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
In short: Chicken Oriental In full: I ran this race for the 2nd time knowing full well what was in store. This year however was particularly tough however with the heat. Running such a race when not feeling 100% isnt recommended yet the marshalls and fellow runners helped me through to still finish under the 5 hour mark. Great atmosphere and always fun to join fellow nutters on such a tough race. Roll on 2 years time. Date of review: June 24, 2014
In short: Legendary race, not for the faint hearted. In full: This was my fourth consecutive Picnic Marathon, and boy I should have learned my lesson by now. Cruelly hot on the day and the course as brutally demanding as ever. Battle of mind over matter, with my calves and quads screaming at me to stop at times , particularly on the fourth ascent of the steps on mile 25!! Dr Rob, I salute you sir. Brilliantly organised race, the stewards were fantastic once again and the water stations/food points well positioned en route. No feeling better than running downhill to the finish line. Thanks for a great day and see you in 2016 for my fifth crack at this monster race. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: A very hilly marathon. In full: A very demanding hilly race, there are almost no flat bits you are either going up or coming down. I enjoyed it very much, would like to come back and do it again and try to beat my time. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: I am a broken man In full: Well what can I say after completing the munroe last year & getting a massive PB at the Virgin London marathon this year I was thinking this should be ok, how wrong could I be, ok I made the half way cut off by seconds with a downhill sprint, should have called it a day there. but no stupid pride & dogged detirmination drove me on,even after I had been informed I had missed the 5 hour 3quarter cut off, finished the race in 7 hours 13 in the end, but I am a broken man & still aching all over, do not do not underestimate this race its not just another trail marathon, its a brutal race not to be taken lightly, thanks to all the marshals & DR Rob you were the best, see you next year for the half( Munroe) only. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: Not at all like it says on the tin..... In full: My second go at this so I knew it was no picnic. The 'Toughest' label is highly contended now - on paper this looks a fair bit softer, but simply the 2pm start time puts it in a different dimension to many other 'tough' events. If you want a well organised and way-marked tough-as-nails event in the home counties then look no further. Top job again Dr.Rob - glad the shirt issue has been resolved - in spite of having dozens of shirts, Picnic ones are PRIZED possesions! Many thanks to all involved. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: This is a tough race, but if you're looking for a well organised race with spectacular scenery then his is the one to do ! In full: I've run this race on a few occasions and it lives up to the reputation of being UK's tougest marathon, that said it's a cracking race and well organised from start to finish. The national anthem sing along at the start is great and the medal is superb and was teh long-sleeved wicking technical top and Picnic pint glass. I will be back for more ! Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: Straight to number 1 in my 'favourite races of all time' list In full: I wondered - can this really be as hard it proclaims to be? The answer, I discovered is yes. 2 days later my thighs are still aching from going up so many steps, steep slopes and more steps. But what goes up must come down and there are some wonderful descents in beautiful scenery, plus fantastic views. And the marshals were the best ever, especially the man with the watermelon, the ladies at the turnaround, all of them fantastic. Very hard race, with strict cut offs so not for the faint-hatred, but that makes the sense of accomplishment all the greater. And after it all you get a pint glass, t-shirt bearing your name on the back, medal and a picnic on the hill. Who could ask for more? See you in 2016. Date of review: June 23, 2014