In short: The steps were a tragedy! In full: This really is a run you have to do before you die, but undercooking the training is not a recipe for enjoyment in the latter stages! I got nasty cramp in my right calf towards the top of the steps for the final time, and took 15 minutes to complete the last half mile! Many thanks to the two runners who halted their own races to massage my overbulged muscles and offer to find a first aider to help - your support and encouragement were more than generous. The marshals were superb once again, and it really makes a difference to support other runners and be encouraged in return, wherever you are in the field. I'll definitely be back to improve on last year's time (I was on course to beat it but the two doses of cramp ensured I missed out by 2 minutes!), but I'll be aiming for the Picnic in 2009 - with much more training!!! Date of review: June 23, 2008
In short: So wrong its right! In full: The best cake of the year and race too! National anthem, bag pipper, 13.1 miles of hell and a technical tee, who could ask for more! For me its the best race of the year (although I was not muttering that as I climbed the steps for the 2nd time) and a huge credit to Dr Rob. Thanks also to Dr Rob's Mum for the fantastic cake, it help me forgett the pain ;) Date of review: June 22, 2008
In short: just amazing! hurt like hell but well worth it!! In full: I think the marshalls were some of the best I have come in across since I started running about 10 odd races ago. I hope they realise that I little comment and laughing at one of our stupid jokes they probably hear from everyone really makes a difference and gives runners a fresh spring in our step. I really appreicate it!!!! Dr Rob, great race def be bck next year! Date of review: June 22, 2008
In short: My first time over the distance, I am glad I put the training in ! In full: I knew this would be my kind of race and I really enjoyed it, After some lusty singing on the start line, (Happy Birthday) and the a rousing version of the National Anthem we were off.
The first half hour consisted of up, down, stepping stones, up, along about 100 yards and down, followed by, purely for variety, an up.
Well I knew this was coming and had reckoned it to be the hardest first three miles, and I wasn't wrong, going past the three mile board just into the woods, my legs felt blown and was struggling.
Slowing down into the woods, quite a few people went by me, confirming that I'd probably gone off too quick... turning into the long run down to Juniper Bottom I felt much happier, five miles had gone by and although I knew my 2:10 dreams were a work of self delusion I felt a little stronger.
Puffing up the 180 steps to the ridge some loony shot past me going the other way, I was an hour into my race ..... it was quite a few minutes before the next one person ran past, but fair play lads, you were really moving.
A welcome drink at the turnaround, and by the time I reached the snowman, I was a little chilly, wet, my legs had started to pinch at the top of my hamstrings but otherwise I was ok.
As I puffed back up towards the woods, the cheering crowd of my parents, brother, wife and two kids really gave me a lift and I knew I would finish.
I entertained the idea of really pushing the boat out to get a 2:30 finish, but in reality I had nothing left to give, going up from the stepping stones for the last ascent is a real test of character as much as fitness.
The finish was fantastic, I felt really pleased with my 2:38 for my first half marathon, and there was TEA & MEDALS just like they promised .....
In short: Best darned half-marathon in the known universe! In full: I did the Leith Hill half, finished on a high and thought I'd enter the Munro. By the time I'd finished London this April I'd done 3 marathons in 18 months and so I'd done nothing but train for marathons for what seemed like forever and was bored of running; I joined a gym and more or less gave up running. Dr Rob's supportive emails frightened the life out of me so I tried to bottle, with a jokey can I bring a torch; Dr Rob's reply of you'll get round and bring a torch gave me no choice. And my goodness am I glad I didn't bottle -it was ace. Hardest race I've ever done -harder than Beachy Head, Tanners and other ultras I've done. Brilliant scenery ; brilliant Marshalls and fellow runners; fiendish steps ( which I started to look forward to as you could legitimise walking); great picnic and organisation. I'm wearing the shirt now. The 100 people who didn't turn up should be kicking them selves as since the race I've gone from being bored of running to looking for my next race. Thank you Dr Rob! And birthday wishes to your mum. Date of review: June 22, 2008
In short: Tough but terrific! In full: As ever, a well organised race by Dr Rob with supportive marshalls and the atmosphere helped by other runners. The hills hurt like crazy but this run is about completing, not competing for most of us. A great challenge and look forward to 2009. Date of review: June 22, 2008
In short: Mad, Mad, Mad but strangely addictive - great atmosphere In full: Nothing qute like this. National Anthem at the start, singing happy birthday to the organiser's Mum and a Bagpiper on top of a Surrey hill playing in the rain! No amount of training will prepare you for the last sadistic 350ft drop down to the stepping stones and back at 12 miles. Why did 100 people pay £25 to enter then not show on the day? They missed a treat! Date of review: June 22, 2008
In short: The greatest race I've ever run! In full: From the National Anthem at the start, the piper at the top of the hill (twice) to the cakes, medal and t-shirt at the finish, this has to be the best race there has ever been. The marshalls were beyond excellent, they cheered clapped and encouraged me for (my) 2 hrs 40 mins. There is a downside to this race though :-( It's my personal worst for a half marathon. Bring it on again next year !!! Date of review: June 22, 2008