In short: For me this is what it's all about, a race that really works over a tough but enjoyable course... In full: Second time for me this year, thankfully not as hot as 2011! I found it easier knowing the course an being able to figure out how to run it a bit more tactically, next year I'll have honed this art and have another 5 mins of my time!
Basically you need to be prepared to run uphill for 13-15 miles, then switch to do 7ish on the relative flat before hitting 4 with some epic downhills - I love it a great course! All (I guess depending on where you place) in a fairly solitary manner. It's one which works the head as well as the legs but really has everything to keep pulling you back, I'll be there for 2013...
A big thankyou to the organisers & marshals, you make the event and I think it's testament to your efforts that it's a really easy one to turn up to and participate in with the minimum of fuss. My one request would be for some massage facilities at the end, my calves were crying out for one yesterday! Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: Nearly perfect, but not quite! In full: Well now I know what everyone is raving on about and why it sells out so quick. Just had a most(ly) excellent day.
Things I liked
The bus to the start which was well organised
The route – its similar to the Trans Penine Trail for those who know it exactly the same terrain and stuff underfoot, more embankments, where I am used to more cuttings, but pretty much the same sort of thing, little mile markers (for the marathon, so I could pretend I’d run 24 miles without wanting to die!), well manned water stations and nice marshalls, fantastic scenery, cheerful supporters. It was just lovely and the time flew by.
The mugs and goodie bags
The post race cuppa and burger
Things I didn’t like
The decent – I think there must have been some sort of mechanism here for the trucks to roll down the hill on their own with the weight pulling the empty ones up cos it was too steep for an engine. I know there was a sign but obviously I couldn’t stop to read it! As many of you know I am so crap at running down – I tried so hard to do the fell runner thing and shift my weight every few seconds but I got to the bottom with my knees absolutely mashed and quite painful and it took about ½ mile to get over. Glad I didn’t have to end a marathon with that!
The last mile, and I quote from the race instructions “......down to the High Peak Junction at the Cromford Canal. At this point you will be guided over the canal and turned left along the tow-path”. In actual fact there were no marshals at this point at all and if it wasn’t for a helpful passer-by I would have gone straight on and missed the turning all together. Once over the bridge there is a second sharp left and again if I hadn’t just seen the runners in front of me vanishing out of the corner of my eye I would have missed that too! So, black marks to the organisers, who up to this point had scored 100%, with a great race for me. Fortunately no time lost and I recovered feeling in my knees and zipped down the tow path to finish in a reasonable time.
Plus on the bright side, next year I will know where I am going so I won’t care whether there is a marshal there or not – and yes I’ll be back, its great!
The onions in my burger weren’t quite cooked properly. I like them nice and soggy, not crisp.
Things I’m not sure about
The communal showers – yes I know its a rugby club but I wasn’t expecting that! I kept my underwear on and my eyes well down (there were several men who didn’t and a lady too!)
In short: Did this race in 2010 in boiling hot conditions so todays wet and windy conditions were good in comparison. Today I got a ten minute PB so loved it! Really well organised. Good opportunity to run at your own pace rather than struggling through crowd Date of review: May 19, 2012
In short: Great race. I can see why it is so popular. In full: I did the half and found it tougher than expected. The scenery is wonderful but I found the trail a bit monotonous after a while. I developed a side stitch at Mile 8 which I couldn't shift and which made the downhills really painful every time I put my right leg down. I considered doing a roly poly at one point, probably would have been faster! I will definitely be back next year as I know I can do much better on this PB course. Date of review: June 12, 2011
In short: Professionally run event with local appeal and panoramic views to keep you motivated In full: With a steady and constant small incline to about 20 miles, don't be put off by the "white peak" title. The all trail course follows cycle and running friendly course which was once railway lines. So no dramatic hills to cover until some quad busting descents in the last 5 miles. Marshalling and water stations were well prepared as the marathon runners came through 2 hours after the main surge of the half marathon competitors had passed. Cow bells and great support at the finish guided weary legs across the line. Well done Matlock AC. Date of review: May 31, 2011
In short: Brilliant first marathon In full: Loved this course, will definitely be back next year, when I will hopefully remember some electrolytes and avoid the cramp. Lovely scenery, great atmosphere and a free guided tour on the way tot he start. Brilliant. Date of review: May 29, 2011
In short: Loved it! In full: I did the half and absolutely loved it. The organisation was brilliant and I thought those steep downhills were great (even though I ached in places I didn't know I'd got the next day). Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: May 27, 2011
In short: Fantastic event, loveit! In full: This was my eighth consecutive since 2004. It is my kind of event, low key, old school, yes a bit tough but rewarding too. Great scenery, great organisation and a feel good factor about it that is missing from bigger events. Hope to be there again in '12. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Delivered all it promised In full: The raace seemed a gradual uphill for the first 20 miles, made tough by a mean crosswind and occasional headwind. But the scenery and support made up for it, with spectators up on the trail and ample stations with water and juice. There was also the odd jelly baby but the container was on the table and in no ones hand! The descent at the end tested those with jelly legs-me!
Great value, bused to start with local coaches, where we had a history lesson en route! Brililant marshalls and well organised, woudl recomend it to someone who fancies a less busy race off road. No nasty drivers getting irate. Date of review: May 25, 2011