In short: Tougher Than Beachy Head! In full: I've only completed one trial marathon before (Beachy Head 2010) so was really looking forward to the South Downs once again. I was not disappointed.
The sky was clear with a brisk wind that seemed to disappear when you needed it most to cool you down. It's the first time that I've suffered from cramp in a race at the 23 mile mark, probably from unexpected dehydration.
The course was extremely challenging, although I'm not a big fan of the out and back section. However this wasn't as difficult as the draining uphill section from mile 14 to 21.
It was a relief to reach the two mile downhill section at 25 miles, and shaking hands with the mayoress at the end was a nice touch.
My only small gripe was that the gents toilets at the start were very few and very poor. Date of review: May 5, 2011
In short: Hot and Hilly In full: This was my first Half Marathon so a PB was guaranteed.
The course was easy to follow and being tracks mostly stable under foot, tho the tracks did finish off my road shoes. The hills can be hard work and I made the error of starting off at my 10K pace (473m total elevation). It was a little to hot for me and the wind was never helpful, but the scenery and the views at the half way point were fantastic. Will I be back for next year? Defiantly, but for the full Mara hopefully.
Thanks to all the supporters and marshals along the way.
In short: Pace yourself at the start, the hills keep on coming... In full: Really good race, well organised with good trails, nice views and good marshals (although those at mile 7/15 were hiding behild a van!).
Set out way too fast, was 2nd at mile 7, 7th at halfway and then had the difficult task of keeping going as a I drifted back through the field to 22nd. At mile 25 I said "never again", now I'm thinking, "maybe next year..." Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: Tough, but if you want a challenge sign up for 2012, you wont be disappointed, a great run. In full: Many thanks to everyone involved, especially the lovely lady at the marathon registration desk who helped to pin my number on my vest after i had arrived late and missed the start due to a hold up on the M25. Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: Superb scenery, good facilities and organisation In full: With beautiful weather, the course is just stunning. The scenery is inspirational when the pain kicks in. All off road on dirt tracks with a few challenging hills. Good 'feed' stations and well marshslled. However, some junctions good benefit with signage as no clear guide. The facilities and refreshments are a bonus. The cakes and bisuits at the end very welcome.
Only a slight disappointment in that there are no prizes in both distances for 2nd and 3rd overall and only a prize for V50 category. this is a real shame as nearly all other events recognise 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall and increasingly the various 'age' categorys aswell. Although not everyone participates in events to get a prize, it could have an impact on people deciding to enter or not. This is more pertinent when you know that you have put the effort in to be amongst the prize winners if they existed, but to come away with nothing for that extra effort. Having said that the medal is very good. Not a moan, just a point of interest for the orgainsers to perhaps consider.
Thanks to all the organisers, helpers & assistants for the events. A great day! Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: This is without the hardest marathon that I have ran but was so well worth it. The scenery is stunning and the organisation perfect. Very supportive and friendly marshalls and I would recommend this event to any runner who enjoys a challenge. Date of review: May 3, 2011
In short: BRUTAL In full: This was the hardest run i have done without question. I nearly threw in the towel at mile 18,but somehow found something within me to carry on and get this done.Yes ,i would do it again,but next time i know to be better prepared.Great organisation and support and thanks goes to the marshal who came to my aid to ask if i was ok on mile 18. 5 Hours 26 mins,ok for a normal marathon would'nt be brilliant,but any time to complete this,in my book would be good. Date of review: May 2, 2011
In short: Tough hilly race, stunning views and great atmosphere In full: Very friendly race with great marshals encouraging you all the way. The hills are tough and varied but the views from the top are worth the effort. Would definitely do again. Only criticism is the lack of chip timing, a lot of half marathoners had their times incorrectly recorded, and a few missed off the results altogether. Other than that, brilliant race. Date of review: May 2, 2011