
To end the run at a real music concert with big bame artists is incredible and with the aid of the free beer makes staying for the rest of the day such a pleasure.
Unfortunately this years event was the day after the atrocious terror attack in London therefore I don't mind admitting I felt a little nervous on the start line as we all stood together waiting in such a huge group. The staff and Police around what felt like everywhere I looked soon provided me with the reassurance I needed. Well done!!!
Posted on 19.06.17
I have now completed this race two years running and will be returning next year again. The organisation by Nuffield is second to none with teh pre and post activities provided by them amazing. The freebies offered to runners and supprters are always first clas and the staff are so friendly and helpful.
Despite the mistake last year with teh distance I am impressed with the martials profressionalism. It allowed me to feel perfectly safe and well whilst out on the route.
Shrewsbury is a beautiful town and the route makes the most of this.
Thanks to Nuffield it's one of the best
Posted on 20.06.16