In short: once round for the half beautiful but enough In full: Going out on the east side down to the lighthouse had its own beauty, though I had to keep my eyes down as the track was very stony. Different feel on the west side coming back, muddier and great views along Chesil Beach. I have done that descent down to the Beach several times and when it is windy it can be quite scary - but no problem last Sunday. Once was quite enough going along the shingle ridge. Fantastic finish coming into the yacht club building.
In short: A mix of running, walking, and scrambling. In full: I started, then stopped, but started up again along the half marathon route - just a single lap of Portland - and I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of the trails, notwithstanding that ski jump of a hill at the beginning and the smaller muddier one where the overwhelming majority walked up trying not to lose their footing. The pebble beach short of the end where we were all encouraged to scoop up some marine junk - including quite a bit of green and pink nylon cord - was painful and really frustrating, not least after seeing others across the road on the other proper trail heading for the finish. I'm sure it must have slowed me down by at least twenty or more minutes, but wasn't so painful as having my own feet twist this way and that. It definitely would have to be more sapping than the repeated flight of mud and stone steps littering the edge of the isle. I thought the safety advice beforehand was great flagging up any hazards, but that didn't stop me and several others dancing and swooning across muddy pools, some very close to the precipice at the top of cliffs. I ran in Salomon XT Wings and I was jigging all over the place; deeper lugs next time round, the secure landing of others in pairs of Inov-8's having much to recommend themselves. Date of review: January 26, 2010
In short: Much tougher than first thought! In full: I did the Gower race last month and thought this would be easier - I was so wrong. Even still I loved it - it is worth running it fairly relaxed to enjoy the views as it is difficult to race because of the changing terrain and single file tracks in parts. Amazing race (although I wasn't saying that after a couple of miles running on pebbles!) and would definitely do it again. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: I never want to see another pebble for as long as I live! In full: OK, this course has everything; road, trail, grass, scrambling, steep climbs, steep descents, nice scenery and an extremely tough slog along Chesil Beach. Throw any idea of pacing out of the window because the terrain is so varied that its a waste of time. The atmosphere wasn't bad but I found the Gower event to be friendlier - there were a lot more people wearing headphones for this one.
The organization and facilities were brilliant - hot showers that were still hot when I got to them! Bliss. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: Enjoyable step up In full: I ran what was billed as a 10km, my GPS (other other people too) registered this as 13.08km. A sizable error of margin! Never mind - the killer hill at the beginning and the grind along Chesil Beach were the most challenging aspects of this, though the descent was pretty hairy too - especially the one at about 4km. Enjoyed it, and thinking about making a special effort to do another one too. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: Yet another testing trail run In full: Am new to trail running and the Coastal Trail Series has given me the bug - very well organised. Very friendly atmosphere and accomodating for new runners. Date of review: January 29, 2009
In short: Makes road marathons obselete In full: Well done Endurancelife! A varied, challenging and beautiful marathon. I loved it. Nice people - especially the marshals and organisers. Really good value considering how special this was compared to something like the Duchy Marathon (round the industrial estates of Redruth, though I'm afraid the "Exe to the Axe" 20 mile fell run remains the greatest of all UK endurance runs imho. Date of review: January 26, 2009
In short: An unforgettable trail-running experience. In full: Wow! If this is the easiest of the Endurancelife Coatal series, I dread to think how hard the others are!
A few tough hills early on on the 2-lap marathon brought on my problems with vertigo, but I then had worries on the steep rock-strewned descents! I tackled these more confidently on the second lap when I knew what was ahead. My worries shifted to the 1.5 miles loose pebbles along the ridge of Chesil Beach - the second time around I had to walk the whole stretch as to run was counter-productive as your strength was sapped and I seemed to be able to walk faster anyway!
The scenery was glorious, and the weather was perfect - dry, sunny, clear and negligable wind. The difficulty was forgotten as I look back on one of my most memorable marathons.
Marshals were well placed and encouraging, the sign-posting was clear and easy to follow (commendable on a twisty and intricate course), pockets of vocal support, and a really friendly bunch of runners (lots of chatting and encouragement).
Good value with dog-tag momento, t-shirt, free hot meal,complimentry milkshake, a nd hot showers to revive.
A hard but rewarding run. See you all at South Devon and thanks to all the Endurancelife team Date of review: January 25, 2009