In short: Challenging but very good route through great scenery. In full: Having completed last year's half marathon I was really looking forward to this one and it didn't let me down. I thought the new route was far better than the previous 1 mile lap, taking in the two long climbs and back down through the woods with some interesting twists and turns, taking in a lot more of South Weald.
The weather on the day couldn't have been better which added to the feel and look of the event, which was very well marshalled with encouragement with every passing lap.
On the down side I did feel that some of the lower branches could have been trimmed back, no-one else seems to have mentioned it but I found it a nuisance.
I was also disappointed not to recieve a medal as per last year, although the t-shirt is great (and more useful) I was sort of expecting it.
Overall a great event and one I will do again and would encourage others to try. Date of review: November 6, 2010
In short: Really good race on a cracking autumn day In full: Well organised race in a nice park, good medal and tee-shirt. Marked down slightly purely for the lack of PB potential and it would have been nice to have crowd support on the first slope. Thanks to the Marshals and the lady and young girl on the drinks station; those jelly babies were well needed.
In short: Really fun, 12 lap cross-country marathon, through forests, trails and fields In full: Really enjoyable race! The thought of short laps may seem monotonous, but don't be fooled - the excellent scenery, happy marshals, and ever decreasing remaining laps made this race simply fly by. Brilliant organisation, great atmosphere and really nice forest sections make this one for the annual calendar of any marathoner who fancies something slightly different. Date of review: October 26, 2010
In short: Good alternative to Founders In full: Tougher than anticipated with 2 significant climbs per lap and slippy underfoot (road shoes were just about ok but it was quite greasy in places). Loved the 12 laps that made the time pass very quickly, great marshalls, efficient lap counting system, the occasional deer and was much easier to see where you were running when the 1/2 runners had finished. Busy weekend with Beachy, Founders, Greensands (if it moves again) and Dublin so a small field. Still a good addition to the race calendar. Only note is there are next to no facilities, don't expect anywhere to change or shelter from the weather, and the bag drop is just in the organisers' tent so very limited. Overall, a good, no frills quasi-xc marathon. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Tough but fair race - scenary beautiful In full: I really enjoyed the 10km race. The 2km lap worked well, though there was very little let up from climbing the 2 inclines per circuit. The muddy conditions made it tougher for me to get the downhill benefit. I'll invest in some off-road shoes for next year. Thanks to the organisers; the free tea and cake afterwards was well received! Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Harder than expected In full: Very well organised. Only improvement would be a table to put your own food/drinks on which you pass every 3.5km. Really encouraging marshalls who must have been freezing out there all day. Trail shoes was def the right decision, not deep mud but the grip was needed on the wet grassy bits. Was a tough loop, 2 long hills, some short ones and quite a bit on a camber so dont expect a good time but that is not what it is about all the time. A good challenge and I really enjoyed it. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Beautiful scenery, cruel hills! In full: A well-organised race, small, very welcoming and relaxed. Lots of 3.5km laps with water and jelly babies every time you pass go! Undulating hills were the only hitch, but the scenery made it worth-while. I'd certainly do it again next year, although it seems that only competitors who finish the full marathon get a medal. :-)
In short: Well organised trail race - but be prepared for laps - lots of laps In full: Marshalls were great, organisation good, route challenging with two slopes that got harder longer race went on. About 50% on grass 50% on forest trails...not as muddy as I expected.
But feature of teh race for good or bad is the laps - 12 of them for the marathon which was hard in later stages - so tempting to call it a day after 9 or 10!
Good value, lots of refreshments, quite nice medal although not bespoke and cotton t shirt
One to do but not sure every year Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: very good, but remember your trail shoes!!! In full: Very well organized and running laps worked quite well. Very slippery under foot for majority of the race, so remember the trail shoes. Hard to do a PB, and you have to be brave to do the full marathon Date of review: October 24, 2010