In short: Mudfest In full: 3rd time and although by far the wettest it was also the best yet. The atmosphere and organization has really come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years and this is one of the best off road marathons out there. Great bunch of people. Tough as nails. Some great scenery. What more could you ask for? The kind of race to lure you away from running on the pavement. Thanks to all the marshals who give up their time to stand out in the elements and make these events possible. Well done to the organizers. Date of review: May 8, 2012
In full: I am going to repeat most of which has gone before but so what. I just LOVE this event !! It was like Steyning Stinger Revisited !! Just brilliant fun if quad crunchingly knackering. I only entered a few weeks ago having ran hard and fast at Brighton and was due to run Shakespeare last Sunday which was annoyingly cancelled very last minute. This run more than made up for last weekends disappointment, and boy,I'm glad I did enter and never again will I dither. I love the South Downs even if the weather is trying to blow us over to France. I did it in 2010 and it was very similar but this time, I dressed more appropriately and glad I did. Never mind that it is May, get those gloves, hats, Buffs on ! Fantastic marshaling with lots of smiles to go along with the cakes and wet jelly babies. Lots of chatty runners out there as well and most happy to smile and grunt at you. Bit of a mass bundle at the start but I know the route so was quite happy to walk up that first hill and natter. Thanks again for a brilliant event and it will be a yearly one for me now, never mind the weather. Date of review: May 8, 2012
In short: Leaving aside the weather - an alright event In full: Came today with the anticipation on doing a hard trail marathon and my expectations were more than met. Does it always rain in the South Downs? I know I can’t blame the organizers for the heavens but would be nice to do a race on the South Downs where the heavens aren’t tipping out the laundry! That aside, trail shoes seemed the order of the day and grip was found all the way around.
The start was a bit congested with very little overtaking spaces during the first 2 miles – didn’t like the bunched up feeling and given the slippery conditions, I’m wary about others around me slipping over and taking me out! Given the use of chipped timing, maybe a self-determined staggered A & B start might be advantageous going forward.
No idea what the point of the timing signs were – the 7 that I saw that is. Apart from the last three ( 3 miles to go, 2 miles to go etc) they didn’t correspond with my garmin very well. The halfway marker was at 14.9 which seemed an odd place to place it and didn’t do much to lift spirits! Seemed obvious the route to take with appropriate signing in place so no probs there.
Marshalling was ok, and it was good to see plenty of non-choc items available at the stations along with some encouraging smiles. It would have been nice to have a cup of tea at the end but the cake was nice at least. One negative point was the crossing across a busy A-road at 7m which was not good with just one marshal. But on the way back at 15 miles was atrocious with no one at all! Runners are a mad bunch and really need protecting from themselves at times if only to get them to stop competing with fast cars!
All in all, it was an ok day but I can’t help thinking why this was so highly rated given some of the other events I’ve attended during the years. Just a few tweaks needed, I suppose. One to tick off the list but unlikely to draw me back again. Date of review: May 8, 2012
In short: Mud Fest ..... cold , rain, hills, more hills , totally BRILLIANT !!! In full: My first off road half marathon .I was ready for a challenge and boy did this race deliver !! I took it easy ,and enjoyed some of the best ever support from fellow runners . The route was stunning,as a local i'm used to running on the Down's but i've never run so far and never seen so much mud !! It was well organised , fantastic water stations ,encouraging marshalls who braved horrendous conditions. The last 2 miles i could have done with some poles as i more or less slid back down the hill !! Loved it and i'm definately doing more off road running !!
In short: Possibly the wettest I've ever seen the Downs In full: 3rd time for me so I might as well add it to my annual fixture list. Muddier than usual, occasional random mile markers, waterstations well spaced and provisioned, great day out despite the weather. Love the last two miles. Only thing missing is a hot drink at the finish - it is May after all. Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: I loved it. In full: This was my second marathon after London, and my first trail run ever. It was cold and wet but it is part of it and made it an excellent experience. The rocks hiding in the mud killed my sole and had to watch every single step of mine, but otherwise had a very smooth run. Marshalling and those cakes were brilliant. Thanks for everyone. Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: mud, sweat and cheers (2) In full: My second marathon of the weekend was never going to be the 3.45 that I did a couple of years back but despite the horrible weather and wallpaper paste consistency chalky mud, I still loved the race. Exceptionally well stocked checkpoints and amazing views made the race really special. I enjoyed the second half much more than the first and the last 2 miles downhill, well a 7s and a 6.10 for the last 2 of a course like this put a smile on my face.
In short: Great course, stunning views (in fine weather!), fantastic marshalls. In full: I would like to thank all the marshalls who spent a long day out on the hills in horrible weather just to keep us fed with jelly babies, bananas and cake. They remained cheerful and encouraging throughout. Great course with nice big in-yer-face arrows that you couldn't miss in advanced stages of tiredness. Date of review: May 7, 2012