In short: Really excellent fun. TRhat navigation can be a challenge ! In full: We really enjoyed this run, but the navigation was too much of a challenge for my girlfriend, who got lost on the 12 miler ! Great organisation and lovely countryside. We'll be back next year and I'll read the map and she can run ! Date of review: July 22, 2008
In short: Scenic, rural run with options for 3 distances. Navigation a challenge for some! Terrain and navigation mean that this is not the same speed as a road race. In full: Very accessible race with a choice of distances that you can switch between on the day. Ideal for beginners but the challenge of simultaneously running and map reading would give experienced runners something to get their teeth into. Well-stocked checkpoints with drinks and the famous bread pudding. Not for you if you want to get round as fast as possible and beat you PB. This is for the love of running and being outside in the beautiful British countryside. Route and facilities never get crowded because of the staggered starts and multiple distances Date of review: July 22, 2008
In short: Nice informal little trot . In full: Good mix of runners and walkers doing different distance and things in different ways. Very friendly. Good fun navigating and though me & my comrade went the wrong way a few times, it was entirely avoidable by paying proper attention. The instructions were spot on.
Check points all friendly and well stocked. Very relaxed - no pressure for a time - just treated it like a long run.
Relaxed and fun fun fun.
Well done FVS. Friendly simling faces at Cps and at the end. Lack of finish line doesn't bother me. It's not that sort of race. It's more like the popular Gade Valley Harriers marathon training runs - halfway between that and a more formal race.
In short: Great marathon, challenging course, well planned & organised In full: Thanks to all involved! Excellent day out, beautiful scenery for most of the course and new experience for me of running a course entirely following instructions with no signs/directions set-up along the route. Added an extra dimension to the challenge of running an off-road marathon and added to the sense of achievement at the finish. Also agree with previous comments that it was refreshing to just enjoy the run without the need to focus on a finish time. Great support throughout - plenty of drinks, sweets, biscuits and bread pudding available from friendly marshals. My only gripe, echoing the comments from Cameron Ross from 2007 event was the lack of a clear finish line - in it's absence there was a slight anti-climax at the end after running for 5 hours. This was forgotten fairly quickly though as sat admiring my new medal and munching my way through the delicious BBQ burger! Date of review: July 21, 2008
In short: Running at its best In full: I love this event. The mix of people, distances, abilities, ages, walkers and runners. The bread pudding at checkpoints. The friendliness and organisation. The path full of eight-feet nettles at 20 miles. Bliss!
Thank you to everyone involved.
(Memo to self for next year: Concentrate! The route description is detailed and accurate, so when it says turn left, turn left - don't carry on for half a mile and then wonder why you're totally lost.) Date of review: July 21, 2008
In short: First trail marathon - amazing race In full: Not sure what to expect, but this was just wonderful. Great organization, very generous supplies at the checkpoints and finish, wonderful atmosphere and support among the runners. It was really rather nice not to be racing, and that getting an accurate or particularly good time was clearly not an issue. Oh, and the breadpudding: to die for ;o) Definitely on the agenda for next year! Date of review: July 21, 2008
In short: One of the highlights of the marathon calendar In full: Offroad and following detailed instructions on an unmarked course can seem intimidating. The fear getting lost etc.
I'm no expert at navigation, and my poor abilities in this area have amused many of my running friends. However, the instructions provided for the marathon were obviously prepared by runners for runners. You had to concentrate and avoid the temptation of simply following the runners in front - that way you get alot more satisfaction out of the run, and avoid following runners who were either lost or doing a different distance/route to yourself!
I really enjoyed the scenery today, and reminded my that the clock isn't always the means of assessing how you run an event. I also enjoyed meeting many friendly runners (even the German guy who followed me the whole way plugged into an ipod and didn't say a word over the entire 26.2miles! - but he did thank me at the finish for navigating the route for him!). The checkpoints were well stocked and were manned by enthusiastic and friendly people - it was tempting to sample the renowned bread pudding and spend too much time hanging around chatting.
The finish was efficiently manned, your name ticked off, and a good quality medal and a certificate to mark a good day out. Then enjoying the free barbeque laid on for the competitors at the end.
Thanks to Roger and the team - see you next year! Date of review: July 20, 2008