This event was held at Hinton Admiral in the New Forest. The New Forest is a delicious part of the country, rich in biodiversity and pleasing to the eye.
This event was ‘Covid safe’, UK Running Events had registration take place online, bibs were sent out in advance and marshals were present to keep Covid regulations in place. The car park was large and well organised, hand sanitizers were present in abundance. It was clear where and when masks were required by either a marshal or sign post. The start line was spacious with cones on the floor to mark out standing positions, with two runners being ‘released’ in a timely manner. Additionally the event managers sent out the start times which varied depending on the distance prior to the race.
There were plenty of toilet facilities also adopting a cone system to ensure queuing was well spaced out. Although with so many loos there no queues (which is a rarity). Moreover, hand sanitizer was present in the toilets and around the queuing area.
There were coffee stalls and places to purchase food which is always a bonus.
The event seemed well organised, although two stars were lost for a few reasons;
1. Each distance has a separate starting time (understandably) however with no spectators allowed, it made things a little difficult if you went with someone who was running a different distance. For example, my partner was running the Half Marathon starting at 8am, and I the 10K which began at 12:30. Making the day rather long. A possible improvement to this could have been if people going together could have the option of starting at the same time to prevent congestion/ waiting around.
2. The Half Marathon and 10K distance was not correct. My partner finished the Half Marathon with 12.6K on his watch, others confirmed this inaccuracy of distance by also finishing with a GPS watch stating 12.6K. Moreover I completed the 10k race which came in at 9.6K. This did not bother me so much, however may half marathon runners were leaving the Covid secure space to run around the car park to park up the distance, and some where not pleased about this.
This event cost £40 for the Half Marathon, and £27.50 for the 10K. This seemed reasonable given the high quality medal, good bag and Covid safe equipment/ protocols.
The 10k consisted of following the main route around the course, marked by Pink flags and signs. Then at every split with was clearly labelled which way each distance should go. The course took the runners on stone paths, narrow forest trails, through a vineyard, open forest trails and field. Nice and varied for a short distance. The narrow parts (not many) were at the places were all three distances were together, making for lots of side stepping to allow speedy people through, however this was of no issue. There were signs present at parts were the ground was particularly uneven, and I must say there were lots of opportunities to twist ones ankles. I tripped 10 minutes in on a tree stump and my partner witness someone take a hard fall after catching a tree root, however this is a trail race and one cannot expect not to encounter what nature has to offer.
The medal is of a New Forest scene and is a lovely quality. Additional perks included:
2. Time chipped race
3. Goody bag containing a Snood/ mask, water bottle, and socks.
All the volunteers were friendly and helpful. There was music playing and everyone was so happy to be back at a ‘real’ race. Not the same feeling as prior to Covid but with time the crowds will return.
Thank you UK Runnign Events for a super fun event! If you want to do this race next year: