In short: A hard but nice race on difficult terrain. In full: My first Marathon and how hard it was. Got hotter and harder as the km ticked by. The water stations were well manned and as for those complaining about the lack of water etc. Read the instructions beforehand, it says 2l of liquid. Great atmosphere on the course (had many a chat with people at water stations / people I was running (and walking with on the harsh uphill sections alongside) and was nice to get a round of applause and cheers of encouragement from the campsite all the way to the finish line. Good day that I doubt I will never forget, especially at the moment when I move my legs! Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: A very tough race in a stunning enviroment In full: This is one very tough race in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. There is not one bit of the organisation that I could fault and crossing the finish line felt like a very special achievement.
I do have to agree though with one of the previous comments about how this event is 'sold'. The website does give the idea that these races are accessible to all though some of the terrain is very tough. The race organiser stated that "there are some ups and downs along the 42.2k course it is by no means a 'tough' marathon and I anticipate that we will get a sub 2:30 winner in the Race". I happy accept that there will be more than "some ups and downs" in the Lake District though I do not have access to train on this type of terrain where I live so I did struggle to run in the latter parts of the race because of loose rocks, exposed tree roots, etc.
Despite this, I have to give this event a huge thumbs up - to all you PB chasers who only run flat races: try a REAL race like this! Date of review: July 5, 2011
In short: A grand day out. In full: My friend Jane and I decided this year to leave road marathons to the clock watchers and undertake new challenges. The Lakelands Trail marathon was our second off road marathon and we had a great day out. We downloaded and studied the map, read the joining instructions, carried a backpack with water and some food, enjoyed the scenery, weather and company and set off at 7.00am with absolutely no idea how long it would take because we have never done a marathon like this one. We were delighted to finish in 5 hours - unexpectedly! The route was clearly marked and well marshalled with friendly volunteers who encouraged us all along. The drink stations were as the instructions described so no surprises there and common sense would suggest that the terrain was exactly as anticipated. The route was in parts tricky but thatnadded to the fun and although tired and hot at the finish I would not complain about the weather, the route surface or the organisation. Having run many road marathons the entry fee is not outrageous in comparison and the enjoyment factor outstrips any additional cost. I loved the river crossing and the tricky downhill bits and the sheer freedom of being in that environment. I am loathe to moan about anything. However, my ongoing gripe at most races is that great as the technical t-shirt is, as a petite female, a small man's t-shirt is always too big and I would love to have a t-shirt that actually fits me. Small men's clothes are still too big for small women! That said, we had a great time and will be back next year. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Tough. Stunning. Unforgetable. In full: This was my first marathon and I was not disappointed. I have done a number of the other Lakeland Trail races so the terrain and underfoot conditions were not suprising to me. In truth I was anticipating worse ascents! What were people expecting from a trail race in The Lakes?!
I did the challenge and I particularly liked the support and encouragement I got as I was overtaken by a number of the Trail racers, the majority commented as they flew past.
There was water at the finish that was shaded and readily available, though maybe just needed to be better signed? Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: tough course, red hot day, but was worth the extreme effort In full: A must for anyone who enjoys challenging off road running. Superb views, tough climbs, killer decents, crossing a river the proper way (none of that silly road running using bridges stuff!) More like a fell race in places. Bearing in mind how hot it was a cup of water at the end would have helped Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Fantastic trail marathon, especially for a first one. With a few tweaks this coul dbe one of the UK's premier maratons In full: Brilliant event, superbly organised, and with fantastic scenery. Add to this the well marked course, friendly marshals and great camaraderie among the runners and you have a must-do event. The overall event with the supporting stalls and services just added to the enjoyment.
If certain other reviewers had bothered to read the race info they would know where it went and that it would involve technical terrain, that there was limited water (the course isn't exactly on the water mains!), that they were instructed to carry 2l of water, and that there was a Challenge option for the slower runners with more generous cut-offs. It's a bit harsh to blame the organiser for your own stupidity folks!
And as for a lack of water at the finish, there was gallons of it in big containers, just a few yards from the line. And just by the on-site bar :-) Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Great day, have a time to beat next year too!! In full: Did the 4 race series last year, so I knew how good the set up, organisation and marshals would be - was not dissapointed. Breathtaking hills and views with some good technical bits thrown in. You MUST keep the river crossing in :0), even if it felt like running in wellies for the next few miles!! No probs with the water stations, the map informed us of every one and we were told to bring any additional drinks, gels etc. Ran in a brand new pair of 315's without even a hot spot, blister or toe nail loss - bonus!! Will get my entry in early as this race will fill once the news gets out, and I now have a time to beat - see you next year. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Very tough run, stunning scenery & not very typical Lake District weather! In full: The toughest run I have ever done! 36 minutes slower than my road marathon PB, so that should give an idea of just how hard this was. The rocky bits of track & path were a nightmare - but there was also a mix of gravel paths, tarmac, grassy fields, forest tracks & even a thigh-deep river crossing (courtesy of the Council closing a bridge for repairs 2 days before the race...).
The views were spectacular, especially the part after Grizedale looking down over Coniston Water. All that pain was worth it for the scenery. How lucky were we? Stunning Lake District under clear blue skies - wow!
4 water stations for a marathon is not a lot, but it's not a road race so access is difficult, and we WERE advised to carry water. On such a hot day I was amazed to see so many people setting off carrying no water at all... I wonder if they made it all the way round...Would be interesting to know how many started but DNF'd.
Marshalls, walkers, spectators and fellow runners were very friendly and supportive (apart from the charming walker who deliberately went v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y through a gate muttering about adding seconds to my time, while I had to wait. Grrrr.)
Grumbles? Couldn't believe there was no water at the end - what happened there then??? There is usually water at the end of the Lakeland Trails races, so that was poor considering the race distance and the scorching weather. Not very impressed by the "if you don't make the cut off times or retire, you must make your own way back to the finish"!?! Oh, and the medal was a bit disappointing (sorry). And PLEASE (I've asked the organisers for this before) can all the women be identified on the results, not just the vets, so we can see where we came in the women's field?
Overall, a very friendly race, tough tough tough, but worth it for the views and the sense of achievement. Thanks to the organisers. Date of review: July 4, 2011