In short: A beautiful scenic well organised event. In full: My second year of entering this event.(33 miles). For me it is very challenging and there is a great sense of achievement in finishing. The outstanding views, superb organisation, supportive and caring marshals make it a special day. The instructions are easy to understand and accurate and I was pleased that there were some compass bearings included. I ran with two other members of my club (who ran with me last year)and our goal was to finish within the official finish time. We finished in 7hrs 45 mins which was an hour and a half faster than last year so we were very pleased with ourselves and also for the organisers who kindly waited for us at the finish last year. (We didn't take a picnic with us last year! - we just learnt from our experience). Thanks also to four of our club supporters who gave encouragement not only to ourselves but also to all the other runners.
In short: A great introduction to the Ultra distance In full: My sort of event. Organised by runners so everything was spot-on. Choice of distance, comprehensive and easy to following written route instruction (with plenty of direction markers to give reassurance), sublime and varied scenery in an unspoilt part of the country, eight well stocked and enthusiastically manned check-points/feed stations, friendly runners and supportors (there was one couple who appeared at numerous parts of the course supporting someone that must have been supporting a runner close behind me, and seemed to adopt me and the others in our group, and their support helped me to get to the finish when I started to struggle), and a welcoming finish. Lovely earthenware mug as souvenir, and a hearty post-race meal/with tea/coffee made on request. A perfect way to relax, refuel and chat to your fellow runners about what a great day we had.
Thanks to MRC, and I'll be back again next year. Date of review: May 16, 2011
In short: A superb race, so well organised, very friendly people everywhere! In full: This club always do a fantastic job, other clubs could learn from the MRC - well done guys will be back next year - PS Every runner should run this race! Date of review: May 16, 2011
In short: Highly enjoyable race. In full: This was my first go at the Marlborough Downs Challenge and I found it to be a well organised and scenic event.
There was plenty of parking at the start and the toilets facilties at the nearby leisure centre where registration took place seemed more than adequate.
The route was extremely scenic and for the most part very runnable. The checkpoints were extremely efficiently manned by very helpful and friendly volunteers and had a choice of water or squash and a variety of biscuits and sweets. They seemed sensibly thought out too. I think the biggest gap between them was 10k though the marshalls gave m eplenty of warning about this at the stop before. Most gaps seemed to be about 4 miles which felt just right.
Marshalling was low-key as you might expect on a 33 mile race, but the marshalls who were on route were extremely supportive and did an excellent job. Navigation was made easy by a combination of comprehensive pre-race directions (which I would heartily recommend runners take with them) and signposts at critical points.
The finish was slick, with a nice earthenware mug for all finishers. The post-race meal was the nicest I have ever eaten. The veggie option was a cheese and pasta bake with side salad and it went down an absolute treat!
Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable race and one I would very much recommend particularly if you are new to ultra-running or even if you are a more experienced runner looking for a quicker time or an enjoyable day out in the Wiltshire countryside. Date of review: May 16, 2011
In short: Lovely race, perfect all round. Challenging first half but nice few miles to finish. In full: Awesome views, plenty of direction arrows all round, easy to navigate (directions spot on to garmin distances). Friendly race, marshalls great. Biccies, jelly babies, water & juice at checkpoints. Choice of colour of nice pottery mug at end. 3 diff pasta dishes + salad at the end. Will be there for the 33 next year - there, now I've said it!!! Couldn't be improved. Magic race, thanks guys. Date of review: May 15, 2011
In short: Superb views, marshalls, atmosphere and supporters. In full: Breathtaking views - great written instructions, together with OS map, means little chance of getting majorly lost!! Very friendly runners and marshalls - all added up to a fantastic day out! Many thanks everyone. Date of review: May 15, 2011