In short: Epic,iconi, scenic, FANTASTIC! In full: This is a wonderful event, this year it was wet at the start and dry at the end, great atmosphere, superbly run. THE Best Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: Great run in the mountains, best scenery in the UK In full: How fantastic is this race, the distance is the same but the elevation is what makes this race! To go through it PB potential I've rated high as this was my 8th marathon (I ran Edinburgh earlier in the year for a flat one) and this was my PB so had to rate highly! The crowds were great despite the weather, so friendly and giving. Plenty of marshals on the course looking out for you, in terms of drink stations plenty of isotonic drink. I would recommend this for a beginner as with the elevation you can't worry too much about running a great time and you've got to leave some in the tank for the last hill so you can run at a pace and enjoy the scenery which is what makes this race. Late in October the leaves are changing colours waterfalls coming down by Pen y Pass were staggering. Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: Fantastic event, stunning scenery and awesome support that could almost take your mind off the incredibly tough route In full: I'm not quite sure why I chose a marathon billed as the "toughest in the UK" for my first, but Saturday saw me and 2500 others standing in the torrential rain at the start line of the Snowdonia Marathon for the Alarm's Mike Peters to set us off. Despite the rain the support along the route was as incredible as the route was challenging. Just before the halfway mark, as several runners began to pass me I realised I'd settled into a bit of a slow shuffle, and picked up the pace as the noise from huge crowd in Beddgelert beckoned me in, and onwards through the halfway mark, and the beginning of the second big climb. From about 16m, I started to suffer a little and even resorted to a few walks (limited to 50 strides each mind) evey mile or so, ever mindful of the legendary final hill looming large in my mind. Evenutually, at around 22 miles, the final climb began at Waunfawr, and the road continued to rise relentlessly for an interminable 3 miles or so. My thoughts of 3:30 had left me at 16 miles, and halfway up the climb, I left my hopes of a 3:45 finish. With about a mile to go, we finally stopped climbing and emerged with a view over a typically stunning Snowdonia valley bathed in sunlight, and at the bottom of which nestled Llanberis, and the finishing line. I managed to keep my feet on the steep, wet and muddy descent as several others tumbled around me, getting ever nearer to the end. The noise of cheering from the hundreds of supporters on the High Street spurred me onto a sprint finish that saw me gain a dozen or so places, and a 3:56 final time. The toughest event I've ever done, and a huge feeling of relief and pride in gettng to the end. Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: Incredible day in a stunning part of the world In full: Had a brilliant day in Snowdonia. Bit worried about the weather at the start but took a punt to wear the vest, albeit aided by arm warmers. Still had to wrap up in the poncho and an added bin bag for the walk and the first two miles.
Enjoyed the walk and the atmosphere at the start although probably left a bit late. Had a slow start with a bit of weaving, but I think an easy beginning in a marathon can be beneficial. Enjoyed the closed road up to Pen y pass - great sight with all the runners. But did keep thinking 'bloody hell - hardest opening 4.5 miles ever'!
Loved the open and dramatic views on the descent, although did politely pick a bloke up on dropping a wrapper - no need and poor form unless you are near a bin, marshal etc. The 8M descent was epic! Greater technicality than I'd bargained for but it lasted so long. Seemed to overtake repeatedly, but was a bit concerned about the quad damage that would be building.
The second climb was shorter but with a less obvious top seemed to go on a little. Enjoyed the lakeside views and support in Bedgellert. The runners had thinned out a lot by mile 19/20 so enjoyed chatting to a chap from White Rock Runners.
The final climb was brutal. Started OK in Waunfar, but when you turn right in the village it gets ridiculously steep! Told myself I wouldn't walk so slowly trudged up. Quite a few runners passed me only to slow to a walk moments later. The weather had really brightened up by this point. Even some blue sky! Beautiful views back out to the see and some dramatic mountains if you glanced behind. About mile 23 the conditions underfoot rapidly deteriorated. Having sidesteps small puddles for the last three hours I found myself ploughing through muddy lakes. Brilliant to finally make the top although the short bit of the descent that was on the grass was very slippery. Saw that my watch said 7:29 average and realised that a 7:27 would give me 3:15. The battle was on! Felt renewed back on the road and, spurred on by seeing wife and in laws, overtake about ten people. Magical moment running down the home straight - even had it to myself. Delighted to finish in 3:14:18.
What a race! Loved it. It was nice to feel no real time pressure - although of course this is always self imposed anyway. Really enjoyed just looking at HR on watch and not worrying about mile splits (until the very end when at least). Beautiful views, friendly people and a brilliant blend of the personal yet also a big race feel. I would love to do it again and would recommend it to anyone. Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: Cracking 10K gets better every year! In full: This is great race for a first timer, more serious athletes and everyone in between. Organisation by the local running club is excellent and they always seem to improve the event each year. Great crowds, encouraging marshals and a super medal - thank you! Date of review: October 29, 2015
In short: my favourite autumn race In full: This race is worth doing just for the view on top of okeford hill looking out over north Dorset. Seemed more entrants this year so prehaps word of mouth is spreading. Perfect conditions this year. Who needs the great south run? Will always want to do this race!
Ps if anyone found a black grey turquoise aldi running sock probably on the grass behind the church hall its mate is pining.... Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: Not perfect but I enjoyed it In full: I picked up my number with no problems but there was quite a walk to the start. It should be better next year when they can use the school again which is very much closer. The start was a little chaotic as there was no real indication of where the start line was and the race director didn’t have a megaphone so we couldn’t hear him. The course was mainly good — country lanes with very little traffic, quite undulating, but the final stretch was on a ridiculously narrow path on a busy road. Good km markers, efficient and friendly marshals, good 5k water station. Unfortunately there was no water left at the end. I did just under 60 minutes so the water must have run out quite early. The chip timing was good (I much prefer when it is built into the race number as was the case here) and published on-line on the same day. The other runners were very friendly. So all-in-all, although there were a few issues, I did enjoy the race and would do it again. Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: Lovely scenic route In full: Very well organised race and a lovely route. Nearly all the race is out in the countryside yet there is great support from marshalls and public throughout. Highly recommended!
One warning - the car parks get very busy on race day so arrive with plenty of time. Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: Second time In full: I ran in 2012 (with a time of 1.45), and found the event OK, but nothing special. I enjoyed it, but didn't feel the cost and effort of getting in and out was worth the run, so I wouldn't do it again. But I've now moved to Southampton, so this is local to me, and it is a BIG event, so I thought I'd give it a go. I haven't trained much this year, and when the run started I could feel I was heavy, so my slow time of 1.53 was understandable.
There are many positives about the Great South - it is a big event that is televised, so generates excitement; and they have the runs for the children on the Saturday, and my daughter entered the Mini Great South an enjoyed it a lot - especially the big medal. Her time of 11.16 was slow, but she was enjoying herself.
One of the disadvantages of a big event is that there are so many runners you are going to have to cope with difficulties finding things like the start point, and the baggage area. It's good when there are big sign posts pointing the way. But, sadly, there were not. So we had a hard time finding the baggage point. And then were disappointed that we were expected to just leave our bags unattended in a pile on the floor of a hall. The runners went off in waves to help cut down crowding on the course. It did work to an extent, but the course is still crowded, and though flat, it can hinder those who are looking for a PB.
Good crowd support - in places it's excellent. And, if the weather is nice, as it was this year, Portsmouth is a good place to unwind in after the run.
As I approached the finish line a reporter from the local radio, Wave, interviewed me live as we crossed the finish line, and then went into a long interview afterwards. That was fun! Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: 2015 race In full: I ran it this year, but I can't find details of the 2015 race on the system. I didn't have a good time - 2.44, because I hadn't trained, and I went off way too fast, so struggled at the end, and was even beaten by a man on crutches. The cost of running events is going up all the time, and this one at £40 for a half is fairly steep, but, as it was promoted as being in Oxford, and you got a map showing all the colleges you pass, it seemed like a good deal. The reality is that you are quickly out of the city and the bulk of the run is through dull suburban streets, plus a bit of the ring road. From my understanding from other runners, the event was better organised this year, and the route was better, so the organisers are moving in the right direction, but the start was delayed by 20 minutes, there is a lack of marshals on the route, and the start finish is a bit of a walk from the race village. Why not start and finish in the park where the baggage tent and the toilets are? There seemed nothing special about the start finish point.
What I did like about the event is that being in Oxford it makes for a good weekend away as Oxford is such a vibrant and beautiful city to visit. I'd like to do it again, as I loved the weekend as a whole, and I loved the idea of running around Oxford, but the route is simply not engaging enough to attract me back. Date of review: October 28, 2015
In short: Excellent! Thoroughly enjoyed my first gruesome, very well organised and extremely friendly and much needed encouragement from all marshalls over the course. Will definitely do again. Great day. Date of review: October 27, 2015