In short: Glorious run, but really tough! In full: I ran the half marathon. The first half was brutal, but the scenery was superb. With regard to water stations, there is no doubt that they are basic. But that was what I was expecting, and it was not too much of a hardship to carry the energy bar which was given at registration. Date of review: December 5, 2011
In short: Feed stations In full: With a income on average 30k from this race I think feed stations could have been better ,i was carrying water etc but the feed stations where rubbish.for company doing running events endurance life don't go the extra mile, Date of review: December 5, 2011
In short: Half marathon: Mud, hills and glorious scenery, at a price In full: A couple of years since I ran a CTS race and wow have they got popular now. I stopped running them because, despite being excellently organised events in great places, the prices just kept going up. I bit the bullet and went back regardless of the steep entry fee and what a brilliant event it was.
Race HQ was massive (it needed to be with 4 events and 100s of runners), well-equipped, some freebies, adequate parking nearby (tough hill walk after the event). Registration was busy but organised. The whole thing seemed much more polished now - two years ago it had a small event feel to it.
The half marathon went in two waves. The 'elites' all went together and then the rest did a staggered start (needed to as there were so many entrants). This worked pretty well and avoid the clutter at stiles and narrow paths.
The course was breathtaking (and very well marked). This is what makes the CTS so good. 7 miles along the beautiful coast path from Osmington to Lulworth via Durdle Door. Severe slippy clay mud for the first couple of miles but then stunning views and brutal hills. By the time I arrived in Lulworth any hope of a good time had gone - I just wanted to complete it. Fortunately the journey back further inland was much kinder. Before the 14.8 miles was complete, there were numerous stiles to cross (cramp!) and then the last mile with some steep hill climbing. So happy to finish (once I worked out where finish was).
These events are brilliantly organised in superb locations. I do think they're too pricey but it's all supply and demand and this event was rammed! Only gripe would be as already mentioned: the feed stations on CTS are poor especially given the full maz and ultra events. We can all carry our kit but it wouldn't hurt to add the bananas, crisps, squash, coke, mars bars etc like you see at other similar events.
Still the toughest and most scenic runs I've been on. Date of review: December 5, 2011
In short: Wonderful race that really made my year In full: I ran the half marathon, in a pretty slow time as the conditions and terrain were really challenging. My trail shoes were overwhelmed by the mud and my legs overwhelmed by the hills!
So why rate the race so highly; because the organisation, atmosphere and views were truely amazing and awe inspiring. People with a real passion for running (organisers, marshals and runners) were joined together enjoying a real challenge in fantastic surroundings.
To play devil's advocate to other comments about the water stations; whilst I agree they weren't overflowing with items, we were told in the instructions to being our own water and energy bars/snacks Date of review: December 4, 2011
In short: A stunningly beautiful but hard Ultra. In full: My first endurance life event and to be honest I was quite impressed with the organisational element. The setting for the event was good with decent amenities to hand, the staff where very helpful and friendly. The Ultra course was truly beautiful with amazing views along the Jurrasic coast, this took your mind off the brutality of the hills (6289ft of ascent in total along the 34 mile course. Fortunetly I was self supported along the route as Endurance Life do not provide very much at their check points, water and a few nutritional items: I am sure they will be heavily criticised for this as this will have caught a few people out. All in all a cracking day out, expensive but worth it in my opinion. Date of review: December 4, 2011
In short: Crap feed stations on a race classed as hard not gd!!! In full: Hardly any water,a few nice and bourbon biccys and jelly babies is not gd on a course which is very hard! Considering there is 1000 entry's paying between 29-59 quid working on a average it's a lot money taken in!! Would i do enduranlife events again no it's a rip off!!! Date of review: December 4, 2011
In short: The shingle, oh the shingle In full: Did the marathon and it was a fast route, however, the shingle is awful. That said and with the benifit of hindsight Portland wouldn't be Portland without it. I'll probably do it again but just need another month or so for the memory of the shingle to fade. If you haven't done it yet you should. Date of review: March 3, 2010
In short: The Chesil Beach section was even harder this year! In full: When you take out the difficulty and resultant pain, this is a really special marathon.
Rarely, do you find an event with such varied terrain - a flat paved section to start lulling you, a steep muddy drag which forces a walk early on which you accept without shame, that 'pyramid hill' which I crawled up on my hands and knees and then slid down on my backside (rather than risk setting off my vertigo). You then notice the transition to a more rocky terrain with steep descents and ascents - great care with your footing to avoid falling or ankle sprains etc. The scenery is wonderful and peaks as you approach the lighthouse. The second half of the circuit becomes more testing with that muddy slog back before the wreckless descent to Chesil Beach. I've been told that the Chesil Beach section was extended for the marathon last year (and retained this year) when an entrant from 2008 complained that it was too short! If I find that person, I will personally make him relive the nightmare of tranversing this stretch by dragging him across it for the combined 3.5 miles! - I sort of enjoyed it on lap one and ran the whole way at a slow comfortable pace, but by lap two I was a spent force and suffered with a walking pace of 20 mins per mile! It was wierd to get back on solid ground to fuel up at the final drinks station (24.9 miles) before the final flat trudge back to the sailing club.
The usual dog-tag and super techie t-shirt rewards you, and a milkshake which I consumed in seconds. The post-race hot-meal and tea/coffee which were free last year incurred a charge (albeit discounted)which was a little disappointed. Hot showers were welcome to revive!
I will be back but with some shingle beach training! Date of review: January 26, 2010
In short: Somewhere between heaven and hell In full: thought i was pretty fit following not too bad showings at hellrunner north and south last year...but this was hard! bring on cornwall... Date of review: January 26, 2010