In short: the memory of the beauty will outlast the memory of the pain In full: absolutely stunning beautiful scenery on a glorious day. I was a little bit surprised by the terrain, but that's all part of the fun. I can't see how you could get your PB on this compared to a road, unless you fall asleep from boredom on a road. I think the price is high for what the organisers contribute, but to be able to run a race in that scenery makes it feel cheap. I suppose I expect less from an organiser than others - they said where the drink stations would be and what would be there. I could have done with a few more flags or marshals at places where I wasn't sure I was going the right way. And chip timing, or at least times on the internet on the day is the extra little touch that would be nice. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Room for improvement In full: I have ran the Lakeland race series twice and have always thought them to be well organised and good fun. However their first attempt at staging a marathon left much to be desired. I only do trail running and this was a fairly tough course catching many people out with rocks, tree roots and other obstacles that required you to hop skip and jump over with very tired legs. Certainly in many places it was quite technical. I witnessed many stubbed toes and trips/falls. A better course description would have been useful to many rather than the slide show. For the entry fee i felt they could have done better than just 4 drinks stns over 25/26miles and if as some have said there was no water at the end then thats unforgivable. The Tshirt was excellent as they always are but the medal was not engraved with the event on it. Definitely felt the race to be overpriced for what it was, however with improvements it can get better. You do get stunning scenery and there is always a good buzz around the finish area of Lakeland Trail races and the people at the drinks stns were friendly. Doubt i will run it again as currently there are many more better trail marathons around.
In short: Phidipides didn't run on tarmac! In full: I am a Lakeland Trails fan and have been longing for a Marathon - thank you to all those who made this possible.
I have to disagree with a lot of comments below - their was no need to be taken by surprise by the terrain, height gain, or remoteness of some of the course. It was all there on the map (available on the website for weeks beforehand) and the starting instructions. Checkpoints have to be at road crossings - you can't hump water for 1000 runners up a thumping great hill - Lakeland tracks are famously rough: littered with loose stones.
In the Lakes, the trail running ethic should be towards self-sufficiency: you carry what you need and anything you get at the checkpoints is a bonus. Otherwise, we are just running on country paths - which this aint!
What a day; can't wait for the next one! Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: A nice race, great falafel van, and an awesome river crossing - but it's certainly not the most picturesque marathon in the UK. In full: The scenery was grand, the weather was phenomenal, the organization was slick. The first 18 miles were pretty reasonable underfoot for a trail run, so you can definitely get in a pretty quick trail time. The ameneties at the finish were great - I really loved the Falafelicious in place of a standard burger van. I'd recommend keeping the river crossing every year that it's not too deep - that was incredibly refreshing. My Garmin measured in at 25.2, without any unexpected deviations. I checked with another runner wearing a different model at 13.2, and his matched, so I guess the last-minute re-routing caused some issues. I'd dispute the claim to "most picturesque marathon in the UK". It was beautiful, for sure, but it's not in the same class as the EnduranceLife CTS races I've done this year. A good day out, but I'm not sure I'd feel the need to travel to again. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Stunning scenery! brutal decents, Awsome race. this is one Marathon everyone should do if you long to escape the city's and head for the trails.. See you next year! :) Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: really very hard! In full: The race was well organised, the scenery stunning and everyone was exceptionally friendly. However, it was a fair bit more difficult than I had anticipated from the website. There were significant sections which couldn't safely be run (by me, anyway - I'm sure there are some nimble people who ran the whole way without accident). This meant it took a fair bit longer than I was expecting, which was a little demoralising along the way. It also meant that the cut-offs were a fair bit more challenging than they initially seemed. This was my first marathon, and while it probably isn't the most obvious choice for beginners the scenery and friendliness of the other participants meant it didn't get boring. As I was doing it, I promised myself I would remember how hard it was and would resist the urge to do it again. However, now it's over I can't help thinking I might be back. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Brutally hard, but in a good way In full: This is a really good race, with a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The organisation is good and has the potential to be a big mountain marathon.
The post race music and food in the sunshine was excellent.
The description as a trail marathon is a wee bit misleading - this is a seriously hard race especially the descents on tired legs which are tricky due to the rocky eroded paths. Some of the paths are really hard to run on unless you are a mountain goat or an experienced skinny fell runner with young knees
The blazing sun added to the challenge but made the river crossing more welcome than it might otherwise have been!
Overall a really worthwhile event, and definitely worth doing, but not to be taken lightly. Date of review: July 4, 2011