In short: Great mud, great fun! In full: Whatever you're ability, you'll have a great time. This is a very different race which you can either belt round in 1 hr 30 mins or stroll round in 4 hrs. No-one minds and everyone is encouraging and friendly. Date of review: January 26, 2011
In short: Loved the mud In full: You can get off to a flying start then you hit the mud which this year was plentiful, if you recover from that you can kick the last 4 miles. i really enjoy this run and this year was no different.....cheers ....mud mud mud!!! Date of review: January 25, 2011
In short: Very, very muddy, but ultimately a friendly and recommended race In full: Thank you very much to Benfleet for organising this and to all the marshalls who were really friendly and helpful the whole way round.
I entered this after the postponement of the Dartford 10 and was pleased I entered what turned out to be a very different event to that originally in the diary!
Quite a flat race (only one smallish hill at about mile 5), but you're never going to set a PB wading through and skidding along that much mud for 4 miles!
Plus points - an interesting course, results and photos up quickly, cheap to enter, a good t-shirt and lots of cake available pre and post race. It's a great training race for longer distances since the five miles at the end weighed down with dried mud really got the legs working.
I have only two gripes which may prevent me doing it again (and I hasten to add that neither is a criticism of the organisers who I suspect can do nothing about them):
(1) I got the train from London to the nearest station (Benfleet) and it was then perhaps a 30 minute walk to the race. Not a problem on the way to the start, but more of a headache on the way back from the finish.
(2) I was by no means the slowest runner but by the time I got to the showering facilities there was a long queue and only freezing water left. Not usually a problem, but it's been a long long time this I was that muddy!
And also one minor gripe at my fellow runners - when there is a queue to get over a stile or through a gate, it is not acceptable to jump it. Please join the back like everyone else!
So minor problems for me, but overall a friendly, challenging and good fun race.
I might be back next year, weather dependent! Date of review: January 24, 2011
In short: It's muddy, so what's not to like In full: 2nd time doing this, love it and hate in equal measure, and will probably be back to try it again next year. Great organisation, atmosphere. Liked the food selection at 3rd water stop. You just can't train for that type of mud between miles 7 & 9. Thanks to the Benfleet Runnining club for another great event. Date of review: January 24, 2011
In short: I've made peace with the mud In full: I did this last year and vowed never to return. But I wanted revenge and so signed up again. My head was in a much better place and so I enjoyed it much more than previously. The mud between miles 7 and 9 is farcical but it's what the race is famous for. Enter this race with no time goals and just for the challenge and you'll love it. Date of review: January 23, 2011
In short: Muddy but fun! In full: Wow, the mud was every bit as bad as I had been told. Two miles of sliding around and just trying to keep moving in the thick sticky mud - I just about kept my trainers on but fell over several times. The run back in along the sea wall was tough with heavy soaked trainers and mud everywhere, but a great event with a nice friendly atmostphere and good marshals.
In short: Stodgy sludge In full: You will either love it or decide never to return. What's on your feet will be a big factor in your view. I will return but better forearmed (fore-legged really). The hill at mile 5 isn't really worth speaking about as it's over in under a minute, but what follows is most definitely memorable. I gather they call it Hadleigh Downs, no doubt on account of a runner called Hadleigh who lost the will to live hereabouts. A girl behind said loudly and in desperation: "I just want to run" as we slithered and slipped over a couple of miles towards Leigh on Sea. The remainder of teh course from mile 10 is easy going but calls on all the strength of the legs. Finishing is all: a great achievement and enormously satisfying.
Very well organised by the way - I appreciated the double dip at the jelly babies. Date of review: January 23, 2011