In short: a good tough course. In full: for this run you will always remember the beautiful view across the dunstable downs near the start and before the finish and a very good challenging route on all terrens, plough fields, bridel paths and lots more. a great day out. will be back next year Date of review: September 14, 2010
In short: A Brilliant Challenge In full: If you want big crowds cheering you on... If you want a nice flat PB course... If you want a huge field... If you want loads of marshals pointing the direction... If you want mile markers... If you want any of the afore-mentioned, then this race isn't for you!
The Dunstable Challenge is easily one of the best races I have ever done simply for the difference in challenge from your usual road races. Be prepared for the unexpected to your usual race day routines when you get here.
First, the start was a little walk from the registration desk. Secondly, forget a nice easy start, it goes straight uphill and finally forget the marshals, a map and other runners are your only friends when navigation. Ok, there are a few arrows on the course to help you though. You want see many supporters on the course because most of the course is in the wilderness of the countryside, taking you into the tranquility and peace and quiet. Leave you Ipod at home.
The course takes in some awesome scenery and covers all sorts of terrain, I think a water crossing was the only surface missing.
The organisers on the checkpoints and at the start/finish are extremely friendly and embrace the challenge, appreciating what everyone is doing on the day.
The only downsides; the last mile isn't anywhere near as beautiful as the rest of the course. Also, another drink station on the half course would have helped, I was extremely thirsty after 4 and 8 miles, although perhaps I should have carried liquid.
The entry fee make it the perfect race, I will be back next year. Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Great variety of terrain, some lovely views, but half marathon was 14 miles not 13! In full: Very interesting race with some great scenery and challenging terrain. Not a huge amount of support from the locals but plenty of atmosphere provided by the scenery. Sandwich, cake and tea at the end were perfect. Only disappointment was a rather miserable last mile of finish which contrasted starkly with the great scenery of most of rest of run.
And would be worth making sure everyone knows that the course is 14 miles not 13! Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: A refreshing and rewarding change from the conventional events. In full: The varied and unpredictable terrain ensured there was never an opportunity for boredom! Makes "normal" events seem extremely dull in comparison. In preparation for this event I had followed the instructions on a couple of training runs previously, which helped me enormously on the day. Alleviated having to stop and start. The only disappointing factor for me, was the finish. After the stunning scenery encountered on the run, the finish was on a less than salubrious public footpath. It was difficult to tell where the actual finishing line was and there was a notable absence of supporters - not even a clap or a well done. Seemed a shame to have such a soulless and non atmospheric ending. Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Great way to spend a Sunday morning. In full: Like nothing I have ever done before, always a good view or a different challenge to keep the interest up. Did 20.7 miles due to a couple of errors following route but it all added to the fun. Many thanks to all involved! Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Glorious scenery, friendly club, but there was a downside. In full: The course was fantastic with glorious views up on the high ground. Marshals and those helping at HQ were all very friendly. I had no problem with navigating the course myself but saw several groups go the wrong way at two different points the half marathon towards the end of the race, meaning they must have cut off a good chunk of the 13 miles. Although I appreciate it didn't change my personal time this does seem to make the results completely meaningless and slightly took the shine off what could have been a great event. Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Fantastic off road marathon hard to fault In full: This will go down as one of my favourites for many reasons. First of all it had a very respectable start time of 10 am, secondly it was close to where I live (bonus as most always need a very early alarm call to make the start) and thirdly it had all the qualities I look for in a off road marathon. Also its worth mentioning the fact that it was very very cheap to enter, value for money big time. The start was a bit of a trek, nearly 1.5 miles from where you had to pick up your race number up from but just so long as you got there with plenty of time this wasn't too much of a problem and some may have used this as a warm up. The checkpoints were set out about 5-6 miles apart but were well stocked with good drinks and jelly babies etc. The people manning them were also in good form. This marathon needed total self navigation to get round and as there were only 36 people apparently doing the full marathon this made it a little hard to follow others that knew the way when things thinned out so I downloaded the garmin course off their website and it worked a treat to use without too many mishaps. No medal at the end but that was ok as I still finished with a smile on my face due to the experience of taking part in a great event that could be bigger and better in the future. I'll be back. Date of review: September 13, 2010
In short: Fabulous friendly run with great organisation and wonderful weather! In full: I had such an enjoyable run today. The atmosphere was very friendly, the organisation was great, the scenery and route were fantastic and even the weather was wonderful! You need to keep your eye on the runner in front at all times or have your directions to hand (and be able to read them whilst running!) and chances are you'll go the wrong way at some point but that's all part of the fun! I would definitely recommend this race or its 20 mile big brother (did that one last year)...not sure I'm ready for the marathon distance yet though! Beginners would be made very welcome but would have to be prepared and know what they were letting themselves in for (i.e. running up hills, across ploughed fields and over tree roots etc). Thanks v.much to Bill and the team at Dunstable Road Runners for putting on a great event. Date of review: September 12, 2010