I had heard great things about this race however it sells out within a matter of hours each time it goes on sale. Thankfully enough I was lucky to gain a last minute place through another runner at my club, he was unable to run and was able to transfer the place to me.
It’s known as a PB course being circular, 2 laps and pretty darn flat. The local support was amazing, the best I have experienced for a 10k race. The start line was actually on a housing cul de sac! So many people came out of their houses to cheer you on route, a lot of families were playing Christmas music and handing out sweets as you ran past. It had such a great atmosphere and a real community feel about it.
Registration was super easy, you picked up your bib at the start and there was a free bag drop. The timing was also done by DB Max so is properly chip timed. Every year previously finishers receive a small Christmas pudding donated by one of the local pubs (hence being called the pudding run) and this year was the first year you also received a finishers medal.
One of my friends, who has ran this race many a time, described it as “the start of Christmas” and he’s right. I’ve already gone on the mailing list for next year!
Posted on 03.12.17
Firstly this is most definitely a course with PB potential, it’s predominantly flat as you run 3 laps around the race track at Castle Combe. Secondly it’s not dull either. DB Max put on a great event (there are pyrotechnics at the start line) with fantastic marshals, sweets and cake afterwards and the registration on the day was much smoother than when I ran this race last year.
This year there were also pacers, which haven’t been there previously. As many (including me next time) will run this looking for a PB having the pacers is a great addition.
You also do get a lot of support, friends & family come out to stand on the track to cheer you on as you look around. The duathlon is also on afterwards, myself and many others, stayed on to watch as well.
My only suggestion for an improvement, were if the race bibs could be posted out beforehand. This happens for other DB Max events but not this one.
Posted on 28.11.17
Apart from the car parking (which was out of the road but due to the location there was no other way) getting to the event and registering was super easy. Being local for me it was great to only have to arrive half an early before the race started rather than have the usual hours to kill beforehand.
The course is described as undulating but there were a couple of killer hills, still - I know a lot of people achieved PB’s so it’s still a great course. The marshal support was superb with jelly babies all the way around, my only observation was I thought having a drinks station at the 2 mile point was a little too soon. Would have been better at about mile 5, there was also no loos along the route so you would need to make sure you organised yourself before starting!
The value for money was great, you received a medal, goody bag and there were ladies selling tea and cake. Proceeds also went to support the local air ambulance charity. I said I would never sign up again, however that’s only because I didn’t train properly (yes I should know better!) but being local to me, great value & an event organised by my running club I can see me signing up for 2018 again!
Posted on 26.11.17
I need to say straight up I found this OCR harder than expected, I’ve done a few now however this race made me realise how shocking my upper body strength is. Be advised the majority of the obstacles are sheer walls you need to pull yourself up.
That said I had a great time. My particular favourite was the Star Catcher obstacle, this involved climbing up some steps & then throwing yourself half a metre onto a giant net. The net is over water, you then needed to crawl to the edge and roll backwards into said water. I loved it! My second favourite was the steeple chase, 1km of up and under obstacles which upon completion you got a shot of rum. I enjoyed that :-)
Logistically the event was easy to find, plenty of parking and facilities as well as a change tent afterwards. I paid £40 for this race which included a high quality (and no my favourite) race tshirt, a fantastic medal as well as a running buff. Please note though you are not allowed to take energy gels onto the course, as it is a farm there have been issues with littering in the past causing problems with cattle. This is amply compensated by the majority of marshals having a huge supply of sweets to keep you happy on route.
Posted on 11.11.17
I’ve taken part in this race before, back in March earlier this year to be exact. Calne Leisure Centre organise this race twice a year to coincide with the clocks changing. This particular event was sold out for two reasons, firstly it was the last race in the Wiltshire road race league for this season and secondly it was the 10th anniversary of the race.
It’s massively straight forward on the day, you collect your race bib and timing chip on the day. As it’s at the leisure centre there are plenty of toilet, changing and locker facilities and also a lot of cake and pastries! This part I really enjoyed :-)
The 10k race route is a straight out and back with an incline at the halfway turnaround point. It’s not a tough course but I struggle with it, I don’t know it is more psychological for me as it is out and back. I did get the chance to cheer on the faster runners as they were running back but then it is a stark reminder that you haven’t hit halfway yet! Swings and roundabouts I guess.
There is a lot of local support at the race but only at the start and finish. The price is very good and the medal is a pretty hefty piece of bling! I have ran the race twice this year and want to try a few different ones next year, I would run this again if it is part of the Wiltshire Road Race league but I think only if I decide to do the others also.
Posted on 08.11.17
Despite friends urging me this was a “must do” race I still wasn’t wholly convinced and signed up purely to be able to join my friends in the event!
I’m pleased to say this was a fantastic race with all expectation surpassed. The course was great, completely flat with crowd support ALL the way around. I high-fived so many spectators and was literally smiling all the way around. Running through the historic dockyard was unique, having bands play and music at various points also really helped.
The finishers tshirt, medal and goody bag were all of high quality. Some say the race is expensive however if you take into account the cost of the road closures, policing the event etc I think it is worth it. You might also spot yourself on tv
Posted on 23.10.17
Friends had completed this race last year & raved about it as being a "PB" race due to it's flat course. I made a last minute descison to sign up (£8 before & £10 on the day) which was really easy to do.
The course itself was one loop, predominantly flat with a field to run through on the last km (you had to be a little careful as was quite uneven on this section). The course itself went out into the countryside with great views of the Westbury White Horse. The facilities were good as we were able to use the Golf Club there, also plenty of free parking onsite as well.
September and October seem to be busy race months for me however if I can I will definitely be doing this one again in 2018.
Posted on 12.10.17
I have completed Monster Race 3 times now and am already signed up for my 4th next year! What keeps me coming back to this race? So many things!
Firstly, if you are a beginner to OCR I cannot recommend this race enough, it was my first & really sparked my enthusiasm. The course itself is easy to navigate with a real mix of obstacles. You have the option to sign up for one lap (6.5k) or complete 2 laps. The medal is the same however it only costs £5 more if you want this option. Today's race included my new favourite, a water slide directly into the lake. I would have almost done the second lap just to be able to do that again.
The marshalling support at these races is always fantastic, a great selection of race tshirts as well to purchase with plenty to eat/drink at the end as well as changing tents. The photos are also free as well and are published on the website a few days after the event. As someone who is used to paying for photos from road running events this is very welcome!
Posted on 30.09.17
I was lucky enough to win a free entry into the half marathon which would have costed £40 normally. Registering for the race was very straight forward however I didn't receive my race pack in the post until a few days before and I really had to search on tthe website for information about car parking near the finish as it wasn't in the pack. Neither was therefore information about the time my wave would go, I only found out on the day that it was 9:10 instead of 8:55 like I thought.
On the day you could leave your baggage in vans and it got transported to the finish as the race started in Kew Gardens and finished in Old Deer Park. The first 3 miles of the race was very pretty as it was through Kew Gardens. The majority of the race was along the towpath in the riverside, this was tricky underfoot (a few people tripped over) and also got narrow in places as well. Dissappointingly there was not a lot of local support until near the end when you were coming back to the finish. Because of that the course was quite lonely in places and I found this hard going.
At the finish there was a lot happening, lots of food/drink stalls as well as clothing, merchandise and other race organisers. Unfortunately I didn't get to spend a lot of time looking around as I needed to get home. For me personally, I enjoy a race where there is a lot to see and great support. I don't think I would do this race again although the race medal was quality, the finishers tshirt nicely fitted and plenty of snacks as well.
Posted on 18.09.17
I signed up to Swim Serpentine as a complete newbie to open water swimming however having heard good things from friends about the event last year it sounded great. The registration process was all done online, before the event you were sent an email to select the wave you wanted to join. Unfortunately my email came late & then was a mess up with th wave however I still received my raceoack, numbered swim hat & timing chip in the post before the day.
The event was very easy to get to (we took the tube to Hyde Park Corner) and then it was a short walk to the Serpentine. The changing rooms were split into wet/dry (for before and after the event) and once you were ready you could go to the dunking pool to get acclimatised to the water. I definitely recommend doing this! I was hugely nervous about going into the water, luckily a friend stayed with me the whole time. There were plenty of marshalls in canoes ready to help at the slightest sign that any swimmer was in difficulty, I had leg cramp at one point and even though my friend helped me out they still came over. As a newbie this really set my mind at ease and they were all very friendly and encouraging as I swam past.
Once out if the water there were several hot tubs the swimmers could make use of. These were hugely welcome as it was pretty cold! I could have stayed in there for ages with a drink. The wet changing rooms were heated nicely, which was perfect after being in the water for sometime. The finishers medal was fantastic and the quality of the goody bag was high, I would love to do this event again next year.
My only slight quibble is that I appear to have another couples finishing pictures as part of my official pictures, you can't 'unselect' pictures so if I want to order I will need to download there's as well. That's disappointing but not a deal breaker.
Posted on 18.09.17
I signed up for this OCR as friends had taken part last year & raved about it therefore my hopes were already high. Logistically the site was easy to get to (on a working farm), well signposted with plenty of free car parking. We actually arrived so early we were in time for the marshalls briefing!
Registration, the bag drop and race briefing were all straight forward so off we went! The course itself was good fun with varied obstacles, I particularly enjoyed going through 150m of ditch right at the start. Sounds strange but gets you straight into the race. The marshalls were all super friendly & supportive & happy to take pictures of you on the course. Unfortunately, this race wasn't quite 10k as one of the fields from last year had been lost to harvest therefore we did just in 8k instead,
Therre was a lot of activities at the race village afterwards including axe throwing and archery. A lot of entrants had also dressed up for the race, really getting into the medieval spirit although I did get quite a lot of help from someone dressed as Batman! There was a food van selling skewers afterwards as well as a cider tent and people selling homemade cakes - I ate so much but was very happy to. Would I do this again? You bet! Thinking a Monty Python dress up theme for 2018!!!
Posted on 11.09.17
Lacock isn't far from me so felt rude not to take part in the 10k race although it was a baking hot day!
Parking was plentiful and easy with a very short walk to the starting area. Relish running do not send any bibs, etc. Prior to their races which many a little queuing at the start (and although I was in wave 2 I was sent to the wave 3 queue and then out back in the wave 3 queue as the waves were "confusing").
The pre-race briefing was good with plenty of advice about taking it easy in the heat and making sure to take on fluids. At the feed stations there was water as well as electrolytes- much needed. The course was pretty going out of the town and looping back in again, for the 10k you completed two laps before finishing. The local support was great, as Lacock is a National Trust village there were also a lot of additional supporters there cheering on the runners. The course is described as flat however I would definitely say this was undulating.
Relish running always have great unique medals, this one is a cut of the village. The after race treats are always great as well with plenty of fruit, snacks and water. For once I skipped the chocolate as it was melting all over the place. I definitely recommend that you try this race, there is a half marathon option as well.
Posted on 18.06.17
I had heard great things about this race from other members of the running club I'm in but wasn't entirely convinced. That's all changed now & I can't wait to do this race again in 2018.
Logistically the race was easy to locate, plenty of free car parking with an easy registration process. The pre-race briefing was spot on and the marshalls were fantastic. The course was not straight forward and it was good to see so many marshalls to point you in the right direction, give you tips and heaps of support. The local support was also very good.
The course is predominantly off-road with stream crossings, woodland, rocky paths, fields and the legendary Jack & Jill hill itself! Yes it is the actual hill from the nursery rhyme, the route is very scenic & as I wasn't aiming for a time I just enjoyed running it with friends.
The finishing medal is fantastic quality and there were plenty of locally made cakes, rolls and drinks available to purchase after the race. The carrot cake was awesome.
Looking forward to returning in 2018, definitely wear trail shoes. One of my friends didn't and was slipping on some of the muddier parts of the course.
Posted on 14.05.17
I took part in the Great Bristol 10k for the first time today & loved the experience overall. We used the Park & Ride from Brislington which was really quick and straight forward.
The only issue we experienced was that there didn't seem to be enough loos for 13,000 runners and the queues were so large that we actually missed the wave we were in originally and had to drop back a wave which was a shame.
The course itself was for the most part flat, easy to navigate the marshalls and the local support was fantastic. On the finish you collected your goody bag as you walked through which prevented long queues, the bags were sorted by tshirt size. The finishers tshirt is really good quality as is the medal and the Lindt chocolate was very appreciated! Some will say it is expensive for a 10k however if you take into account the logistics in terms of road closures for the city centre, marshalls etc as well as the quality of the goody bag I think this is good value.
Posted on 07.05.17
I was unexpectedly offered the opportunity to take part in this unique urban triathlon as part of a relay team. The tri format is 3 minutes in an endless pool, 4 minutes on a static watt bike and 3 minutes on a treadmill.
The aim of the triathlon is for all entry fees to be donated to charity with the winning team, being quite simply, the team who logs up the most distance in total.
The set up is easy to locate (just outside of one of the tube exits) comprising of a stage with the treadmill, bike and pool set up, a warm up area, registration tent as well as a coffee/beer stand and a stall selling swimming/bike gear. The registration was simple and straight forward and the organisers/marshals could not have been more helpful. I did the cycling element and had help in getting the bike set up.
Although I only cycled for 4 minutes I unexpectedly found it tougher than anticipated! I had such fun though as part of the team and would love the opportunity to do something like that again.
Posted on 26.04.17
I completed this race for the first time today and have already decided this is one for the race calendar again in 2018!
The pre-race information received was excellent and clearly advised of facilities available at the site (plenty of free parking, portaloos, race map and course info, details of water stations etc). The registration process was quick and straight forward and the pre-race briefing was thorough. Happily the race is chip-timed as I started about halfway back, there were also 45 and 60 minute pacers which some of the friends I ran with used.
The course itself was well signposted and the marshals were excellent and very supportive. There was a lot of local support as well which helped as I was getting towards the end. The course is fast & flat (with 2 small inclines) and is ideal as a first 10k and capable of achieving a PB - I'm pleased to say I did!
The medal is fantastic, one of the most colourful and unique that I have seen - perfect for Easter. The location was easy to get to (opposite the Air Fleet Museum just off of the A303), plenty of free parking and great value for money.
Posted on 17.04.17
This was the first time I had taken part in the Spring Monster Race having previously completed Winter Monster.
Logistically the site was very easy to get to and was well signposted, parking was free of charge and going to register couldn't have been easier. There were plenty of places to get food and drink before & after the race and the facilities (toilets) were kept in good order throughout the day.
The pre-race briefing was thorough with particular emphasis on teamwork and assisting your "fellow Monsters" as much as possible. With OCR the teamwork is a huge part of the event and is very reassuring, especially for newbies.
The course itself was fantastic, the obstacles are well managed by the marshalls who also give encouragement and offer advice where needed although there are plenty of other runners willing to help you out. I do advise going on the early waves though as some of our group opted to do the 10k and on the second loop some of the water crossing had got so churned up with mud that you could just walk across rather than swim. For me I like the challenge of doing the obstacles as they should be. The Spring Monster Race had more water-based obstacles than the Winter one, I particularly loved the huge water slide at the end.
With Monster you can either sign up for 5k or 10k. When you get there you actually find out that 5k equates to 6.5k therefore if you choose to run 10k you actually run 13k in total. I chose to do th 5k option, if I wasn't a second loop of the same obstacles again I would have opted for the 10k option. Some may think the pricing is steep however the event is well ran and all of the race photos are free and are uploaded very quickly.
Would I do it again?
Hell yes! I had already signed up for Autumn Monster in Malmesbury and signed up for the Monster Race in Exete next March
Posted on 07.04.17
Took part in this race for the first time today and have already signed up for the October race! Registration was very easy on the day, there was ample free car parking and you could use the lockers at the sports centr to store your bag. Plenty of support from the local community as well as the marshals, great quality medal and chip timing for an accurate finish.
Posted on 26.03.17
Very much enjoyed this race, truly unique running through the tunnels. The marshals were fantastic, the post-race treats phenomenal and a great medal that can be interlocked with others in the race series.
Posted on 26.02.17
Great course with stunning views, my advice would be to try and book on an early wave though as the later waves meant the course became a lot muddier and the downhill parts quite tricky. The marshals were fantastic and the event was really well organised.
Posted on 15.01.17