In short: Exactly as advertised for me... In full: I didn't have the stomach to put my hand up when the good Dr asked if it was anyone's first marathon but it was indeed my first "attempt". In fact, it was my second ever race having taken up and running last December and getting a thing for hills and trails. I say attempt because I cut it short after the halfway point despite being encouraged by some very friendly marshals to continue if I wanted to, I knew I'd reached my limit for the day.
I was inspired by this race because I wanted a real challenge and signing up for this gave me the motivation to train and push myself far harder than I would have otherwise. It did not disappoint, giving me all the opportunity I needed to test myself on the day.
The marshals and fellow runners were an amazing part of the experience and I'm sure I'll be back in 2 years for another crack. Hopefully with a bit more experience behind me. :) Massive thanks to Dr Rob and the team. Date of review: June 26, 2014
In short: Great, Tough Race! In full: They aren't joking when they say toughest marathon in Britain! I did the half version last year which was hard but the effect of running all those hills for the second time was very hard! I would recommend this race if your after a challenge but probably only if you've already done a 'standard' flat marathon under 3 hours 45!
The organisation was pretty good - plenty of water stops, fuel/food on the course and the marshals were very motivational! The only minor thing I would mention is the low availability of finisher tops at the finish - for a race that only really attracts fast, mostly thin runners, should have stocked more medium/small tops - only had large/extra large available at the finish. But within a day of finishing the organisers emailed round offering to send out medium sized tops free of charge - so they did rectify this quickly.
Will definitely be back for the half next year, may do the full again if I'm fit enough! Date of review: June 25, 2014
In short: It is tough, no joke In full: This is the second time I've run this race and I'm already planning my next trip to the UK in couple of years so I can go again. The race is tough, big time, but that's the thing, the reason why its awesome. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: Beautiful but brutal In full: I did the half (Midsummer Munro) last year and came back to see how much harder the full marathon is. The answer is a lot. Much more than twice as hard. I had some stomach issues which didn't help but even without that it's a massive challenge. But it's filled with encouraging race marshalls, friendly runners and stunning scenery, which makes this an unforgettable race. Did I mention how tough it is? Oof. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In full: This was my second Picnic!! Memory loss apparently comes with age. Sun, scenery, salt, ran out of that unfortunately. This years race lived up to all my expectations, pain, cramp, bouts of nausea, hallucinations. Great organisation, fab marshals and competitors, not forgetting Dr. Rob. Be back in 2016 for more of the same. RUN IT IF YOU CAN !!!!! Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: An expeience. You will either love it or curse it or most probably both. In full: Lots of steps, lots of steep hills, no flat bits whatsoever. Lots of chance to see other competitors as there are out and back sections and the whole route is two out and back half marathons strung together. You need the will of a warrior to leave the finish line to do it all over again. It was exceptionally hot and I broke after one loop, as did quite a few other marathoners. One poor sole put his hand up at the start line when asked if this was anyones first marathon. I believe it remains Brittains hardest marathon. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: most brutal painful soul destroying but thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable race ever In full: What a hard hard marathon when I decided to enterit was for the challenge of completing Britain's toughest marathon but I had no idea how tough it would be both physically and mentally it really is not for the faint hearted. However it was a amazing experience the !marshalls were the best ever really spurred you on without them completing would not have been possible I truely hated but loved every 6hrs it took me to complete Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: Epic and Brutal In full: The Picnic lived up to its reputation of being the hardest marathon in the UK. Epic and brutal the full off road marathon course encompassed massive hills, uneven ground and thousands of steps. This combined with the heat of the day meant that one third of those that started the race didn't make it to the finish! I'm very proud to say that I was one of the 66 that did, although it took me so long to complete the course I very nearly didn't make the seven hour cut off.
The event was very well organised and set in the beautiful surroundings of Boxhill offering amazing views. The marshals were excellent and the aid stations plentiful. The race goodies were great too you got an excellent medal, technical tshirt and commemorative pint glass. There was a slight mix up with the tshirts at the end which meant some didn't get one however this has now been sorted with the shirts being mailed to those who missed out.
There is something special about Trionium events, small, friendly and slightly eccentric. If you really want a challenge then the Picnic is the one for you. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: Stonkingly hard but hugely fulfilling In full: No amount of hill training or step climbing can quite prepare you for the multiple assaults up the famous Box Hill steps. A true one-of-a-kind affair, wonderfully organised, and with the required level of eccentricity to make the long afternoon not seem too insane. See you in a couple for more of the same. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: Like Being Sodomised by an Overzealous Octopus In full: The website says its the hardest race in the UK. As i am an idiot i didn't quite believe the hype until i realised that i had to go up and down the Box Hill steps (280 i believe) four times. As i was about to start my second descent my mind stopped working and I could have cried. The race this year had a DNF rate of over 33% and I bet the 33% who didn't finish are all pretty seasoned marathon runners.
It is brutal.
That said it is by a long shot the best race i have ever taken part in, amazing atmosphere, scenery and organisation. Rob and the team do a fantastic job of making the race feel special. There is a true sense of camaraderie with your fellow runners during the many hours you are out on the course. I suppose it is the juxtaposition of the severity of the race with genuine feeling of goodwill whilst you are running that makes it so special.
If you are a runner then this should be on your bucket list, it is that good. Date of review: June 24, 2014