In short: Absolute carnage but brilliantly organised In full: The last time I ran this 2 years ago I finished 20 mins quicker than yesterday, although I ran far better this year. The course has changed a bit to keep things interesting, but the conditions were unbelievably challenging.
At one point I couldn't work out if I was running down a path or a waterfall. Mud and floods everywhere, combined with the incessant sideways rain and wind, meant it was no surprise to see people asking to be taken off the course and given space blankets. I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, helped by numerous cake stops dished out by the best marshalls you will ever see.
Felt a great sense of achievement in finishing and it's given me confidence for the road marathon I am training for. The plod was meant to be training for that but to be honest this was far tougher then 26 miles on flat tarmac.
A very special race. Date of review: February 11, 2013
In short: Rain-filled, ice-cold mudfest - Not for the faint hearted! In full: The organiser was very clear that it was a tough race so I knew what I was getting myself into on the surface of things - but then it rained. REALLY rained.
Six hours later I was plodding (never has that word been more apt) past the finish line having fallen over three times, lost my shoe and excavated it from its clay tomb, been buttock deep in mud, and rescued after being swept into a stream.
If it sounds like Hell, then this race isn't for you. If your blood's pumping just at the idea then see you next year!! Date of review: February 11, 2013
In short: Very tough race, superb organisation, wonderful Marshalls, a bargain too! In full: As has already been mentioned by many others, this year's race was a true challenge. The appalling weather was relentless. It would be a tough course in fine Summer weather! A few suffered hypothermia and didn't complete the course, but probably wise to have a DNF rather than risk more severe physical problems later.
A huge thank you and credit to the organisers and especialy the Marshalls and various other helpers for standing out in the extreme weather and for so long! At least we runners were moving to keep warm. The 'feed' stations were well stocked and generous. The route was very well marked and the pre and post race facilities were excellent. Hot drinks and an abundance of cakes, etc at the end were needed.
This is an event that any 'seasoned' runner could do, but don't under-estimate it! If the miles don't get to you, then the climbs, bogs, ice-cold water, mud and cold probably will at some point. Arrive well prepared with plenty of layers, etc.
Having run the Grizzley a few times, there isn't much between these two events in terms of toughness. The Grizzley has the hills, but also the long sections of shingle beach. They are 2 events that are well up there on the scale of a tough challenge.
Put it in your running diaries for sometime in the future. You have to run it at least once. In good weather, the scenery is a bonus! Date of review: February 11, 2013
In short: Proof that the human spirit is greater than mother nature...some days!! In full: Others have described the conditions and course well...I was heartened through all of that to see everyone just keep on going and more so by the hardy (maybe crazy?) marshalls. A cup of tea and envious selection of treats offered in driving wind + freezing rain just off Butser Hill proved the human spirit is great - or maybe today we all did deserve to be called 'nutters'!!! Big Thanks to all, looking forward to tornado and earthquake next year... Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: Todays Marshalls MADE the race - it was cold wet and windy and horrible, but all the marshshalls were on top drawer with their support In full: Top race / plod very hard in the conditions but treat it for what it is and its a Spectacular race... Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: Toughest race I've ever run... Just brutal conditions! In full: Horrendous rain and a ve ry cold wind, add the tough hills, high levels of water and mud that was almost knee deep in places made this energy sapping run tough as old boots. However, the marshals were just brilliant; encouraging and with plenty of snacks and drinks on offer. The hot, sweet tea was like liquid gold at mile 17. Great organisation, well done Pompey Joggers :-) x from a Victory runner Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: Hardest Race I have Done!!! In full: Well that was different, probably the hardest race I have done. Firstly there was lots and lots etc of mud, water and hills. The terrain was brutal, but was all made worthwhile by the other competitors but more importantly the organizers and helpers. Praise for them couldn't be higher and the man who made me a coffee at the last water stop should be Knighted LOL
In short: Awesome,brutal in places,energy sapping and utterly relentless MUD! In full: A BIG thankyou to all the marshalls that did an outstanding job throughout the race their direction and help made my race that more easier . Also thanks to all the people who came out to support.Lastly a special BIG THANKYOU to the person who found my car key and handed it in, i think my two running buddies and i would of died of hypothermia standing next to a car not being able to get in!! Great race cheers! Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: This is the most wet, cold, muddy and nearly suffering from hypothermia despite wearing plenty of clothes since I did Tough Guy in January 2004 In full: fantastic food stations enabled me to get round in a reasonable time despite the awful conditions - most of the off road paths resembled small streams and some of the narrow uphill sections had such deep gullies they were unrunable! In summary extreme long distance MT racing and great training for the grizzly as well! Date of review: February 10, 2013