Brian Lewis

Torquay, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Member since Jul 2016

My Completed Races

2017
The Haldon Night 10k & 5k
2017
Cockington Christmas Caper
2016
Totnes 10k
2016
The Great Escape - Half-Marathon and Marathon

My Latest Reviews

Completed in 2018

4.6

"Oh" my Obelisk

Its the 3rd time I have taken part in the Obelisk race, in case you are windering about the name, half way around the Half Marathon route you run past an Obelisk, but some people miss it as a water stop is right opposite it, so if you dont look right at the right moment you will miss it.

Any way this year a slight change in route to take it from an 11ish mutli terrain route to a Half Marathon Multi Terrain route.

After a run around a field, you soon hit some tarmac through some alleyways and housing estate, but very soon a right turn at the top of a steep hill, you hit the trails again, there follows a mix of trail, gravel paths and tarmac, at mile 4.5 in previous years you went straight up a long steep hill, this year a left turn sees you running up a not as steep long winding upwards road, which is where the extra miles are added, just as you pass the Obelisk the route goes down through the Woods at Haldon, with your feet sinking ever deeper into the wet mud, jumping trees, ducking under trees, before another climb up again, you then come out onto the steep hill of previous years, but this time running down it, this in lightweight trail shoes caused a grumbly calf msucle, at the bottom, its onto the fields again and softer underfoot, returning along the first 3 miles in reverse.

After one last climb up, you get to run down a hill and across the field to the finish line, it was a cold day so perhaps thats why the finish was fairly quiet, not many people stood about, but a welcoming finish from the race officials and for the first year a medal, however I think if you are doing medals take them out of the bag before handing them over or better still put them on people, a small thing maybe but for some it would mean a lot to them, espicially if it was their first or longest event they had done.

Will I do it again next year, yes i will, muddy fun.

Posted on 11.01.18

Completed in 2017

4.9

Muddiest Wettest Run ever

After taking part in a Marathon the day before, my legs were a tad achey, but with 3 good friends with me, we donned our elf costumes in the Car Park and headed for the start, we were all running together for some pre christmas fun, after doing it last year, i had roped the others in on the promise of some real trail running fun, they were not dissapointed.

Last year I ran it in 1hr 25 with another friend, and we treated it more like a race, this year we threw the time out the window and laughed all the way around, espicially when ten penguins started gaining on us up Rattler Hill, with the call of "Quick the penguins are gaining on us". If you want fun, mud, hills, fun, cider, wine, fun, mud, water, mud then this is for you, its what running is all about.

Why the 4/5 for logistics, no bag drop this year and changing in the car park after the race is always a tad tricky using just a towel to protect others from a sight they really do not need. But these are very minor issues.

Posted on 19.12.17

Reply from the race organiser

Thank you Brian. Always good to see you. We are looking at the bag drop but are limited by the venue. We hope to use the conservatory next year!

Posted on 19.12.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.7

Tanks for the memories

Why did I only score Logisitcs a 4 out of 5, simply down to the lack of bag drop, yes the car park was only a very short walk away, but for people car sharing sometimes it means waiting around on a cold day for a change of clothes and dry shoes.

However the Marathon itself was a great route in an original setting, running tank training grounds and seeing some of the inhabitants of Monkey World looking bemused as we ran by.

4 small river crossings in the first 1.5 miles meant wet feet or hanginhg onto muddy banks and branches trying not to slip. I went for the former, we knew the course was going to be wet and muddy, my shoes drain well, so in through the middle I went. You cross these same rivers on the way back at the finish.

The Marathon was 27.8 miles long, varied terrain, sunny buy chilly weather, great check points, I had no issues with signage on the route, had a freindly chat with other runners as we plodded towards the finish and was glad to get the awesome medal.

Sadly for me the 2 hour car journey on the way home, saw my calf muscle cramp every ten minutes or so, it was agony, luckily I was not the driver.

Would I do it again, yes with friends, its a fun event when shared with others.

Posted on 19.12.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.9

Muddy Hilly Fun

Pure Trail have another great event on their hands here.

After racing another event in the morning, I arrived slighlty tired and aching ankle due to rolling it in the first race I did ealrier that day, but I had promised to run this event with a great friend, so was here ready to go.

Regestration was simply, get you number get a dibber and you are ready to go. The race started on the beach lookiing ahead to the freezing cold waters of the Erme Estuary which would be the first 200 meters or so of the race and would also be close to the finish.

3.30pm and we were off, running across the beach, through the chilly water and up onto the trails, the atmosphere from the runners was great, marshals around the route very friendly and enocuarging, lots of silly jokes and shouts from them, there was mud, more mud, shallow mud and for some who picked the wrong line over the knee deep mud, half way through the light had dropped enought to need the head torch, but running through woods on sometimes tricky trails makes for a fun different experince. Soon we were back to the estuary and crossing the rising waters following the light sticks and suprisingly marshals stood in the waters making sure we were safely across and presumably not heading out to sea. A massive Thank You to the marshals for their fantastic effort and for standing out in very cold weather, just so we could prance around in the mud.

After one last climb we were at the finish, a few people were sad that there was no medal, just a nice Buff, but it did state that on the entry website, and the organisers are I believe doing medals for 2018.

Will I be back for 2018, yes of course I will, wouldnt miss it.

Posted on 12.12.17

Completed in 2017

4.9

Lets do the Caper again

The Cockington Caper moved to a new start locatiion which workes a lot better then the previous location, as more spectators can see people finish, the route also passes close by the start/finish location just over half way round so you get a cheer from them then as well.

The route is trail, very muddy trail in places, with one particular steep slope that you skid down and slip and slide up, you can hear the squeals and shouts for quite a distance. The route is on fields, gravel paths, single track, woodlands across a stream, up down up down and repeat.

A cold cold start this year but after a couple of miles the feeling came back into my hands and I was enjoying the route and quick hello's to people I know.

I train people to do the Caper each year, so run a lot of the route most weeks leading up to the event. So know the area very well, it is a gorgeous area to run in anytime of the year.

I do this race every year and will continue to do so, for the price you get a great event, medal, mug and Christmas Cake. Enough Said.

Posted on 12.12.17

Completed in 2017

2.3

Haldon 5K ? or should that be Haldon 4.2K

I hate leaving negative reviews and try to focus on the good bits, with some constructive feedback if required.

Trail races are known for normally never being spot on with the distances that you run, usually they are longer then advertised, very very occasionaly they are shorter then advertised, but usually not by much, however the Haldon 5K Night Run was nearly 1K short, which is 1/5th of the race distance, yes the correct route was run, many at the finish were asking if they went wrong but they didnt, people that did it the previous year said it was short as well.

 

It is tricky for the organisers as they host a 10k and 5k using the same route for the first 3k or so, and then the last section is used later on by the 10k runners, but it is possible to make up the distance for the 5k runners but that would involve more marshals and route marking, so maybe the organisers are happy to just let people run a shorter then advertised route.

Having done the 10K in the past I felt this year the route was not as well marked, less markings in the woods sections and the signs were harder to see for some reason, also the marshal at the critical split in the route, for some reason decided to stand in front of the signs showing the split directions, 5k onwards and 10k to the right, instead he was shouting a lot, but this caused confusion, one runner on the 5k went on the 10k route, without realising until it was to late to turn back.

In previous years the 5k and 10k have started at the same time, this year the 5k runners had to wait an extra 5 minutes before starting, this meant that shortly after starting the faster 5k runners hit the back of the 10k runners and had to dodge in and out to get past, not easy on a night run on narrow sections. They should go back to all starting together or having a 15 minute gao between starts and starting the 5K first as 5k runners are usually running at a faster pace then 10k runners.

For some reason at regestration you were given your chip then had to attach it to the wristband yourself, lots of confused people asking each other how to do this.

On the plus side, for someones first night run the track underfoot is of a good quality and not very technical at all, medals are wooden so different from the norm, large car park but cost £4 to park in, another event using the same area in daylight has car paking fees waived.

Will I do the 5K again? No, unless it becomes an actual 5K distance wise.

Posted on 06.11.17

Completed in 2017

3.6

Second Year

The route is stunning and beatuiful, tough hills but stunning views.

However I have run the long course in the last two years, this is advertised as 22km approx 13.6 miles and yes its a trail race so you can never be totally exact but both years it came out at just over 15 miles long, not just for me but for other people i went with and talked to, in this day and age its easy to run the route and measure the distance. 

Secondly this year bad sigange in one area meant a group of around 30 runners went wrong, missing a small bit of tape in a tree 50 metres passed a junction, which meant the 30 runners went half a mile wrong, so my distance was 15.5 miles. 

Thirdly the map on the website and on large printed map on the day that is proudly displayed next to registration shows the whole route in reverse!!! Its the same both years, someone was looking at it and was confused, as not 20 metres from the map they could see arrows attached to trees but they were all pointing in a different direction to what the map said they should be. 

Last year for the price you got a medal and T Shirt, this year just a medal and the offer to buy a tshirt for £20, no thanks, I wont be doing this one again as two other organisers do races in this location and they are better organised and more truthfull with the race distances and routes.

Posted on 22.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.4

Tornado Time

This new event for Torbay saw 3 different distances on offer a 5k, 10K and Half Marathon, opting for the Half Marathon as it had more trail elements in it, I was first to arrive at the coach pick up by the finish area, a quick chat with the organisers and I was soon on the coach on the way to the start 13 miles away, this being a point to point race, the numbers were small for this new event, but I am sure they will get bigger each year, the route was a mix of road and trail but having run all the sections of the route many times, I knew that road shoes were the best option, just taking it steady on the main trail section which was suprisingly dry and not very muddy. The start was an informal affair and we were soon on our way dropping down to Brixham harbour from Berry Head, then joining the Coast Path to Broadsands, Goodrington, Paignton, Torquay and then climbing up to Daddyhole Plain before dropping down to Meadfoot, then the final long climb up Ilshalm Drive, before a downhill to the finish, along Ilsham Green. Small event, but nice support at the finish. Only downside which they apolgised for was the water at the water stops tasted funky, blamed on new water bladders being used, luckily I was carrying my own water. 

Posted on 22.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.8

This race is Hilly

What a stunning gorgeous race, tough coastal path, big climbs, but so rewarding and stunning views, when you dare to take your eyes of the trail ahead of you.

The Climb up to and then past the Watchtower is a leg killer, starting with steps, steps and more steps and the final climb up to the finish is longer then you think.

But a race on the South West Cost Path is always going to be stunning and tough.

 

Well organised smaller event but more people should sign up and take part in 2018. 

Posted on 22.09.17

Completed in 2017

4.8

Back once again

Totnes 10k was my first ever race back in 2014, and I have done it every year since.

Another gorgeous day at Totnes, after running an Ultra two weeks before and another 10K trail race the week before my legs were tired when I stood at the start line, due to a narrow section about 300 metres into the race, I started on the second line and went hell for leather to get through this pinch point with no issues, then keeping an eye on two fellow club members who I have a friendly rivarly with, I kept a good pace, the route runs along side a river, with a trip into the woods, a short climb up then makes way to a fast long down, then a flat section back to the finish, something for everyone and as always a very enjoyable well attended event, with great cake on sale afterwards, as for my race, well I passed the two club members and despite flagging in the last mile, kept them behind me and was only a minute away from a PB. Great event

Posted on 22.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.9

Up Up Up Boggy Boggy Boggy Down Down Down

The title says it all, this stunning route on Dartmoor starts with a long climb up, of course stopping several times to look around and take some photos provided some relief for the legs, then an undualting run along some very boggy "path ways" jumping, slipping, squelching along the bogs, then the Volcano was in sight, a quick climb up to the top, some photos and selfies, before a short drop down, then more bogs, water crossings, a clapper bridge and a short climb up before a nice long downhill section, one final stream crossing a very short climb and a nice long descent down to the finish, good support at the finish, nice medal as well. Pure Trail put on well organised events across Devon and some further afield. Check them out you wont regret it. Highlight of the race for me was the guy in front misjudging a bog and going in up to his middle with a high pitched "Arrgh" sorry but it was funny from my angle.

Posted on 22.09.17

Completed in 2016

5

My Favourite Race

The Totnes 10K is a local trail 10K which in 2014 was my first event race, that year I wanted to get a sub 1hr time and I sneaked in with a time of just over 59 minutes, 2015 saw me knock 10 minutes of that time. 

And to 2016 to show how much I love this event I did do the event in 2016 even though the day before I ran a 30 mile trail Ultramarathon which included over 4,500 ft of elevation climb around the Mendips.

But that was not going to stop me taking part in the Totnes 10K, the route starts with a half lap around a playing field before joining a footpath, this is a bottleneck area as you are 20 wide around the field going into a 3/4 wide pathway, so go towards the front, leg it to this part and get through before the crush. The paths open out again after this and you can overtake as it follows the river along, as you enter the gates to Dartington Estate, make sure you are well postionined as a single track lies ahead, then the path widens as you run along fields by the river, if you are lucky the Steam Train will pass by on the other side of the river. The route is a mix of flat and undualting terrain until mile 3.5.

Soon the Woods appear, again some of this is single track so if a slower runner is ahead, get past them, after a short time at around mile 3.5 the path starts climbing up and this is the biggest climb of the route, the climb gets steeper and turns several corners before a marshal directs you down a concrete path way, again this is narrow and can make for a very fast down if you dont get stuck behind a slow runner, you can overtake off the path but it is tricky, a long down sees you come out near the Shops at Dartington but you turn left and head along a flat section back towards the start, this makes for a faast finish, as you rejoin the playing field you have to do a 3/4 lap of it, which means you get a good view of the runners ahead.

A fab medal and water await you, the event is well organised as are all the Teignbridge Trotters events. The cakes for sale are scrummy.

How did I do in 2016? Well I was going to take it easy but a friendly rivarly with a running buddy, who jokingly said that they must be able to beat me this year as I had run an Ultra the day before spurred me on, my legs felt ok so I went for it trying to keep him behind me, at mile 5 one of the marshals who I knew gave me a supportive shout and hi 5, this spurred me on to a 52 minute finish, 3 minutes slower then the year before but I was very pleased with the result. 

I will do the Totnes 10K every year and if you are down this way, I suggest taking part. 

In fact this year I am training 5 people up to do it as their first trail 5K.

Posted on 14.06.17

Completed in 2017

4.7

A tale of two events

I have done this event twice in the last two years the first year was sunny but cold, the sunshine meant the views from the top of the Tor's and along the route were stunning, Dartmoor at its finest with an amazing route.

2017 was a cloudy day to start, as we climbed up the first Tor going was good, bit boggy in places, but the descent down the otherside saw us buffeted by the wind, one funny moment came when I was in a queue of 3 people to go over a style when another runner came bounding up, opened the nearby gate and ran on, what idiots we must have looked, after another climb we had a flatish section of rocky boggy running, where the wind was pushing you along, you were never quite sure where you foot was going to land as the wind knocked up sideways or forward. 

But that was nothing compared to the section after the final mile 9 check point, a long climb up in poor visibilty, drizzly rain and strong cold winds hitiing you from the front and side, made this very tough going, buffs were deployed, the energy it took to move forward was immense. Finally after a long climb, the route turned left and was heading back to the start, as we went lower the weather changed, the wind and rain dropped and it was such a relief to see Widdicombe Church down below. Local support at the finish was great and as always the Pure Trail team very friendly. The event in 2017 was the worst weather conditions I have run in, but its a trail event in the UK so you know the weather could throw anything at you and it was still a very enjoyable event.

I will be back in 2018 whatever the weather.

Posted on 14.06.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.8

Shin deep mud and River Crossing = Fun

Race The Tide

There are 3 distances to the Race the Tide events, 10K, 16 mile Half-Marathon and 29  mile Marathon, as you can tell this is a trail event where unusual distances are commonbut Pure Trail tell you the distances beforehand so you know what you are getting.

The Pure Trail team are always very friendly and well organised, this is a must do event and I will be back next year, not sure which distance I will do next year, but this year it was the 16 mile option for me, which saw us head uphill from the start and within half a mile, wading through a very wet, muddy water section, which for me is great fun, then single track through woodland, before we crossed a bridige over the estaury and up into more woods, the following downhill through the woods was fast and fun, with estuary glances through the trees, soon we were at mile 6.5 and at the Erme Estuary, the tide was out but it still meant a run through some water, others walked I ran, splashing through the water, then it was a couple of miles of hilly coast path before turning inland through fields and country lanes, before we reentered the woods and had the pleasure of wading through the muddy water again, quick stop for some photos and downhill to the finish, where we got a fab medal and a well stocked finish line of goodies. Do this event!

Posted on 14.06.17

Completed as a first timer in 2016

5

Great event

The Great Escape - Half-Marathon and Marathon

Whats not to like 13 miles of running off road on Dartmoor, great views, great route, nice down hil at the end and fab medal.

Posted on 24.07.16