In short: My first time, but I'll be back! In full: The run down Leith Hill passing other runners coming up was a highlight with good spirits all round despite the gradient. Blue sky burst out just as I reached the top and then the long downhills on the way back burnt up the remaining miles in a relatively pleasurable way. Those steps at 12 miles brought on a bit of cramp but despite walking/stumbling quite slowly no one passed. Great organisation, terrific breakfast and great swim after. Thanks Rob. Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: One of the highlights of the year In full: The only problem with it this year was the field had expanded so if you not in the leading group there was a lot of "traffic" in the first 1-2K. Shame as I would have probably beaten last year's time otherwise! Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Suicidal!! In full: A view from the back!
Ive done a couple of tough races in the past inc the Suicide Six but this was by far the toughest!! Loved the wife carrying race and National Anthem! Then we started! Ill try and describe it from the point of view of me an enthuiastic amateur first timer, at the back!
Mile 1 is up hill during this phase you are passed by the SAS, Marines, Club Runners, the generally fit and the older "hard as nails" timers! At the top you feel like dropping out or passing out. Then you go downhill, which is supposed to be easier but taking into account the steep steps, tree roots, stoney path and angle of descent its a killer. Was looking forward to the kissing gate, but as I looked as red as a berry no luck there! Hit the mile 2 water station and tried to eat a couple of jelly babies but diaphragm was not too accomodating! Excellent lady here in charge of it.
Miles 3/4- Flatter section no- one in sight by this point, muddy and then the Human Element. Mountain Bikers sailing periously close, the middle class of Surrey with frisky dogs and small children ( variously named Henrietta, Jacesta, Horatio, Peregrine )all to negotiate.
Mile 5- Very friendly water station but by this point the leaders are on there way back! have to say they were encoraging though that hill would make the north face of the Matterhorn look like a footie pitch. At about 5 1/2 miles saw my partner on way back, shouted suitable insult, unrepeatable here.
Mile 6 to the folly- The hill suddenly flattened off, then went down hill, should have enjoyed this but almost got run over my an off road motor bike! This may have been a blessing as when you turn a corner to the folly there is a hill of biblical proportions!! Totally knackered at the top you then run around a loop at the top before begining your "desent"
Folly to Mile 10- Mostly down hill, same paths, very uneven, rocks, stone bricks and the odd overhanging Holly Bush (ouch!) Molly the dog and a moutain biker who said I looked hot- was hoping in the looks department but I know it wasnt! Actually overtook another 2 runners along here! The laws of libel prevent me from telling the full story of this overtaking.
Mile 11 to Finish- No other runners, came back to the Mile 2 marshall and water station, same great reception from the lady (wo)manning it. Then I remembered this bit is all up hill! It was, started walking until I was flapped at by an aggresive chicken on the course, so started running. Lets face it, you cannot not finish due to a chicken injury!! Then I reached the steps again, this time up hill. Swore, at this stage offered a prayer for deliverance, and went up. Then came down the other side and descended through the field to the finish. Totally knackered!
Well that was my race. Have to say, its a cracking day, the organisation that goes into this event is second to none. Came down from Norwich for this and really pleased I did. Great T-Shirt, medal and other momento and cracking English Breakfast in the school canteen. Definately one of the favourite things I have done in my 6 year running career, though it is tough tough tough!
In short: Pretty damn good really In full: Have done this 3 or 4 times before, and to be honest it does get easier. And the marshalls get more handsome, and the jelly babies more yummy. And I enjoy the whole national anthem thing. Still top marks, very little to beat this sort of fun Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Its NOT all uphill/downhilll! How stupid was I to believe that! In full: I don't know why I believed Dr Rob "It's all uphill on the way out and all downhill on the way back". How dumb am I? I mean the race is 1836 feet of ascent and descent and Leith Hill is only 968 feet high! Duh! There were some killer hills on the way back especially the one just before the finish. But it was fantastically beautiful. Jelly babies never tasted so good! Thanks Dr. Rob! P.S. The photos are online already. Well done! Date of review: March 6, 2011