In short: Tough but worth it. Great atmosphere and nice people. In full: This was my first off-road race and only my second marathon. I think I underestimated it to be honest but loved every minute. No sense of pressure at the start which i liked, all very relaxed and friendly. The first 10 miles or so seemed fine but then the course seemed to get tougher just as I was beginning to fade a little. Somehow the second half - back from Guildford to Farnham seemed almost all uphill, and the last 4 or 5 miles were really hard work with plenty of sandy tracks. Finally uphill to the finish but this seemed ok to me as it was on the road and you knew you were nearly there. It was also chucking it down with rain at this point which all added to the sense of 'man against nature'!! Overall, i would definately do it again, although next time i would drop my pace over the first half. 95% of the Marshalls were tremendous and the water/food stops laden with bananas, mars bar, jelly babies, and a selection of biscuits almost certainly saved my life in the final stages!!! 12 months to train and I will be back!! I can't wait (although at the moment I can't walk either!!). Well done to everyone. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Fantastic event with some of the best organisation ever In full: This was my first time to the Farnham marathon and also the North Downs. Whilst it didn't go up to Box Hill or some others of notable climbs it still had a lot of undulations and some really hilly sections too. I didn't find it as hard as I expected but then I'm more used to doing the Lakes or South Downs which are much hillier. One of the most notable hills was in fact right at the end coming up to the finish line, which of course felt a lot harder after just finishing 26 miles. As for the organisation, you won't find better. Everything from the water stops (every 2-3 miles at least) to the route markings (faultless). The organisers even spray painted orange all the ruts and roots and anything you might trip up on through the wooded sections, brilliant. Some of the route would be very hazardous to try at night as there was so much you could in fact trip on. There were also parts of the course that slowed you down a bit to get a rest as single file was the only way through with others in front. The value for money by doing this event was amazing as for the entrance fee they gave you a medal and t-shirt and goodie bag with a bandana also included, you won't find better, I'll be back. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Decent race, but improvements are needed In full: This was my 10th marathon and have really taken to the smaller marathons, and can see this one increasing in popularity. On the one hand it's well organised with entering the race and registering on the day simple and quick. My gripe is with the marshals. Some were not really interested in the race and were more interested reading newspapers or playing on their phones. What makes the smaller marathons good is the enthusaism and encouragement of the marshals. This on the whole was severly lacking. Another thing the baggage area was a fiasco meaning at the end who had to rummage to find your bags which had been dumped in a heap. By far the worst orgainisation I have ever seen on a marathon! It's a tough course, but lots of viewing areas for family and friends. I recommend this course to anyone - just hope the organisers can tweek the course to make it even better. Expect the course to be a challenge though! Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Beautiful challenging course, well organised In full: Did the half last year, and I think the full is easier. The hills seemed less brutal, or maybe I'm just more experienced. Thanks to the marshalls, and the course markers for a job well done. Great feed/water stations at regular intervals. I'll be back again next year to wring a little more out of it, remembering to take it a little easier in the first half... Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Boy, that was hard! It was great, though! In full: Beautiful scenery (good), encouraging marshalls (good), lots of hills (aarghh - who thought a trip round St Cath's ruins was a good idea?), and masses of food and water stations. Really hard work, but a great day out (did the marathon). Even the last few finishers (includes me!) had a welcoming committee at the finish. Lovely course, put together by someone who knows the area well. Liked the stiles (chance for a rest), and the limited number of mile markers wasn't a problem - it is off-road, after all, and difficult to measure precisely. The last five miles or so went on for ever and ever. This is one for enjoyment (in a funny sort of way), not to use for a PB. See you next year. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Excellent trail marathon In full: First class event from start to finish
1) Big field to partk in for easy parking. 2) Easy to get your number/chip on the day. 3) Brilliantly marked course, never once did I wonder "Am I going the right way" with arrows, paint, ribbon and marshalls allowed for a failsafe system in case some idiot thought it would be amusing to reverse an arrow for example. 4) Nice scenery. 5) Not ridiculously hilly and despite a fair bit of a rain the course was 99% mud free. 6) World class cakes at the end. 7) World class marshalls and helpers throughout. 8) Nice medal, goody bag and shirt. 9) Great crowd of runners. 10) Lots of water/munch stations.
Cons 1) Rained a bit. 2) The two pounds I now need to burn off for over eating on said cakes at the end. "Go on love, have some more, you must be famished" said one of the lovely ladies at the end. Alas that I did! lol
Should be a model race for anyone putting on a trail marathon, base what you do on this event. Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: Route is fabulous, marshalling and aid stations superb. A very good trail marathon. In full: Apparently I'm a 'patronising twerp'!! Each to there own. I also occasionally chat to other runners too, Lord forgive me. I don't spit though....
Otherwise a fantastic days marathoning. Route very interesting and scenic. A tiny glitch at the finish re. the goodie bags, but otherwise a very well organised event that I'll look forward to in 2012, when I will thank the marshalls all over again (marshalls mainly from Rotary club so all very jolly, well mannered ladies and gents that didn't seem to mind my thanks in the least bit). Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: One to enter every year! In full: Fantastic event and it lived up to the high praise from last years entrants! Thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful route that had everything. Trail running is going to be challenging and the variety is to be expected. That is what makes it! The marshalling was superb! I finished in pouring rain and the Tea and Cake really hit the spot! I also chatted away under their shelter as the rain got harder! Tea shirt, medal and bandana and as many bananas as you could wish for! Top run in my opinion. Date of review: September 19, 2011