Race Review for AAT Events Hard as Snails 2

What a brilliant surprise of an event! I entered this 15k race (9.3 ish miles) thinking it would just be a little run around and a good chance to test out the raccoon costume. I hadn’t really read the info so had no idea what to expect, what I found out was a gem of a race that was one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever done.

So the distance won’t trouble serious runners but the inclines will (most people were walking these). The route is winding and narrow and runs across the beautiful North Downs in Surrey. It’s a bit technical with quite a few trees roots and changing surfaces (sand, clay, mud etc) and if it has been raining (which it had) then can bit a bit slippery.

I ran dressed as a Raccoon which really limited my vision and breathing – the costume includes a full face covering which was probably not the best idea for this race! I ran straight into quite a few trees and actually hit one so hard that I fell over! The Raccoon costume definitely needs a wash before it’s next outing!!! I wouldn’t recommend this race for the fancy dress crowd – this is probably more aimed at people training up for off-road marathons and ultras. The 10k route can probably fit anyone looking to have a bit of fun on a Wednesday night.

The timing of the race is brilliant – 7pm on a Wednesday basically means if is a super fun training run that you can do after work. My only point to improve is that there is only one water station on the route and one at the start/finish so if (like me) you drink a lot then I’d take a belt or a pack with some water. Given I was in fancy dress this did make it a challenge but the marshalls were brilliant and kept topping me up from their water bottles. There are bananas and cakes and coffee etc available at the start too which was a nice touch. Parking is easy and registration the simplest thing ever – all done on the day and no queues at all – just turn up, find your name and they give you the number. There is chip timing too which is impressive for a race this size and I was texted my finish time within 10 minutes of crossing – very efficient indeed! The signage and marshalling on the way round was excellent – not a chance to get lost at all and very supportive, smiley and enthusiastic.

Because the trail is a bit narrow it’s tough to overtake so if you are gunning for a fast time then find your place in the pack early to avoid getting frustrated later on. Beware the hills – they are pretty tough and this is not an easy 10 miler by any stretch – this is a good test. Make sure you stop and check out the views though – some incredible stuff to see on the way round.

If you get a chance then do this race – it’s excellent fun and value for money for £20 on a Wednesday night. Maybe not in costume though…

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