In short: Very enjoyable 20K. In full: It is clear a lot of effort went into preparing for this scenic race. The 20K was only one direction sign away from fully sorted although the distance indicators disapeared after 6 or 7 miles. Nice medal and biscuits at finish and pleasent marshalls. Strange the locals showed no interest at all. I enjoyed the race a lot. Date of review: August 11, 2009
In short: Hot and Hilly In full: My 4th year in a row doing this, and more hilly than I remember - the heat may have had something to to with this. A very well organised event and better signed than most similar events. I always expect the "marathon" distance to be over 26.2 miles and this year I made it just under 27. Any chance of fixing this?
Very friendly reception at the drinks stations, it's great to see this event getting more popular year by year. Well deserved. Thank you. Date of review: August 10, 2009
In short: Great race in beautiful countryside In full: I did the marathon and thought it was fantastic.Only got a bit lost once where an arrow was pointing in the wrong direction but was quickly put right by another runner.g Good supplies at checkpoints,especially the bread pudding!Everyone very friendly,especially the two spaniels who I followed most of the way round.Great organization,would absolutely recommend but don't think it's going to be fast or easy. Date of review: August 10, 2009
In short: Needs some tweeking In full: 30k The start location is great, everthing close together and well orgainsed. The course is challenging without being crippling, plenty of variety. The signage issue has been well recorded here, I know we were provided with maps, but finding a path in the middle of a corn field isn't easy, and it seems many can't read a map. The signage in the town was much better this year. Overall though, this is a great event which needs the support of runners to make it a success for the Fire Service. Will be back again next year. Date of review: August 10, 2009
In short: A new experience for me and very enjoyable In full: Did the 30k and was in a group that got lost at around 12 miles after presumably missing a sign in a field. After some map reading and some local knowledge from one of the runners, we got back on track to finish 2 miles over.
Pretty knackering in the heat, but would do the event again simply because it's good value and local. Date of review: August 10, 2009
In short: Hard, hilly and hot!! In full: What a glorious day. The sun really came out for this one which made it feel so much hotter than it probably was cause of all the rubbish weather we've had. Loved this race even though those hills were killers! The lack of mile markers after mile 8 was a bit of a let down as the not knowing how far we had gone left me feeling more exhausted, maybe next time i'll get myself a GPS so I know myself. The marshalling was excellent throughout especially at 15 miles when there was cake and plenty of drink after a long climb to reach it. Overall, well done to everyone who finished as this was one hard marathon. And well done to all the organisers and masseurs etc for a very enjoyable day. Date of review: August 10, 2009
In short: Fabulous day out in the country In full: Brilliant event, if you're not chasing a PB. The route goes through some gorgeous spots and isn't too challenging, one or two gentle hills and a mile or so of tricky rutted grass track, but otherwise a fairly easy off road marathon. The large proportion of road certainly helps in this (tip, don't wear trail shoes for this race). Great atmosphere with lots of friendly runners, and encouraging walkers too. I wouldn't rely on the water stations alone, especially on a hot day, there are long stretches where they can't get supplies in, but the marshals were very friendly, if a little stretched at a few of them.
I think it's a shame that so many people were disappointed by the signage: we were issued with a map and instructions to follow and most trail marathons and ultras require some degree of route finding.
A great choice if you were doing your first off road marathon - there are enough people around to keep you company and help on the route-finding, it's not as tough as the South Downs for example (a common first off road choice), and it's cheap as chips. And for a trail marathon that comes in a bit long at 27 miles dead, it's pretty quick. Date of review: August 10, 2009