this was recommended to me by a running friend and it didnt disappoint. The course is a cracker, loads of variety...you start by the racecourse and funnel through some woods (there is a bottle neck here so if you are speedy start right at the front!) then you hit the hill ! It is very steep and unless you are a bit of a mountain goat you wont be able to run up it but if you've got decent quads it's not that bad. After that there are inclines but nothing really major. You run along fields, bridle paths, wooded paths, a bit of road and farm track, chalk paths, a bit of everything !! It makes it interesting - it's reasonably challenging
Organisation was excellent, easy to pick up numbers and drop off bags, no major loo queues.
Goody bag was great - fab medal and you get a glass which you can get filled with beer ! Yes beer ! Real beer !
Plus an ice cream van and burgers and all sorts.
There's hardly any support out on the course but that's to be expected. Great support at the finish line.
Plenty of marshals (who were superb) and very clear signage throughout
Free photos - and all the photos i had were the best photos ive ever seen from a race !! saved them all !
Really enjoyed this one and definitely want to do it again
Posted on 20.06.18
it was a hot hot day but this was a race i really enjoyed.
registration held in the leisure centre so good opportunity for snacks and loo breaks as required. There was a race briefing, missed the first part, then we were walked down to the start. All very relaxed.
the course is out and back, x however many you want to do ! sounds dull? it really wasnt ! 3 of us did this one together (1 sat a lap out) and we did mara distance (well it was more than that but thats fine).
the route takes you all along the river path, past locks and it's lovely. Totally flat, path was very slightly rocky in paets and some tree roots to watch for but otherwise very easy.
doing laps did help to break it up into managable chunks and you had a good idea of how far you'd gone and how much was left.
I thought id be bored by that but i wasnt (or maybe it was the company!)
the race organisers are lovely people and looked after everyone well
good sweets at the start point - maybe wouldve liked some flat coke especially as it was a really hot day but water/squash was fine
the walk back to the leisure centre felt like an age especially as the medal is ENORMOUS and weighs a tonne !
i also really liked the fact you would do as much or as little as you wanted, I hadnt planned on doing a full but decided to crack on !!
Posted on 11.06.18
for a change a flat course !!! did the 15k (actually it was 15.5 but not quibbling) so it was 2 loops. a very hot day but plenty of water stations and marshalls willing to chuck water on you ! And jelly babies and jelly beans for a boost.
The course runs alongside the river, around fields so there's some challenging narrow lumpy pathways but its a pretty route.
Aspire always run a good event, never too busy, marshalls are always fantastic and medals are ACE.
i enjoyed it....was boiling hot but a great event
Posted on 04.06.18
well that was tough ! hill after hill after hill in pretty hot conditions. great start and a tangible feeling of runners camaraderie - i knew many people there but everyone was so up for it.
Make no mistake this is a hard course (and a fantastic choice for my first ultra!) but its challenging and beautiful, stunning scenery especially the bluebell woods.
CPs were great, well stocked and the marshalls were all lovely and incredibly helpful.
Navigation is a challenge so you do need to pay attention and i wish i'd committed to memory more of the directions as taking one wrong turn costs us about 3k (and when i say us....about 8 of us!)
It was such good fun - the out and back is ok as i couldnt really remember much coming back in and seeing everyone go past was great - everyone said hello/well done and there were a few snatched hugs!
the final few km were in many ways the hardest, flat through the country park and along the canal but felt like it went on forever and i was feeling utterly spent by that stage
lots stayed around after so the welcome at the finish line was immense !!
Would i do it again? absolutely ! this is only the 2nd one so there's still room for improvement but its a wonderful event with great organisers. I will be back.
Posted on 08.05.18
well that was muddy and challenging but great !! Aspire do really good events, small and well organised.
this one is not for the fait hearted, terrain can be tricky and it was muddy, inclines are tough but its a great 10k especially if you are training for a harder event.
marshalls were, as ever, fantastic especially Mr Travelator encouraging everyone to treat a dip like running the travelator from Gladiators !!
Course is hilly, grassy, muddy, narrow tracks and some rockt fields so be prepared (trail shoes essential). Two loops so you know what you are dealing with. It's tough - no doubt about it - but great fun, lovely spot.
Posted on 14.04.18
if you like a warm race thats flat and straightforward with a bit of lounging in the sun afterwards ...then this may suit you.
if you like a race with an interesting course, lots of support, slick organisation.....this isnt it !
the course is - for the most part - run along the road adjacent to the sea - you only get to be close(r) to the sea along one end before looping back....so it's a bit boring
support? not much of it other than the couple of groups of youngsters (which was most welcome)
Not a huge amount of guidance at the start of the race - and started late
lots of water stations but not many other supplies and a lack of promised oranges
it was a bit crowded at the finish line with people milling around
and you need to work out what you are doing after as it was a bit of a nightmare finding a taxi to get back to the hotel
there were a number of other issues associated with the overall package rather than the race
would i do it again? probably not as if I'm going to take a flight to someone hot I'd like to be able to run along more interesting paths with a bit more going on, more support etc
Posted on 24.03.18
This is a great medium/small race, pretty flat with only a few slight inclines. Not too big, easy to get to, fantastic support, great marshalls. Dont think it could take many more participants as some of gthe pavements are not that wide so when keeping left for those coming back(its and out and back) it could get congested with many more. It's a great route, close to the water in parts. Marshalls were great - plenty of water, gels, sweets. Great medal and nice goodie bag. Massages at the end - not a massive queue when i went by. Really enojoyed and would like to do it again.
Posted on 18.02.18
DIdnt take much persuasion from my Welsh friends and so glad I went over to run this one
very well organised, good facilities and snack options - easy reg process
course is very mixed with elements of the main park then into the woods. Soft underfoot which was very welcome as I was recovering from stress fractures!!
the route is fantastic- great variety with a few hills but nothing extreme- then a section along the beach (watching our for the many massive jelly fish) and into the dunes (toughest bit) before a nice flat last mile
The Marshals were incredible - cheered everyone the whole way around- they were superb
fab medal too !
i absolutely loved this race and it’s one of the very few that I will be happy to do every year
Posted on 21.01.18
this was a very late addition to the race calendar but seemed like a good idea (why not). Registration was in a pub, it was rammed but was ok. You will more than likely have to park on the road but again, no issue there. The group was broken down into smaller waves to stop getting stuck when going through the various kissing gates (good idea). The course is....challenging !! 1st 3k is uphill.......up a pretty steep hill and mostly off road on a fairly rocky pathway so unless you have mountain goat like properties, there's likely to be a bit of walking but hey, it's all about finishing these days.
Then once you hit the top it's trails all the way - some parts through the woods, others on more open pathways, around the edge of Kendleshire Golf course. Views back over Bristol were stunning!!
Then its all the way back down again (channel your inner mountain goat) watching my footing but managing a power slide through the mud at the finish line.
Marshalls were wonderful (as they always are at the Aspire Events) and los of nice cake treats at the end.
No fanfare at the end but the medal is cool.
It was hard, pretty muddy and tough on the old joints but thoroughly enjoyable.
Posted on 08.01.18
I was "encouraged' to do this one by a running friend....he said it was fairly tough...he was right !!! It's a two lap rsce (so at least you are prepared for the 2nd one) with a pretty steep hill just after the start then a series of inclines and a teeny bit of downhill. It's a beautiful spot, stunning views, not for the faint hearted (I'll admit to a bit of walking on the steep bits!) but a great course. Very well organised, small enough to be quick and easy to get to and register etc. Marshalls were also fantastic and the smallness of the event made for a lot of friendly chat all the way around. The post race cakes etc were lovely. I'd recommend it...even tho i was made to wear a Santa Suit (and I am The Grinch). If you fancy a Sunday morning jaunt and earn that roast, this is a great one to do.
Posted on 08.12.17
this was the first festival for the401 Foundation. You may have heard about Ben Smith who ran 401 marathons in 401 days. Post that challenge he set up the foundation and this is the first major event.
It's set in and around Portishead so a fantastic location - right by the Bristol channel and the routes take you all around town from Battery Point where you can take in the views across to Wales and down the coast, up the river to the two bridges, in through the marina, around the nature reserve, it's a great spot (ok I'm biased I live there!).
Portished isnt flat, so expect a bit of hillage....but its not horrendous (really)
The festival consists of a 10k on the Saturday, a 5k early Sunday morning followed fairly swiftly by the HM....so reasonably challenging. We benefitted from fantastic weather albeit pretty hot during the half!
There were also smaller events for small people (some of who were pretty darn speedy!)
Support - the marshalls were fantastic, it's a windy course through town but they were there to point you in the right direction with tonnes of encouragement. Lots of locals were out to support too (with sweets!).
On the Saturday evening there were 3 really good bands and food stalls throughout plus TrueStart coffee and ice cream
and the medals..oh the medals !! Big chunky beautiful things that all click together.
It was one of the best running experiences that ive ever had and i say that not just because its home turf and because i know Ben - it was great fun, everyone was friendly (more so than many other races I've done), there was such a good feeling around the whole thing.
Logistics - cant really comment but heard no reports of issues and I didnt notice any traffic problems.
So....all in all..well organised and planned - fantastic location and great running routes...well supported and amazing bling.
It will be back in 2018 - and will be even better. Maybe I can help Ben get rid of some of those nasty hills ;-)
Posted on 30.08.17
Did this for the first time, it's a simple out & back course along the towpath beside River Severn into Bristol. So it's exposed, not so nice if it's windy and rainy but fortunately it was dry and not too windy (ish!). Scenery is good vs an inner city route, woody to your left, river on your right, Clifton Suspension Bridge above you.
Mixed terrain of some tarmac but mostly soft path (which would be muddy if it's been raining, I wore trail runners). Not hilly but there is a bit of up and down.
Not many doing it, some speedsters but mixed through rest of the pack.
You park at a nearby school and walk down for just under 10 mins, easy walk (follow everyone else and there are marshalls), good as a warm up and makes getting in and out very easy.
Very friendly crowd, raffle at the end for wine (bonus). Good marshall support throughout.
Not a big event but really enjoyed it as gentle trot out for a Friday night.
Would do it again.
Posted on 30.08.17