In short: Snow, we must be mad! We are a crazy bunch!! In full: Yes this year we had the famous white stuff covering the course. It was a very up-beat race and a few jokes at the start line. There are a few big hills, but all the snow covered them so nicely. A very good race if your not scared of what the weather has in store for you. Date of review: September 8, 2009
In short: Winter fun In full: Icy water and lots of fun - possibly my best winter run, with the snowy church at Ranmoor being a topographical and picturesque high-point. Strongly recommended. Date of review: February 27, 2009
In short: Great race - despite the icy conditions! In full: I enjoyed myself - it was just a shame that I had to watch my feet so much I couldn't look at the views as much as I wanted to! The marshals and organisers were great as ever. Recommended! Date of review: February 14, 2009
In short: this was awesome! In full: This was an absolutey beautiful race... the scenery is stunning, very super friendly and encouraging marshalls, everyone was in such high spirits... there was even a man and his dog running.. who I stayed with most of the way, but in the end the dog beat me( I tried I really did!)... those hills are killers.. for a fun runner, like myself I thought the atmosphere was brill. Would def do this again, you can't beat running through the woods... thought the race was a little expensive, but all for a great charity and very well organised. One of my fav's so far.
In short: I love this race! In full: Like Smilee I wanted to better last year, but revised that as soon as I got out of my car and went sliding down the hill!! I loved the new route at the start and finish although it took me 12 mins longer than last year. This is a firm favourite of mine and I'll be back next year. Thanks all. Date of review: February 13, 2009
In short: *** Snow doubt about it, *** This race was ice! *** In full: I knew that this race was going to be special if just for one reason, the SNOW & ICE! I had never run in these conditions before so was slightly apprehensive but it actually turned out much better than I'd bargained for as I discovered as the morning unfolded.
I arrived early and picked up my number from the registration before sorting out my footwear. After a marathon in a torrential downpour in Istanbul in October I now, as then, always apply Vaseline to my feet before every run for 2 reasons: waterproofing and no friction, a little runners' tip for you all! With the days' conditions underfoot it turned out to be a wise choice! I double laced my Adidas Kanadia trail shoes (I love 'em!) and joined the 280 odd loonies at the start line. The sunshine was glorious, the air crisp and the sky a magnificent blue. The national anthem was sang heartily and we were underway...
The earliest part of the course was along a tarmac road before turning off along what would have originaly been a single track road but, due to the conditions, had morphed into a mush of anything wet - snow, ice, mud and lest we forget, freezing water! I always take my camera on a run and stopped to take 2 photos on this section - (1) As the track disappeared into the distance surrounded by fields of glistening snow and (2) Runners ploughing through (or around) the icy puddles. I lost a bit of time taking photos but would be mad not to, it's not every day you run in such stunning conditions!
Then came the psycotic side of my psyche (which I blame Rob McCaffrey, organiser of the Knacker Cracker for!)... He said "Once your feet are wet they can't get any wetter!" and with that I ran top speed into the frozen mudbath of a puddle in front of me... Yeah man! I was having fun and this is what it's all about!
So what if I got cold and wet, it wasn't always going to be that way... live for the moment and enjoy the madness! :)
From what I remember the 1st mile and a half was uphill and mostly single file tracks followed by a playful, weaving and undulating section before climbing to reach the highest point of the coures at 3.5 miles. The climb to the half way point was quite dodgy at times but you had to expect that, I had to walk at one point 'cos running, for me at least, was not an option!
A picture postcard view of the church at the 4 mile point near the water station was worthy of a photo but I was now focussed on the fast descent between 3.5 and 4.5 miles, I knocked out a 7:40 for that mile and was pleased with my effort. A short, sharp half mile uphill section under an arched bridge had me striding and not running, again! Plenty of mud lay underfoot on the last part of the trail and I so nearly went over at one point, stumbling from the left hand side of the track to the right, my feet sticking in the mud - it was ridiculous but funny all the same!
Eventually I made it back to Terra Firma and I said to the marshall "Is this a different planet?" such was the contrast in terrains! I tried hard not to lose my position in the last few hundred meters but had given it my all and sacrificed my place to a sporting lad who had been tracking me down. He knew I was reluctant to lose my place, we exchanged knowing smiles and I acknowleged his efforts by giving him a pat on the back as he passed by. I actually overtook around 25 runners along the route such was my desire to clock a good time and I reached the finish just the wrong side of the hour in 1hr 2mins covering 6.94 miles according to my Garmin GPS.
The course was well marked and there were plenty of decent marshals dotted along the course, without them the race is not possible so thank you all for that. At £16 I thought the race was a little expensive but knowing that all profits were going to the Down Syndrome Association made a difference plus you can't put a price on a great experience like today! Conratulations to Andy Fay and his crew for a fantastic event, it will be remembered fondly, well done!
A decent race deserves a decent review, I hope I have done it justice. See you all soon for more merry madness!
In short: I came hoping to see my improvement from last year - and found I was 11 mins slower! I'm blaming the snow, ice, mud and the slight increase in course length! Did love it though. Date of review: February 9, 2009