In short: Amazing experience, superb race In full: Not sure what people were expecting from the reviews posted so far. Complaints about the cost? Do you understand the logistics involved in organising an event that spans so many boundaries and the various permissions required, including getting close to the Wall itself. Complaints about the medal? I couldn't care less about what they hang around my neck, the race itself is why I enter. Didn't get to see much of the Wall? Open your eyes, man - I actually reached out and touched the flaming thing!!! Anyway, I thought it was superb - incredibly well organised, although there were some issues with idiots messing about with signage, this was dealt with (including sending out a cyclist ahead of the runners to check). It is simply not realistic to have someone posted at every turning point. The route itself was a mix of road and trails, with the appalling weather making both waterlogged. However, the prepared (decent shoes, socks, Body Glide, some training) wouldn't had a problem with this, in fact I found it enhanced the challenge. The checkpoints were well stocked with drinks and snacks. The halfway camp was decent, with a massage tent and food available. If I had one criticism it would be on the catering choice - burgers and hog roast are not my preferred running fuel. The option of pasta or porridge would've been welcome. And to the ignorant moron who thought it was ok to go to sleep in the early hours of the morning with your radio playing - you sir are an a*se. The second half was my favourite part, running through some beautiful countryside, before a cracking finish along the Quayside and over the Millennium Bridge. An unforgettable experience. I will be back for the Expert race next year. Pros - organisation, scenery, challenge, the fact I won the two-day event! Cons - need a better choice of catering, a map needed as a backup should signage fail. Date of review: June 27, 2012
In short: like many others dissappointed with the medal and the tshirts for £150 for the expert 24 hours run which someone who done it over two days or in a relay had exactly the same The course was on the roads for too long and a more cross country In full: course would have been better but a very good run and there are always problems in running a new route so this run i can see only getting better and better and becoming a must for all runners for years to come :-) Date of review: June 27, 2012
In short: i loved it! In full: yes it was pricey but its a first time event. The amount of food on offer was excellent yep it may have been soup and a roll advertised (soup was awful)there were plenty of sandwiches chocolate cakes etc also would also have preferred some spaghetti to go with the bolgnese rather than a roll. The course was brilliant campsite ok showers well run cleaned after each use. would have preferred to have had the opportunity to test rat race beer on finishing not halfway when you have another days running ahead. Marshalls brilliant however a little countdown of last three miles wouldnt go a miss loved the bridge finish not sure why photographer wouldnt take a photo of me finishing though I know i looked rough but hey! So proud of myself and definitely one to do brilliant organisation would defo do another rat race challenge Date of review: June 27, 2012
In short: Pricey - but very good In full: Yes it is an expensive event - £140 early bird 2 day challenger - but I enjoyed every mile even the very painful, slow ones heading into Gateshead. The marshals at the checkpoints and pitstops were excellent and very suppottive. Plenty of water, sweets, sandwichs, cake, etc. The route was clearly waymarked along its entire length and I had no problems following the markers. I thought the route itself was on the whole good, ok there was alot of road running but this was mainly on quiet country lanes and I never felt "exposed" to traffic. There were also a few tough offroad sections which sapped the energy from the legs and the hill at 33 miles certainly took the wind from my sail! 69 miles is a long way, even over 2 days and I think it would be difficult to improve the route as it is a point to point between 2 cities and inevitability roads have to be included. The finish over the millenium bridge was great, lots of clapping and cheering supporters and Sunday shoppers. Medal and goodie bag was ok but I didnt run 69 miles with the hope of getting great goodies at the end, I did it because it was hard and I wanted to test myself. This was my first experience of an ultra and it has left me wanting more, I just hope the next one I run will be as good. Date of review: June 27, 2012
In short: Fantastic views but expensive and medal is a huge disappointment after going the distance In full: The views were great and everyone that i ran with seemed like they were enjoying themselves until the latter stages when the non stop raining had dampened spirits and none of the checkpoints or pit stops had anything to help soaking feet. Even if someone had gone to a supermarket to get some talcum powder it would of been a huge relief. I just got a shrug of the shoulders when i asked a 'medical' helper what to do. You pay £150 for the expert 1 day race and i just cant see where the money went, the latter stages weren't very well signposted as someone had messed with them, the medals were shocking - didn't even differentiate between an expert / challenger / relay or whether you did it over 2 days or not?? Really feel let down by Rat Race with this one. Date of review: June 27, 2012
In short: After Feels amazing .... In full: Having read the other reviews .... well yes it was pricey £170 for two days, but you got to run (or scramble on hands and knees at one point on day two!) through amazing scenery with great support from marshals (although it would have been nice if they could have accurately told you distance covered so far) great support and welcome over the finishing line. what real made it special was the support from fellow runners - great race a true achievement to complete in one piece! Date of review: June 26, 2012
In short: Not just any run, but hardest thing I have ever done. In full: Anyone that entered the event must have been committed, as the price was somewhat on the high side (£170 Early Bird). The communication from the start was very good, with an excellent event web page. The organisation of the event itself was very good, and there were no problems regarding the route, as it was very well marshalled and marked. However it may be an idea to give each runner a route booklet at registration to allow them to follow on the hoof. I won't say much about the route, it was Hadrian's wall country and therefore hilly but scenic, the real difficulty with this run was the sheer distance. The overnight stop for relay and challengers was spot on, but a better meal option than soup and rolls (Remember the Price) a pot of pasta would have gone down a treat. Pit stops had everything that was needed, but should have had better, and identifiable camelback filling points. Too many runners filling up from the juice area, stopping anyone else getting a drink. Now for the finish, which is where a lot of events let themselves down. I would say 8 out of 10, everything was there and easy to get to, but after 69 mile it would have been nice for someone to put the medal round my neck, and although I am not a medal grabber, the medal for this event does not reflect the enormity of what was achieved or the entry fee, very very poor quality. But overall I am pleased I did this, the organisation was spot on, and would I do it again? Good God NO, but that's because I do not want to put myself through that again ever, but would I recommend it yes, its an experience. Date of review: June 25, 2012
In short: Ups and downs... In full: For a long time after putting in my entry to this race I thought to myself 'how the hell can they justify charging £150 for a single day point to point race?' I'm still not sure I know. Maybe I got caught up by the 'you've had 2000 years to train' blurb...
There's no accounting for the weather, which was shocking. Supposedly some last minute changes were made to the route but that didn't stop everyone being up to their ankles in water within 15 minutes. Still, it's supposed to be a challenge.
On balance I did enjoy this race. There was some great scenery in the middle part and the finish in Newcastle made all the toil worthwhile.
Plus points: Scenery (some of it), finish, pit stops (packet sandwiches - get in!), route marking (fair play for doing all 69 miles).
Bad points: First stage (dire - 15 miles of dull road running (and I like road running!)), no route map (made it hard to gauge progress), marshalls at checkpoints/pit stops were not properly briefed on distances (again, making it hard to gauge progress), registration the night before (why? Cost me a night's accommodation in Carlisle and for what?), entry fee (organisation was good, pit stops were good, finish was good, but for £150, really? I can do a multi-day with food and accommodation for less than that). Oh, and I'm sure those who entered as 'challengers' enjoyed paying an extra £50 and then being given 'free camping'. Come to think of it, bag transfer was 'free' too, so where did all my money go? Could have hired a limo for my bag for less than that...
Anyway, I nailed the distance so on balance I'm happy. However, anyone wanting to run Hadrian's Wall would be better off just doing the second leg (about 17 miles) off their own back and leaving the rest of it. But then again there was something about seeing those bridges after 13 hours...
In short: Good race but feel a bit ripped off In full: Generally a very good race with some nice touches like the feed stations , finish line and bag drops. A couple of niggles though Rubbish medals that don't even distinguish whether you did the 1 day or 2 day event Long stretches in the gutter on a roads were dangerous No marshals apart from at checkpoints. Kids enjoy moving arrows! Goodie bags too full of expensive printed tourist literature rather than stuff to help runners Hardly saw hadrians wall- incredibly disappointing the route had long sections of road
All in all slightly underwhelmed that £150 didn't buy better service and rewards. In your first year running a race, with such high entry fees, surely you give entrants such a feel good feeling they tell all their mates ? Date of review: June 24, 2012