THE new format of the Tamworth Ten course took the runners all the way down King George V Ave and back.
The very long and flat stretch of oak-lined road had some athletes hitting their stride and getting into a rhythm, but had others tearing their hair out and hitting a wall.
Tamworth Ten winner Hugh Williams said it was a great piece of track, especially compared to the old dirt section along Locks Ln it replaced.
“It’s as flat as a tack along there, good to get your stride going,” Mr Williams said.
Second place behind Mr Williams was Tamworth newcomer Ben Abell, who had opposite thoughts.
“That road is ridiculous. It is long and flat and, let’s be honest, doesn’t go anywhere. Then you have to turn around and come back. It hurts,” Abell said.
Race veteran Dave Bennett, who has only ever missed one race, took a philosophical approach.
“The new section has a good surface compared to the old course, and it is very picturesque,” Mr Bennett said.
Half-marathon winner Ben Malby couldn’t make his mind up about the avenue run.
“I loved the point-to-point course. Although it was a bit lonely down there, you knew that once you got around that end you were on your way home,” Mr Malby said.
The girls also had a love-hate relationship with the famous Tamworth road.
Half-marathon victor Celia Sullihern said she enjoyed the course but had seen enough of King George V Ave by the end.
“It is a beautiful road, but eventually you realise that you are still there. That road really just goes on and on,” Ms Sullihern said.
Last year’s 5km winner and this year’s 10km winner, Megan Isbester, said she preferred the old course to the new course.
“It is a bit long and very straight. It would be all right if you only had to do it once,” Ms Isbester said.
From the winners’ circle, the mixed reaction means organisers have done a good job mapping out the course – after all, it is not meant to be easy.