In short: Atone for your sins and experience catharsis. In full: So much effort to go so slow. The mere mention of word 'picnic' will forever send a chill down your spine. You go up the steps and you think 'this must be as bad as it gets'. Then you loop back, and go down and you realise you never knew bad until this moment. Then you do it again. Until you barrel down the final straight for the last time, when you can finally let your legs go, and you know for the first time since you started this affair that you will make it to the finish. If, that is, you're not among the 1/3rd of starters who didn't make it that far.
This is the ultimate in bragging rights at 26.2. You get a medal that you've earned every gram of, a quality technical (so you can actually use it to run in, as opposed to the useless cotton ones) T-shirt, and a glass that you can take to work to show off, all of which say 'TOUGHEST IN BRITAIN'. Yeah, you are. Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: LOVED IT GREAT DAY !!!!! looking forward to the next one already ....... In full: Thank you to all the marshals who made this a superb day, without them I would not have got round the course. A special thanks to the lady that helped me up when I tripped on a tree root and then gave me some melon this was much appreciated. Thank you to the family at the bottom of the hill by the stepping stones every time I saw them they gave me a huge boost before tackling the steps again. I did the midsummer munro 2 years ago I looked at my medal and then I looked at the picnic medal, I wanted a marathon medal. Although doing the half marathon is a major achievement I had set myself a goal to do the picnic. To anyone contemplating doing the picnic in 2 years time, do it!! The second half believe it or not I found was less painful than the first. You get into a sort of mish mash of a rhythm, it gets cooler with cloud cover, the hill is not so crowded and you know you have conquered it. On this, the longest day of the year, we were a real band of brothers and sisters trudging up and down Boxhill helping each other along the way. Well done Dr Rob. Great day see you at the Greensands marathon. Will I be doing the picnic again? Yes already looking forward to it.. As long as my little legs can hold out and I am around at the time I will be putting in my calendar as a regular event.
In short: Hills, Hurt, Steps, Hurt, Hills Hurt...repeat. In full: Do not underestimate the challenge of the steps. Pulled out halfway and still aching like mad. Having ran Ultras this is the first race that altered my perception of time!.Respect to all Marshalls and the Doctor.
In places the difficulty of this race gets pretty close to dangerous so take care down the steps so use trail shoes and remember the Doctor's advice- run the slopes walk the steps. I have a marathon pb of 3:50 and just crept in at 2:51 for the half marathon that's how hard it is.
In short: Brutal and quite possible the toughest in the country In full: I did this one after doing Bath and Hardmoors. Never done a marathon over 6 hrs I'm usually a 3:15-3:30 road marathon and 4:00-4:30 trail marathon kind of runner but I finished in 6:31 minutes This one makes the longest run by time even if I have done ultra 30 miles before.
It's hard, very hard. If you are insane and love trail marathon is must. There are at least 6 trail tough hills and 6 very steep trail steps. The last set of steps at mile 26 it's really cruel. For the rest marshalls are awesone, there was a lack of choice with only jaffa cakes and water (I don't like jaffa cakes personally) and the only xl t-shirt was a bit disappointing but a double pint glass was a nice gift No sure if I will do again but you have two years to think about it Ercole Date of review: June 23, 2014
In short: Incredible and tough as ever... In full: Another great edition of the Picnic after the (brutally) extended version in 2012. The hot weather made it even more of a challenge (for me), but as usual the marshals were absolutely superb, and the encouragement from other runners is unlike any other race. If you want a warm, glowing feeling from having endured one of the toughest challenges in the UK running calendar, try this race in two years' time. I'll be back (yet) again.... Date of review: June 22, 2014
In short: Hard as Nails In full: As an experienced marathon runner, of 75 marathons (before this event), I thought that I had seen it all ..... until yesterday! I am a 3:30-3:40 road runner, 4:00-4.30 cross country marathon runner, so the thought of a 3 hour cut off at the half way mark would be no problem .....! I only made it by a few minutes!! Unless you are a sub 3:45 road runner you have no chance! The course is brutal, in fact cruel - I suppose it is part of the allure? Very little easy running & nasty out & backs with some 1400 steps. Advertised as suitable for road shoes (disagree), I wish I had worn trail ones - whilst dry under foot, it would have helped with the very steep ascents/desents. 4 sets of stepping stones over the river, with the last set at mile 26 was cruel. I measured the race at just shy of 27 miles too. The marshalls were brilliant & to be out in the sticks for hours upon end was so appreciative. The feeding stations were plentiful & frequent. Disappointing at the end that the Picnic was minimal with only water & a few sarnies left. Also to run out of medium shirts & be presented with XL was not appreciated. The mile markers were totally out of scint too.
All in all - a unique race. I see why the marathon is only ran once every two years.
Never have I finished a marathon in 6hrs+ Date of review: June 22, 2014
In short: Never done anything like that before, but I am glad that I did In full: Well let's start with the fact that I started 36 late, now I got my back against the wall and a massive hill in front of me. I thought this got to be the most difficult part of the race. I am not joking that was a warm up of a very brutal race, being a fairly experienced marathon runner helped me but having to push to get on the half way mark before their 3 hour cut off was a hard work, I did and was presented with a choice to quit and or runner up the hill again as I was still well behind most of the runners or as I was told. You are the last one from the half way point. I dug deep and started psyche myself but true to be told it was only possible because the support people were absolutely amazing, I mean 1st class team, for that reason I cannot wait for 2016. Thank you Dr Rob and Team Date of review: June 22, 2014
In short: Epic trail run with friendly atmosphere and superb scenery In full: After the Munro last year I vowed never again - but some warped weakness of character made me enter this out and back and out and back trail run. The toughest marathon in Britain? Quite possibly. Certainly the toughest last 2 miles - down then back up (for the 4th time) 400 feet of steps#@!! It's also the first time I've been happily shot by a marshal with a water gun - much needed with the warm weather. Would I do it again? Perhaps if they install a chair lift on those steps :-) Date of review: June 22, 2014