In short: Great countryside, good local support but oh for some decent drinks In full: Would be enhanced if there was some squash or energy drinks for the marathoners. Water just doesnt hit the spot! Orange squash at end just annoyed and goodie bags - is it really worth the pain? Also, why do runners believ they are immune for being considered as litter louts? Date of review: September 28, 2011
In short: Well organised race with friendly fellow runners In full: I enjoyed the course. There were sections that were challenging but looking back on it now it wasn't too undulating. I have read the gripes about the goodie bag and cost. Quite frankly if you you want a better goodie bag then enter one of the bigger marathons and it will cost you approximately double.
Thanks to the friendly spectators at the Rising Sun pub the second time around and the people on the last mile. Your support and cheery banter was welcome. I did feel that the first section of the course (before the split between half and full marathon runners) wasn't as scenic - so those on the half missed out.
I even managed to avoid the stampeding ponies! Date of review: September 27, 2011
In short: As enjoyable as a 26.2 mile runa can ever be! In full: First time at NFM and enjoyed it so much I bought a T. Interesting, challenging route with a few ups and downs, some trails to break up tarmac monotony, cheerful marshalls, plenty of drink stops and sponges and very efficient bag pick up. Fantastic scenery even on a dull day, ponies and a pig or two to see along the way. 11th FM this year and it's hard to see how the event could be bettered. Could gripe about the bag (btl water and an oat bar) but don't run for the bag so not going to. I bring recovery drinks and post race snacks and nice though choccy bars/bananas are I don't see as essential. Finished 2 mins outside a PB so may well come back next year for another go! Date of review: September 27, 2011
In full: This is a must do for every marathon runner. It was my 4th year - 3rd doing the marathon. It is a wonderful run, very well organised, brilliant marshalling, very friendly and enthusiastic water stations. The route change was just brilliant as even though there is still a hill to climb at mile 22, it is no way as tough at the hill you used to have to go up at mile 23 out of Sway - so excellent decision to change the route in my opinion. The route is mainly flattish with a few undulations and a couple of short sharp inclines. There are a few track off road bits and one would expect them to be slippy after the recent rain we have had so no problems there and good to get off the tarmac. I stopped to take pictures en route of the runners along stretch between miles 7 - 9 as it just looked awesome to see the line of runners stretching behind and ahead. The weather was very kind to us this year which definately helped. Last 3 years it has been hot and dry. I think having now done the marathon for 3 years it does help mentally as you know where you are and what to expect. Few comments about the parking but I know the area and where the on road parking is. Some of my pals did park at Ballard school and were annoyed at the walk. I parked closer to the leisure centre as previous years parking knowledge have helped. Goody bag was pretty dire and a recovery drink would have been most welcome, not a big ask. Having said that, that is my only gripe as I just love this run so massive thanks for putting on a wonderful, well organised, friendly, enjoyable run yet again and keep the new route please !! Date of review: September 27, 2011
In short: Lovely course, despite the hills. Parking could be better In full: Pros:
Beautiful scenery around the course, plenty of water stations, attentive marshals who did a great job contolling traffic on open roads (thanks!) a great bunch of fellow runners who offered support and conversation where appropriate.
Signage to parking was poor, if you're not a local it was tricky to navigate the streets of New Milton. The goodie bag could have been more generous (just a bananna would have made the difference, esp if sponsored by Waitrose (unit price 5p?)). Por communication from organisers before the race when emailed a question (no response)
None of the cons are deal breakers, but would have lifted what was a very good event to an excellent event. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Great Scenic Marathon, expect ponies, expect hills, don't expect a PB In full: This was my first marathon and i loved it. The course is very challenging but the scenery is amazing. The marshalls were great and support is everywhere on the course. The motivational messages on the hill at 22-23 miles were a really great touch thanks guys i needed those. However i dont think a Photographer at the top of the hill is a good idea. Thanks again Guys, i'll see you next year. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Challenging course but worth doing In full: Knew this course was going to be tough and avoided looking at the profile before the race.
That long hill from 21 to 22 miles is a PB killer, would have been nice if we came into town the same way we went out for a fast downhill finish.
Finish was a bit weak. Would have been nicer to finish on the road, rather than turn off into the car park. Goody back not great perhaps they should charge a bit more and throw in the T-Shirt. Date of review: September 26, 2011