In short: A tough race. In full: Well well, where to start with this? I have done a few of the smaller trail races that usually come in at around 14k. In short take the 14k races and expand it to 42k and you will get some idea of what this entails. You will be running up and down constantly on every concievable object you can think of - grass, mud, concrete, rocks (most loose), bog, water and i've missed most out.
Underestimate this run and you'll be in trouble, both the profile of the course and the photographs don't do it justice and I had the impression that it would be an easy hilly race. It wasn't. Think of this as a cross between and road race and a fell race and you'd be about there.
The organisation - Honestly I thought it was pretty good, not brilliant, but ok. But there were a few things that did worry me. Fell races tend to be run by people that know the fells and are generally pretty experienced and can look after themselves. Road runners tend to expect to be looked after. In the heat on the day this was run I could have envisaged a bit of a disaster. The organisers really need to emphasise to people the need to be self sufficient they did but I really think they need to ram it home a bit more for next time. To be honest I think the organisers underestimated the difficulty, they anticipated a sub 2.30 time?! I think they must have been looking at the wrong course. The winner did it in just over 3hrs. I'm a bit alarmed by the organisers 'if you drop out make your own way back' approach. If this is the case they really need to up the tagging system and make it fail safe so they can account for everyone, not everyone takes a relative or friend to these events.
I sound like i'm moaning. It was a wonderful race and highly recommended but it isn't for the inexperienced runner and I would say some off road running experience is vital. I'll be back next year minus the cramps.
I can see this being in the top 10 UK marathons in future, do it before it attracts the London marathon circus. Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: this is the lakes In full: after the race,just lied their in the sun thinking were else would ide rather be!!. great marshals,organisation,atmosphere.the only worry is my garmin said 25.2 miles,as did others. WHAT WAS THE A CURATE DISTANCE!! Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: The description of "trail marathon" doesn't do it justice! In full: Firstly, thanks to the organisers on laying on a beast of a race that exceeded expectation. Superbly marked course, and marshaled expertly and enthusiastically. Drinks stations as advertised, and I was pleased to have followed tge advice of carrying a hydro-pack (as you needed to be semi-self sufficient today.
Gloriously sunny weather, stunning Lake District scenery, and a route that threw up enough challenges to keep all the competitors engrossed to the finish.
Beginner-friendliness is rated to reflect the technically demanding nature of the course although I've adjusted this with the earlier Challenge being available to those requiring more time to meet the cut-offs.
I love trail events, and although parts of this route did verge on fell (especially the downhills), you had to maintain concentration throughout to prevent breaking your neck - I had many close calls.
After the river crossing (which I absolutely adored), I teamed up with a copy of lady runners from Yorkshire and Shropshire and this really helped in being able to handle the intricate sections (especially the miles of tree roots!) and the humour when another close call to a serious fall was somehow averted by one of us! We crossed the finish line together which brought the day to a special conclusion.
The concern that I had of the potential under-distance has long since been forgotten after a special day in a frighteningly beautiful part of the country.
Many thanks from someone who is definately anthing but a mountain goat! Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: Great scenery over a tough trail course. A friendly weekend in the Lake District. In full: Perfect weather and stunning views made it an enjoyable run out. Friendly marshalls and locals especially through the campsite on the final stretch. PB never a possibilty - I was almost an hour slower than my road time but you do these courses for fun rather than speed.
It is tougher than the website slide show suggests, with about 10 miles of hard slopes plus 5 miles of easier ascent to reach the highest point above Coniston Water (where most people were happy to stop for photos :-) ). The remainder of the course, although mostly downhill, is no faster due to some very rocky terrain. At many sections we were gingerly picking our way forward at walking speed to avoid injury. The water crossing was a welcome cooldown and it wouldn't hurt to keep it on the course.
I said it was friendly and I'd like to thank the marshalls, race organisers & locals who helped me stay in touch with my partner after the car had a blowout whilst she was driving to the south spectator point. With no mobile signal except Vodaphone we relied on them passing a message back to the finish area and kindly lending me a phone to call back, whilst a local household helped to recover the car from the road for repairs on their driveway. And a shout out to the kind barman who stood me a beer whilst I waited for news with my money being some miles away in the car! No-one was hurt and all sorted in the end.
If I had one gripe it would be the sporadic KM markers. Myabe I wasn't paying attention but I only noticed signs at 14, 17, 18 & 24K in addition to knowing the feed station distances from the course map. It does make it hard to calculate pace unless you wear a Garmin etc. I also would have expected timing chips for the price paid.
I probably wouldn't come back only because of the slog to get up there from home and the timing of it falling between the spring and autumn marathons (this will be the only year I try to race 3 of them!). But if you enjoy trail/fell running and know what terrain to expect this race would be a highlight of the year. Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: Challenging ascents, cheeky technical downhills - outstanding scenery. In full: Excellent, challenging trail running through some of the most stunning scenery in England (not that I had much opportunity to look at it for long, being either head down on the ups, or concentrating on navigating my ankles safely through the fast downhill sections). Well organised - started pretty much on time, well-marked route and supportive marshals, and (I found, anyway) enough water stations, despite the hot weather, to supplement what I was carrying myself. Good to see finishers sticking around to cheer people on at the end, too. The entry is pricey, as mentioned by others, but I felt I got my money's worth for this one (a less generic medal would be an improvement, but it makes a nice change to get a decent shirt so that evened out for me). Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: The best marathon in the UK In full: Forget London and other big major city marathons this is the one for everybody to say yes I've just ran a marathon. This was my debut appearance at the distance and wow did I suffer but just looking around you the scenary you have who can't honestly say they'd rather look at a tall office building than coniston lake come on now!
In short: Great event. Beautiful scenery. Lovely day. In full: As marathons go, it's hard, but it's not meant to be easy! The perfect example of a long trail race. The organisation was first class, as usual for Lakeland Trails. Water stations were fine, with a good choice of drinks. Marshalling good. Would do it again. Date of review: July 5, 2011