In short: Wonder-mere!! In full: I knew I'd fall in love with this event. I could see from the YouTube video's how well organised and personal the event seemed. I was under no illusions it was going to be tough though.
It was everything and more than I expected! 100% organisation, can't fault anything at all. The crowds were very uplifting especially the one's in the village pubs and at popular places like Newby Bridge. Even the Cumbria Police were cheering us on!
The hills really do wear you down; I thought I got my tactics right but didn't. My advice to myself and to anyone is to "hang back" till after the hill on 21 then see what you have left. It's the 2nd worst hill on the course but not too bad thereafter. I burned out by 21 and ran on nothing for over 5 miles. Shown my determination and character though.
I made a weekend of it too so had a fabulous time in Ambleside / Waterhead taking in pasta and the local scenery. Also; do alot of general and hill training and expect the worst (from the course) and you'll be fine. The rest of it will be taken care of for you :)
I also as an added bonus met the legendary Steve Edwards while I was there too and he gave great advice, a true genetleman.
Couldn't wish for any more, I'm sure I'll be be back next year. If not then defo very soon.
Well done Brathay!!! :) Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: beautiful, best organised, great atmosphere - best in the country In full: Everything about this race is fabulous. A location from heaven, wonderful course if tough in places, so much fun and happiness round the route, encouraging marshalls, loads to do and see at Brathay - an all in a great cause to help Brathay in its work with disadvantaged young people. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: inspirational, stunning scenery and whilst challenging on the hills the event was a memorable one! Weather had threatened to spoil the day but held off nicely for everyone. Well done Barthay Trust!! Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: If only every marathon was as well organised! If only every marshal was as friendly as this! If only every spectator pushed you along the whole route as they did! Brathay you did it! In full: FANTASTIC! I was a very happy marathon runner on Sunday I could not fault this one! Registered on the Saturday and the volunteers where very helpful, parked on the grass 50 yards from the finish line! Wow! Family enjoyed the entertainment and fun day whilst I was running and everyone seemed to have a smile on there face. I personally did not find it has hilly as some are saying and would not be put off if you are a beginner and think there are massive hills, more moderate undulations although I am used to running marathons such as Snowdon, north Devon, Brighton trail, Hebden bridge etc etc. The scenery is lovely and on a nicer day could make you want to stop and admire the beauty of the lakes rather than putting in a good time, unfortunately Snowdon is still my favourite marathon of all time but this one would rank up there. Well done the 10 in 10 a fantastic achievement in difficult weather conditions a massive life time achievement, being an ultra marathon mad runner I would love to do the 10 in 10 next year and raise thousands for Brathay. Watch this space!
In short: Nearly killed me - I'll be back! In full: What a great race - 'undulating' is an understatement - the first 12 miles are undulating then there is a 7 mile stretch where Sherpas get involved. This was my first marathon for over 20 years and respect to the organisation team.
Watching the 10 in 10ers the day before was inspirational (esp John Dawson) and the marshalls were terrific. The daytrippers at Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside would have clapped I'm sure if they could have put their chips down somewhere - instead they gawped approvingly...
Immediately after this race I vowed "never again" - now I'm looking for next year's entry form.
BTW: how can this only get 98% for scenery rating - what do you want? The Hanging Gardens of Baylon, Wildebeest across the Savannah, The Great Wall of China?????? Date of review: May 25, 2011
In short: great race In full: my first out of city marathon, so it was great to be in fantastic countryside. It was a very well run race,and top marks to the event team everyone of them seemed to care about the effort you were making to get round this tough course, at 66 I have said I did not want to do the same marathon again, but I think I can forget that idea, and do hope to be back next year. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Beautiful, friendly, well organised bar toilets, but a tough one! In full: Brathay has been my second marathon and after a car accident and mild whiplash the weekend before, I was worried as to whether I would manage to get around the course, let alone in a similar time to my Edinburgh marathon last year.
The registration process the day before is perhaps a bit of a hassle compared to just getting your number through in the post, but was good to be able to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and the organisers were friendly and helpful. You can register on the day too, but I like to be organised if I can.
On the morning itself I was terrified - driving rain, hailstones and wind, but then somehow as the drumming band led us down to the starting line and the compere's humourous wit entertained us, the sun came out.
Then came the course. I knew the profile was hilly and thought I'd done adequate preparation, but gosh there were an awful lot of them! I don't think that I would have managed to make it around if it weren't for the amazingly well marshalled course - at every road junction and more, the frequent water, energy and kendal mint cake stations and indeed the runners themselves. Whilst this is clearly a race for experienced/serious runners, I had a lot of fun swapping stories with a couple of ladies that were bringing up the rear with me and it made it so much easier to get around the last couple of miles. The mile markers were big and at a reasonable height which was essential for me as my nikeplus went mad and was underestimating my distance by over a mile at the end!
Described as the "toughest and most beautiful marathon in the UK" I would have to agree based on my limited experience of just Edinburgh last year, but Edinburgh could learn much in terms of atmosphere, organisation and spirit from Brathay who are a dwarf in comparison.
My only very slight negative is the toilet situation, I'm pretty sure there were public toilets for use, but there was only one set that were well signposted, just a few more luminous yellow signs would have made this race absolutely perfect. I highly recommend this to experienced (or very brave) marathon runners Date of review: May 24, 2011