In short: Brutal, but epic In full: Booked this race as my first marathon almost 12 months ago on the strength of previous reviews here. It certainly lived up to expectations and so much more. Glorious weather which was a little too hot for my taste. Stunning scenery, fantastically organised and wonderful people all around the course. Date of review: September 21, 2015
In short: mindblowing scenery-leg destroying hills! In full: as a regular top 10 marathon in the runners world end of year awards this ones been on my list for a while.im glad i chose this year as the scenery around the course was breathtaking and made even better by the gloriou weather.personally id have preferred it to be a bit cooler and cloudy and this added to my pb worst by half an hour.but wouldnt really have changed a thing as ran like clockwork, a good mix of road and offroad, friendly marshalls and didnt feel that the race wasnt getting in the way of the many sunday walkers and cyclists.lovely medal, tech tshirt, some cereal, ice cream and cider in the goody bag added to the value and having the town mayor ringing the bell at the start and at the end added to the races small friendly vibe.lots of hills and found the hills even tougher then giants head earlier this year.my legs may be in tatters this morning but the sense of achievement at last here is the overwhelming feeling i take from this must do race Date of review: September 21, 2015
In short: 27.7 miles of awesomeness!! In full: Just amazing! The views were truly incredible. I'm an avid traveler but would be hard pushed to think of many places in the world that rival the natural beauty on that route. The route was really varied and well signed with plenty of marshals and everyone was really friendly. Just a fab marathon! Date of review: September 20, 2015
In short: My favourite marathon to date In full: This was my 4th marathon.
Despite it being incredibly challenging for me (over 3000 feet of elevation gain and 27 miles run according to my GPS, and tripping over at mile 25), this event is AMAZING and I would encourage anyone from a beginner to an experienced runner to give it a go.
Purbeck really is beautiful and the scenery along the South West Coast Path and the views of the countryside from the high ridges the course follows are reasons to do it alone.
The atmosphere near the start and middle of the race were electric, I really enjoyed the comradery with other runners.
If you are planning on doing this, I personally found the hardest bit of this race after half way from Tyneham – pace yourself for some hills on the way back!
The organisation was fantastic, especially the volunteers who kindly marshalled the event to ensure all runners followed the correct route, and gave out drinks and sweets along the course.
At the end we got a very generous goody bag / rucksack, including a t-shirt, a Purbeck ale and even some icecream. In fact this goody bag was more generous than my last major city marathon!
My only suggested improvement to the organisers would be better mile markers, but that really is nit picking.
In short: WOW!!! Amazing scenery, fabulous marshals and a goody bag that puts every other goody bag I've received to shame!!! In full: I decided to run this race as I'd done VMLM 2014, wanted to run another marathon, but wanted to do something completely different! It certainly was different but not in a bad way...
Firstly the scenery was stunning!!! We were certainly very lucky in 2014 as the weather was glorious, (if not a little hot for marathon running) and so the views along the costal path, ridges and from the tops of the hills were spectacular. I had to keep reminding myself to look around and take it all in, although watching where you put your feet is equally important as the vast majority of the route is off-road on uneven ground.
The marshals were fantastic and so supportive and there are plenty of aid stations that were well stocked with all sorts of goodies. The support from members of the public was wonderful too... Like someone else mentioned, I also lost count of the number of times I said thank you for peoples kind words and offers of sweets. I'm sure many people trying to enjoy a picnic and the beautiful scenery on a sunny sunday weren't expecting 300+ runners to amble past them, but everyone I met embraced us with words of support and encouragement: this made the event all the more special for me!
The addition of chip timing was very welcome and meant an accurate time was possible, although a PB is unlikely for anyone unless this is their 1st marathon! The 3000+ft of climb certainly make this a challenging course that would require lots of hill training. Thankfully I live in the peak district so hills are the norm on all my off-road running routes.
Finally, the goody bag was like nothing I've ever seen before!!! We received a bespoke medal, a bottle of local beer (very tasty!), a technical running t-shirt, a dorset cereals bar and a tub of local ice-cream, all presented in a really nice kit bag for us to use again and again. What a wonderfully though out selection of goodies and a reason to run this event again and again all on it's own!
Starting and finishing in Swanage has it's own special place in my heart as my Grandmother lived in Swanage so I know the town well from many happy childhood holidays spent there. I'm now convinced that every marathon should finish by a beach as taking a dip in the sea when I'd finished was the perfect way to conclude a perfect race day for me.
See you all again next year! Date of review: October 6, 2014