In short: Amazing! In full: Great run, with a great sense of achivement at the end. there's not a lot of people that can claim to have completed Britain's toughest marathon. Hard, but not impossible to stay in cut-off times. Can't wait two whole years for the next one. Date of review: June 24, 2009
In short: It seemed a good idea at the time In full: Like all Trionium events, something special and worth the planning and the 2 year wait for. An event surrounded by good marshals, scenery and a cheerful bunch of determined runners setting out to do (probably) their worst marathon time ever. Miles 13-16 are a proper kick in the nuts - but a hot bath, a swim and a stretch later, and I'm up for running again. I've got to go back and beat my time in 2011. Thanks for organising a great event Date of review: June 23, 2009
In short: Definately not a Picnic! In full: First timer at Picnic and thoroughly enjoyed it - what a way to run a marathon distance - who needs a road when you can have steps, shutes, woodland and loads of jelly babies! Date of review: June 23, 2009
In short: The toughest marathon I'm ever likely to do - what an acheivement to wear the t-shirt... In full: If you like your marathons tough put this one in your diary for 2011 – it is ultra-hard but the encouragement from the other runners and the marshals makes for a great atmosphere, the varied scenery is stunning, even passing it for the 4th time! The rather pricey entry fee includes sport-drinks en route, a good quality technical T-shirt (in a small size that actually fits for a change), piles of sandwiches and cakes at the finish and money raised for charity. Today, my legs are telling me it would be madness to do it again but never say never. Date of review: June 23, 2009
In short: Simply unparalleled for sheer effort, exhaustion and exhilaration! In full: Amazing event - by far the most challenging race I have ever done. What makes it so great is the camaraderie of all the runners, wherever they were in the race. The scenery is superb, and the steps are killers the first time round. let alone the second time!! A massive thank you to all the superb marshals who were so encouraging for the entire afternoon, however rough we felt (and looked)! Special thanks to Dr Rob - you nutter!! If you want to try the toughest race for ordinary mortals, you have to enter this. Date of review: June 23, 2009
In short: It will take me two years to recover from event but I will never forget it! In full: As a returnee from 2007, I should have known better! I can't really add anything to the brilliant ratings that have preceeded mine, but feel I need to say something to sum up an event as monumental as this.
I loved the pre-race briefing from Dr Rob - it was as though he was the gatekeeper to the asylum, and he wanted to warn us of the consequences before he let us in. The singing of the National Anthem fired us all up before what felt like going into battle.
It did help having run this in 2007, although didn't prevent me from missing that right turn shortly after the road-crossing from the Smith & Western. Although dispondent at the time, I was grateful to have been picked up by a group of runners coming back the other way - adding only 0.5miles (and not having to worry about making up the distance later on). A marshal reassured us that the missing sign would be in place in time for the second lap.
With the weather almost perfect for running (21C and cloudy), the main opponent was the course difficulty as the runners were well supported by the marshals, feed stations, and especially the other runners.
With all the steps and steep ascents/descents, it is difficult to pace this correctly. I tried to hold back on the first half, but still experienced pain levels and exhaustion that the steps in particular were responsible for in the second half.
With the climb to Juniper Top completed the 2nd time, and a gravity paced progression down the chute, I was able to muster just enough strength for the final descent/ascent of that remaining set of steps before that glorious downhill finish! An unforgettable experience, especially as I managed to break that 5 hours milestone by a comfortable 32secs (having missed it by 90secs in 2007)!!
An gigantic medal which rewards you perfectly for your pains, a super t-shirt with a roll of honour of you and your comrades listed on the back, and a hat (that makes you look like an eccentric Englishman - as we are all a bit mad for having completed this torturous but pleasurable undertaking).
I'm not too sure able making this a 3 lap Ultra (39 miler), but would love this marathon to happen annually rather than bi-annually. Eat your hearts out - Exmoor Coastal and Wendover Woods, the Picnic Marathon gave you boys one hell of a beating!
Thanks to Dr Rob and everyone else who was involved - see you in 2011 if not before. Date of review: June 22, 2009