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
In short: excellent atmosphere, challenging coarse. In full: good challenging coarse, plenty of water stations, some very narrow pathways which slowed things down somewhat. and the queue for the goodie bag at the end was just to long so unfortunatly i missed out, but all in all very enjoyable. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Very entertaining! In full: My first off-road half marathon and (I think) I really enjoyed it.
Thought the organisation was great: the car park was large and well signed, registration was quick and easy, etc. A few more toilets and a lot more toilet paper would have been good, and as others have said - a drink immediately after the finish would have been appreciated. I was gasping!
Thought the course was pretty good - plenty of variation, well signed and very lovely scenery. Getting stuck behind people at stiles and in narrow bits didn't really bother me - I enjoyed the chance for a breather :)
One I would definately do again. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Good race, enjoyed it. Slightly anoying with having to queue at a few early styles, and then a couple of very rude peope who thought they could bypass the queue and walk down the the sde - runners etiquete people!!!l Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Challenging, nice course, well organised In full: Lots and lots of people gave up their time to make this a good race for the runners, many must have been completely soaked too. Good on them. Not a fast race but a very well organised community event with a good mix of people. Congratulations on adding this to the marathon calendar. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Interesting mileage! In full: I did the half. Overall I enjoyed the race, with fellow runners at the back all very friendly and encouraging. I was surprised however when my Garmin was displaying 8.5miles, to be told by a marshal at a drinks station that we were at the 9mile mark, which I thought a bit odd. Not much further on though, another marshal said we were over 9.5 miles. Thinking that maybe my Garmin had "lost" some mileage in the woods, I was relieved to know that I was nearer the end than I thought. Imagine how I felt when I saw a sign at a drinks station which said "3 miles to go" - and my watch said we were already well over 10 miles. It knocked my legs for six knowing that I had got further to go than I thought, and I consequently struggled for the next 2 miles.
I have to agree with the comment about the marshals below. Some were fantastic: encouraging and cheerful but some were obviously bored: heads engrossed in books not even bothering to look up as runners went past - the classic one was a guy who had taken his chair off the route to sit to the side and was fast asleep.... never seen that one before.
The finish was great - running (or trying to run in my case) along the road, with finishers going in the other direction cheering people on, and then onto the finishing line with loads of spectators cheering finishers on.
Special word of mention to Sportability who put on the archery - that was so much fun to watch, especially seeing my husband hitting the target! Date of review: September 18, 2011