In short: A hilly but absolutely brilliant race In full: This was my first marathon and I have to say it was a superbly organised race. Having run several half marathons and plenty of 10ks before I can't remember a race with better marshals and a more supportive group of runners cheering each other on. As you come round the second lap it is a little difficult to take on water with the slower/walking half marathoners crowding the stations but with a little please and thank you they are very quick to help and offer encouragement!
I managed to get round the first lap in 2h03 which I knew was ahead of schedule and maybe a bit too fast. Though the hills were tough first time round I managed to run the length of them, but when you come round the second time there was no way my legs would take me all the way even at a very slow jog. The consistent up hill for the first few miles and the long straight uphill before a hairpin and short, steeper hill were a mental and physical challenge second time round but the people around you get you through it.
The views are extraordinary once you make it to the top and Ranmore Common is a nice flat/undulating section to find a rhythm again, and the last descent has some amazing openings where you can look out over the North Downs and Denbies estate.
Though my second lap was significantly slower with a total 4h26 time and I nearly fainted at the finish line, I can't recommend this race highly enough. What I could eat of the hogroast was delicious and the free drinks were a nice touch. The race director shaking my hand at the end and congratulating me on money raised was also a unique and very enjoyable part. I will definitely be back, though perhaps might tackle the half until I'm a bit quicker! Date of review: September 24, 2014
In short: Fabulous event! In full: Superb event and a perfect mixture of a demanding run with irresistible reasons - views, hugging Batman, wine tasting, pipe bands, pirates handing out jelly babies - to take a rest. Date of review: September 16, 2014
In short: Superb event, just watch out for that "hill" the second time round! In full: This was my first marathon and it was a bit of a killer but such a fantastic event! All of the marshals and volunteers were brilliant, so supportive all the way through and you wouldn't believe the quantity and variety of food and drink on offer at each of the plentiful stops if I told you. I'm not sure how its possible for a looped course to feel like it is almost entirely uphill, but it did! Still, the views from the utmost summit were stunning and worth the long slog to the top. Didn't sample all the wine but it was a great touch. The atmosphere along the whole course was just fab. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Toughish offroad event with superb views, great atmosphere and lovely wine at the feedstations. Fancy dress optional, but should perhaps be complusory, given the splendid costumes sported by around 3/4 of the participants. In full: Fabulously organised festival of running at a great venue. Would not recommend the full marathon unless you are very well trained or very thirsty! Will surely be back next year for another crack at this. Thanks to the organisers and to the very friendly marshals. Date of review: September 15, 2014
In short: Great race, fantastic marshals, excellent atmosphere. In full: Great race, fantastic marshals, excellent atmosphere. Entering for next year and already looking forward to the hog roast and vino. Date of review: October 12, 2013
In short: A nice event ruined by inept organisation, despite the fantastic marshalls In full: Organisational cockup with the results and timing meant they spoiled what would have been my first ceremony in front of my family. Emails and web form messages were ignored and they've not . Another crummy outfit akin to the people behind the British 10k. Date of review: September 26, 2013
In short: Great race which is well organised in an excellent location. In full: You can sample wine at every aid station. Lots of people in fancy dress. A fun day out. Would definitely do it again. Date of review: September 15, 2013