In short: Interesting race; nice to get off road for a change, but don't expect to set a PB! In full: Narrow paths made it difficult to overtake at times (chance for a breather!) Good organisation re. drinks stations. Could have done without the loud band at the end and why on earth can't they send numbers in the post instead of the melee an hour before the start? Date of review: October 4, 2007
In short: A proper marathon but off-road, with some stiff hills, plenty of water stations and friendly marshalls. In full: My main running interests are off-road, ultra and mountain marathons, so this event worked well for me! I used it as a hard training run for the OMM (although I ran sans rucksack, unlike another OMMer I saw). I can see why the organisers wanted the 1/2 marathoners to join us for the second half - I liked finishing with everybody together. I was only in one stile bottleneck, but even there the marshalls asked the masses to let us marathoners through, so we weren't held up too much. It has to be remembered that having a constant stream of fun-runners to pass gives you good motivation for a fast pace. I'm glad they did it that way round: the second half was more scenic than the first, or at least the tracks seemed more continous, with fewer 'scrappy' bits of road. I've not ran it the other way though, so maybe it's just my recollection of it! I'd have marked it better for organisation if the T-shirt/medal distribution had been slicker. Plus the guy in charge of the T-shirts for the marathon finishers was a bit grumpy and officious.
In short: This will be my most remember race of 2007 In full: I seem to remember running up more hills than running down them. The marshalls were really great & supportive. My only niggle was the bottle necks caused by the half marathon runners Date of review: October 2, 2007
In short: learning to walk again - 2 days later In full: Great organisation (in my opinion) I thought the queue for the T shirt wasn't too bad (although I got there at about 2:30 for the half /4:00 from the start of the full). I think it may have started to get longer right after that. You certainly can't blame the organisers for the wait to get out of the car park - I visit Kings School site regularly and those lights are always a nightmare. Super route too- even though inadequate training meant I walked most of the hills; and sorry if I held anyone up - I tried to step aside for any heavy breathers, pounding feet and anyone saying "coming through". Oh yes - and in response to an earlier post, the mile markers are an absolute must, I couldn't have done it without them. Date of review: October 2, 2007
In short: Hill after hill after hill - love it In full: Did the half this year - full next year (maybe).
My overall experience was very positive - very scenic and varied route, good camaraderie, flawless course and distance markings, cheerful marshals and water stations, lovely mud and a real sense of achievement going point to point rather than round in a circle.
I think most of the problems with this race could be resolved by starting the half and full at the same time. Do the marathoners really enjoy having to plough through 600 halfers on narrow paths? Would ease the t-shirt/medal queues too.
Overall though I appreciate that for the organisers, point to point races are a logistical nightmare! Did pretty well considering. Would definitely do this one again. Date of review: October 2, 2007
In short: purgatory in paradise In full: great run, treat it as a stiff training run and if you have any hopes of a p.b, abandom them at the first hill. I reckon you should add about 8 minutes to your 'flat course' time and aim for that Date of review: October 2, 2007
In short: Great course In full: Excellent course,well marshalled in good spirit. I appreciated the mile markers and my only constructive criticism is handing out of shirts which could be easily recitified. As my first and last marathon I wonder how these times compare to a flattish road race? Date of review: October 1, 2007