In short: Fun, challenging, tough, unforgetable, friendly, satisfyingly muddy! In full: My first ever Marathon. I used this race as a prep for Athens in November. I thought it would be a great way to try out kit, get some hill training in, and test pace. Well forget all that :-) I knew from the moment I woke up saw the rain and heard the wind, that this was going to be no normal marathon. My road shoes were inappropriate for the multiterrain conditions and this went against me from the start. 2 hrs in and my feet and legs were encased in a mud/clay blanket that I was thankful of as it cushioned my wet. blistered feet from any more damage :-)
I loved the wet muddy conditions, and the steepness of the hills. Certainly gave you something to focus on, and around every corner was another challlenge. Plus a friendly marshall encouraging you on and dishing out jelly babies and drinks.
A bit disappointed with my time as I expected at least an hour and half less than what I ran it in, but was pleased to have completed to the end. Plus in my category I did quite well. I also learned heaps and will most certainly be coming back to do it again!
Shame there were no medals left, but I was given a great goodie bag to make up for it, and the medal is going to follow in the post.
Bloody great fun :-) Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: A Brutal Challenge In full: I knew it would be tough having run 2 other off-road marathons this year but this was the hardest. Not so much the hills but the slippery muddy surface. Water stations were good with Lucozade and jelly babies and plenty of marshalls. No problems with the organisation but they unfortnately ran out of t-shirts even though they had been pre-ordered. I'm certainly feeling the effects of this event the day after - rather painful. Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: tough! In full: This one hurt. Difficult to stand up in places. No T shirt at the end. Why! we ordered them. All helpers were great, lots of very funny comments during race. Majority of fast marathon runners polite but spoilt by stroppy ones. overall great fun. Ouch! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Friendly hilly muddy sloggery In full: This is a superb cross-country half on a tough hilly course. Very efficiently run by friendly organisers and marshalls - thank you for braving the elements. Not one for anyone who wants to keeps their socks white, run a PB or likes the repetitive monotony of miles of tarmac. Very slippy this year after the morning deluge, I felt sorry for anyone who wasn't wearing trail shoes. Lowlight was standing in an innocent-looking puddle that swallowed my leg to the knee, but that's what this run is about, pitting yourself against the random challenge of the trail. Organisation was slicker than last year, the changes to allow pre-registration worked. Also the paths seemed wider, bushes trimmed and the stile bottleneck removed. Well done organisers! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Forget your pb and enjoy the scenery and the mud In full: Coming from London it was a real treat to run such a scenic and challenging course. After a few minutes we were running through thick mud and some pretty steep hills so I knew it wouldn't be fast. But definitely one of the most uplifting races I've ever done. Organisation was flawless from what I saw. Great fun, lovely atmosphere, and hilarious to watch the puddle-avoidance tactics! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Mud, hills and smiles for miles! In full: Despite the torrential rain before the race, the weather behaved for the duration of the half marathon distance. Hills were 'very' hilly! and steep and muddy! marshalls were happy, encouraging and a-plenty. A tough course through fabulous surroundings, be prepared to walk the hills mostly and get wet and muddy from the off! Light shoes with plenty of grip would have been perfect for the claggy clay mud that clung to my feet! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Brilliant, beautiful, brutal but well worth doing In full: Well, I wake up on the morning to hear torrential rain on the roof. Things don't bode well. The terraine tough, the hills unforgiving, the surface slippery and treachurous. The marshalls brilliant, the scenery wonderful, my fellow racers full of friendly words and banter, the overall experience unforgettable ... AND and pb !! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: MUD! In full: First time at this marathon and was a little worried about all the negative postings last year. Well they must have listened as it was spot on. The route was tough with all the mud resulting in my worst time for 9 years but for once that didn't matter. A great day. Well done to all involved. Date of review: October 6, 2008