In short: Pretty course and you can see that it is organised by experienced runners In full: Friendly, well organised, good value (with nice tech shirt and medal), enough water and food stations in reasonable locations for where you need them. Course is not easy but mild compared with downs trail marathons, and it was so much easier this year without the deep mud! A slow run for me after a tough week's mileage but it's also a nice spot to relax afterwards with your family and enjoy the day. Date of review: May 8, 2013
In short: If you enjoy pain this is the one for you. In full: I have previously run the Bewl 15, so I knew what to expect but had forgotten quite how hard this run is. The marshalls at the water stations were all fantastic, but as there were no other marshalls at any other point it was quite a lonely run. The hills are very demanding and the terrain was difficult if you are mainly used to road running. I am a very experienced runner but will only be coming back to Bewl for a family day out. It is a very beautiful part of the country which I shall enjoy in future as a ramble. The medal is worth having and the two elderly supporters at the end with their 'marathon cake' were a very welcome sight at the end of a hard run. A big thank you to them. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: A fantastic marathon but maybe not the wisest debut choice! In full: I picked the Bewl Water Marathon as my debut because I'm not a fan of big city, high numbers of runners events & I thought that the two lap format would be useful heading into the final miles. In hindsight it might not have been the most sensible decision but you can't fault the organisation, the course or the other runners. A reasonable amount of chat from everyone all the way round, plenty of encouragement from the marshals, excellent scenery & a downhill finish (always nice) made for a fantastic first experience.
Despite my background of trail running the course was a bit more challenging than I'd anticipated, that final big hill was a killer at 24 miles, but the HUGE medal and cracking T-Shirt made the final effort worth it. Even inspired me to muster a sprint finish!
I'd certainly run it again (although perhaps not next year) but for anyone planning to do it the only advice I'd give is that you need to be prepared to run a lot of the course on your own as numbers are limited & given the nature of the course the support away from the start/finish line tends to be quite thin! Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Very nice half-marathon In full: Great course, with relatively flat off-road trail sections switching with rather 'undulating' bits of road. Lovely views of Bewl Water throughout. Thankfully the weather had been very dry for weeks as it would have been a mud-bath otherwise... Well stocked aid stations, with friendly marshalls. Only (minor) issue was the lack of an aid station around the last major hill at ~19km; otherwise, organisation was excellent. Would run this event again! Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Hard work but great race. In full: I competed in the half marathon, which I really enjoyed. The hills and running surface were tough going, but the atmosphere was great. Very well organised and scenery fantastic. Will definitely do this one again. Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Fantastic event organised by runners for runners. In full: Well organised race, with well stocked water / aid points, each with plenty of water, squash, cakes crisps and sweets and a team of friendly marshals encouraging the runners, who kept smiling even when the weather took a turn for the worst. When we finished we received a great t-shirt that actually fitted (The London Marathon organisers could learn a thing or two from this!. Well done Hermes, and thank you marshals, we'll be back next year. Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Great event, superb scenery. In full: Glad I wore trail shoes - uneven in many places; no 'proper' path (I like cross-country - so I loved it). Would be very slippery if wet. Funny that the pre-race instructions were done by a bloke who whispered (into a strong wind); didn't hear a word of it. I guess he said 'when I say 'go' run for 26.2 miles'.
I'd love to know what others thought the difficulty factor was; I'd guess it's 5-10 mins harder than a flat road marathon. Date of review: May 5, 2013