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!
In short: A very well-organised race with lovely scenery. In full: A lovely race, if tough, with mixed terrain to challenge and plenty of hills. It was generally well-signposted (apart from towards the end where I was sent the wrong way), and great organisation. My only niggle is that some runners were trying to push past on the very narrow path at the beginning, which, given that it's hardly a PB course seemed a bit unnecessary. Overall, a great race which I will definitely fo again. Date of review: August 14, 2006
In short: Very scenic 28 mile marathon In full: nice event there was a lot more road than expected but i had my road shoes on so no problem.I was a bit worried about finding my way from the route description and map but the course was well marked and i did'nt go wrong at all.As this is mainly a walking event there were no times or placings taken so no pressure really .Nice medal and badge at the end as well.if you dont fancy the marathon try the 10 20 30 or 40k options . Date of review: August 13, 2006
In short: Gloriously scenic off-road marathon In full: A fantastic event over the classic marathon distance of, er 27.5 miles (according to my Garmin). Oh well, these sort of quirky events are not supposed to be precise.I would have been more upset if it had been short. OK, let's get the negative out the way - too much road for an event advertised as "off-road" and that's it really apart from one minor niggle - this is the only marathon in which I've ever finished first and there were no prizes, not even a little shield with "winner" engraved on it -sob. Having said that, I knew this before I entered - it's not a race it's a great day out in the countryside. There are magnificent views, great sites (such as Longford Castle), fantastic woodland, including some enormous yew trees, and just great English countryside. I went armed with an OS map as suggested but hardly needed it as the course was very well way-marked (the blue string through the wood was novel). There were a few hills but they were long and gentle, rather than short and steep, which made for some good downhill running. Loved it - highly recommended. There are also events over 5km, 10km, 20km, 30km and 40km (although I don't know why anyone would do an event just 2km short of the marathon) - so something for all the family. Marvellous. Date of review: August 13, 2006