In short: Was mad as a hatter to have run it but can't wait till next year! In full: Fantastic run, pretty gruelling but the atmosphere and amazing cakes/sammies at the end make it all worthwhile Date of review: June 23, 2008
In short: Awesome hard as nails race - pure agony and fantastic fun! In full: This race should be called the Madsummer Munro! It's easily the toughest, most demanding race I've ever done - and I've ran four marathons. The Midsummer is awesome, 100% adrenaline-fuelled madness, from start to finish. Dr Rob must be a legend and it was amazing to sing Happy Birthday to his mum Valerie and the National Anthem before chugging off uphill to a Scottish piper decked out in full Tartan regalia. Steady rain made the descents treacherous and dangerous as runners hurtled downhill and as for the steps and steep climbs - mountain goats would have waved the white flag and turned back!! I've ran up and down hills for the last 3 months - but the final set of spiralling steps at 12mls were total torture. The atmosphere was brilliant, the camaraderie among runners amazing, the totally supportive marshals and volunteers were solid gold and Dr Rob a hero. The Midsummer is the hardest run you'll ever do but it was also fantastic fun, a turbo-charged, lung-busting challenge through beautiful countryside which will stay with you the rest of your life. This is where you find out what you're made of - and if you can look the Midsummer in the eye and beat it you'll conquer any other race in the world!
In short: Simply Amazing - The Hardest Race I've Ever Done! In full: Certainly lives up to its name "The Hardest Half" - a real experience, great atmosphere and sandwiches at the finish! I'm even considering running again next year! Date of review: June 23, 2008
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 .....