In short: As Always, Brilliant! In full: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I have to say this is a superb event. My eighth, consecutive year now, the first six on the 20 mile course, and for 2010 and '11, on the 33.
As usual, the atmosphere was terrific, with a real shared spirit amongst the runners. I must thank the woman who offered to take my photo with my camera, with the superb view as a backdrop after the hefty climb from Roundway, north of Devizes - a superb keepsake, thanks for disrupting your own run!
Definitely take a map - or the provided instructions - on this one! There were generally lots of markers and several marshals out on the route, but a sudden dearth of both around the slightly tricky section around Calstone Wellington.
It was good to see the very young female marshal at the checkpoint before the Cherhill Monument making a second appearance – having appeared ‘in utero’ for the first time last year.
If you haven’t tried an ‘ultra’ (which this most definitely is, surpassing the required 50km) I’d say have a go. Just slow down from your usual pace a bit, treat the event as a day out rather than a race, and enjoy. Also, forget all the nonsense you read in the running press trying to sell you exorbitantly priced ‘hydration’ and ‘nutrition’ products – here there are plenty of checkpoints allowing you to DRINK water and squash, and EAT jellies and Jaffa cakes. These work perfectly for me anyway, without the pretentious and ludicrous terminology.
Another classic day out – please don’t spoil the event by increasing numbers! See you in 2012, I hope!
In short: Fantastic race, beautiful scenery, great weather and really well organised. In full: Thank you to everyone at Marlborough Running Club and leisure centre for all your help and support. Will be back next year and one year will tackle the 33!! Date of review: May 14, 2011
In short: Great Course and organisation in beautiful scenery In full: I did the 20 mile route and enjoyed it a lot, the course was really good with some good hills. The scenery is beautiful with some great views over the downs. The organisation was really good with checkpoints where you needed it, including well needed fig rolls and custard creams at the latter checkpoints. I took an OS map and marked out the route beforehand, but could have got away without it as the signs and marshalls pointed you in the right direction. I enjoyed this a lot and will definately consider it next year. Cheers Date of review: May 18, 2010
In short: An Absolute Classic... In full: ...not that I'd expect anything different given my previous six consecutive years on the 'short' course.
Yes, finally plucked up the courage to do the full course this time, and I'm so glad I did. Once again, organisation, marshalling and general atmosphere was spot on. Best part is that the slightly uninteresting slog from Tan Hill, north to Avebury Trusloe, is now a 16 mile epic of wonderfully varied scenery - more Wansdyke, the Kennet and Avon canal, masts on Morgan's Hill and the superb Monument on Cherhill Down, plus at least one White Horse along the way. Beautiful!
Speaking of Cherhill Downn one minor plea would have been for some arrows around the Monument - I took a slightly long way round, but other than that, had no problems having marked up a 1:50000 OS map from the instructions.
One interesting difference from the shorter distance seemed to be that rather than spreading out as individuals, the runners tended to form supportive groups, most evident at the checkpoints with some waiting for others to catch up. I didn't encounter any nutters this year, but I can well believe the one about the guy who was convinced about the extra six miles - there's always someone isn't there?
Fabulous stuff - will be back for more next year, hope I'm still in one piece enough to go the whole distance again!
In short: Excellent event,superb organisation runners well looked after In full: Very well organised event,plenty of checkpoints on the 33 miles, the marshalls were all friendly and encouraging - great mix of countryside on the route, canal, bluebell woods, fragrance of wild garlic and the white horse on the downs and through Avebury before the last climb to cross over the Ridgeway and the hand made mug and food at the finish - what a great day out. Date of review: May 17, 2010
In short: Wonderful marshalls and stunning views In full: Having run a few marathons myself and 5 other club runners decided to have a go at an ultra. After a fall, blisters and tiredness(we all had recent marathons in our legs) we came in last. However the marshalls were still there waiting for us long after they should have gone home with wonderful food and bags of ecouragement and support. Each checkpoint had bags of treats as well as well earned fluids, the atmosphere was very friendly and the organisation spot on. If we promise to be a bit faster we are hoping they will have us back next year. Date of review: May 17, 2010
In short: What a fantastic event - well organised, stunning views and a good challenge In full: This was my first time running this event and running 20 miles. I couldn't have picked a better event - the organisation was really good, marshals were all friendly and encouraging, there were plenty of water stations with juice, biscuits, jelly beans etc and even tea at one stop. The route was undulating with a few good hills but not too challenging and we couldn't have been luckier with the weather. I hope to make this an annual event. Well done Marlborough Running Club. Date of review: May 17, 2010