In short: Trail and road run, challenging. In full: This was my first race of this type and it was challenging. There are several hills and trails (with sand, mud and cobbled paths) which will push you. I may have missed the half way mark, in which case ignore me, but I'd have liked to have know when I hit half way.
A good small entry race. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: 1st time and loved it In full: when you do a race you havent done before you just dont know what to expect, but this race had everything! a stunning trail course with lots of inclines, single tracks and stiles does slow things down at times but i never done this for time but for distance. parking and start/finish areas well managed, fantasic marshals throughout the course and well marked out (only moan would be the lack of mile markers) great medal and t-shirt was worth the 80 mile round trip to travel to the race and cant wait to do it again next year. lastly well done to all who done the marathon .(i did the half) Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Brilliant Event Again In full: Absolutely brilliant event again. Terrific course over some fabulous scenery – if you don't like the narrow paths, there are plenty of dreary road marathons to choose from.
Marshalls did indeed vary in their approach – I'd far rather have a silent marshall, if that is their nature, than someone egging me on with faux enthusiasm if it is not. They all unfailingly kept us safe and on-course – job's a good 'un.
Speaking of marshalls, I've been running events since the Sinclair Cambridge Half Marathon of 1984 – what a day, my first ever run over ten miles, I can still remember my sense of disbelief when I finished. But I digress – what I have noticed as the years have rolled on is the appearance of the dreaded 'Marshall Thanker'.
Now, I've done my share of marshalling over the years too, and while I appreciate the occasional nod or a 'Cheers!' as runners come through, I definitely do not welcome, nor expect, a full-on, condescending, look-at-me-I'm-running-and-you're-not, overly-enunciated 'Thank, You, Marshall'. Unfortunately, this event had its unfair share of these patronising twerps.
One marshall I would like to thank is the chap at St Catherine's, who cheerily took my photo. A superb keepsake – and well worth the minor detour up the hill.
Mile markers? Who needs 'em. My preference would be for there to be none at all and just enjoy the day out. Do you really want to spend such a glorious run counting miles to the finish?
Plodding round in my time meant the drinks, food and goody bag collection were easily accessible, though I can see it could have been a bit fraught at peak times.
A great event, that's two out of two over the full course for me, and I'll be back for the hat-trick in '12!
In short: Tough training run In full: Did the Half Marathon. Hats off to those who completed the full marathon. A good strength building course, hilly with a few leg sapping sandy stretches, lovely forest trails and nice views. Would be perfect if... Mile markers were accurate and visible A little more space at the waterstations so that the water and food was not so close together - at one the lady with jelly babies was holding the box with her back to the runners so not easy to spot that they were available. Separate the goody bag and rehydration area to avoid queuing and make it easier for runners to get fluids at the finish. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Beautiful run In full: Tough cross country race with hills, mud, sand, narrow lanes all in all had it all. The view at the top was so beautiful that i had to stop for a few minutes to take it all in. Apart from the goody bag queue and the long wait for the prize giving it was a great day Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Very good race that could be even better In full: First time at the Farnham Pilgrim (although I had plenty of deja vu from the Grim and Turbo X from recent years) and I had a good day. I only did the half, so hats off to all those who did the full on what must have been a very challenging course. I had resolved to take it steady on the first half to try to save myself for later, and I think I did this, but was left wondering if I could have gone faster. The organisation was pretty good - good parking, plenty of stuff going on at the start/finish (archery!) and plenty of marshals/drink stations and course markings so no danger of getting lost. I would agree with some of the comments about the marshals - some were definitely present in body only, but I would imagine its not the easiest race to marshal, with the nature of course having some marshals in place for a fair few hours. Only two things that could be improved. Firstly the queue for the goody bag, and no obvious drinks at the finish was not good - especially as the bag itself was not that exciting, and could surely have been pre-packed? Secondly the hit and miss nature of the mile marking was a disaster. I passed mile 1, mile 2 then didn't see a mile 3. There was a mile 4 then nothing until a '3 miles to go' and so on. It didn't help that the marshals gave contradictory information - I was told 'less than 3 to go' before the next one, after 1/2 mile, said 'just over three to go'! Not good. All would be avoided if there were accurate mile marking on course. Make those changes and this would be a classic! Well done and thanks. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Probably the best off-road marathon in the country? In full: Fabulous race with gorgeous views. A constantly changing course with lots of variety and generally only "undulating" hills and nothing too outrageous (aside from the St Martha's Church incline!).
Amazing to see so many marshals helping out and, unlike a previous contributor, I am eternally grateful to every single one of them for their selfless help. It matters not at all whether they all shout encouragement -- that's not everybody's personality. They were there to make sure we were safe and stayed on course. Thank you!!!
The RD promised to ensure there'll be additional water available at the finish next year. And with that, this race cannot possibly be improved. Thoroughly, thoroughly recommended to all! Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Very well organised - I've seen so many marshalls - so little reason to go off route. No big hills, but the sandy, narrow tracks made for a slower time than I would have expected Date of review: September 19, 2011