In short: That was some run, at least I can now say I've run a marathon. In full: Tip for next year, don't do a 10K the previous evening, it's bound to catch you out, it did me at the 18 mile point. After that it was 8 miles of cramp and a never say die attitude of onto the finish (mainly because my map reading is rubbish and I didn't know the way back) but having said that it was very well organised, excellant scenary and a good day out, other members of the running club were good enough to wait for me. A quick mention to the two ladies doing the massage - they were real life savers and should have had a medal for the hours they worked. Date of review: August 14, 2006
In short: 30k Mixed terrain, beautiful scenery and loads of distance options. In full: Given the complexity of having so many distances this was really well organized. The route is mixed with farmland, tracks and quite a lot of road. The scenery is quite beautiful and some of the tree lined estates you run through, very inspiring. Shoes - I wore my Salomon XA pros but could have got away with road shoes as everything was bone dry (and rock hard). However if it was wet the farm fields would have been tricky without grip. My wife wore her Innov8 Flyrocs and paid for it as the course had a lot of road and offroad the fields had concrete hard mud. Hydration - there were six water stops on the 30k route, though if you want to ensure minimal stopping a camelback is a good bet. No food on route so bring your own. Parking - ample opposite the fire station. Showers - as billed you can wander into the leisure centre to sluice off the grime. Post Race Food - there was a mobile van behind the fire station doing some great tea and greasy meat butties. I'd definitely like to try the marathon next year. Happy to pay a little more for a medal that said 'run' rather than 'walk'. Overall thumbs up. Date of review: August 14, 2006
In short: It's the difference that makes it special! In full: If you’re a hardened racer and expect to find an official race starter, official race timing, marshals, mile markers etc then this series of races is probably not for you!
But if you like a warm friendly atmosphere, a huge option of race distances (which no-one would mind if you changed mid race), some stunning views of the area from the hills, challenging routes, some historical landmarks then this could be for you. Running right through the City centre, including the pedestrianised bit, was slightly strange and drew a few bewildered looks from the shoppers, but it just added to the fun. And yes you do need a little bit of map reading ability, just a little.
Years ago the event started off as trail walking but it is evolving. One of the race organisers stated that this was the first year that there were more people running/racing the marathon than were walking.
All in all an enjoyable event, many thanks to Ludo and his team for all their efforts!