In short: Tough and marathon should never mix! In full: Well, signed up for my first marathon and the scenery element really appealed with this one. Exceeded all expectations but bloody hard!!! Full sun, rocky outcrops, disappearing paths, river crossing - this race had it all. Much harder than I expected but have a wonderful sense of achievement now. Marshals were wonderful, supporters great and fellow race-goers very encouraging. Time limits were tight, just pleased I made it in time. Feed stations worked fine, despite the heat and I really enjoyed the Kendal mint cake. The music at the end was a welcome chance to relax and washed down with a cool Magners was the perfect end to an unbelievable day! Many, many thanks!! Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Hard but A FANTASTIC ONE, a real gem! In full: Great organisation (Yes you where told to run with 2 ltrs of water) Marshalls willing you on all the way, very tough under foot with hills galore. A waist height river crossing and beautiful stunning scenery. What more could trail runners ask for? They also put on a slow race for walkers/runners but bare in mind this is no flat tarmac run around a city with endless amounts of water stations so would advise you are experienced in this sort of distance and carrying a day sack. Great weather and loads to do for the family whilst you are running (climbing wall, face painting, ice cream, pita sandwich shops, coffee man, bouncy castles) and loads of room on the fields to relax and do some sunbathing.
Well done to everyone involved a real gem of a marathon!
In full: Take 1 London Marathon put it in July mix in an ascent of Snowdon and back down again ,coat the road in rubble and rock put a river crossing in and bake in an oven for several hours The Lakeland Trails Marathon phew! Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Fabulous trail race, terrain not to be under-estimated!!! In full: This was a very scenic race in a lovely, breath-takingly beautiful part of the Lake District. The terrain was tough and not to be under-estimated, some parts worse than others, very rooty and rocky in places and reminiscent to me of parts of the West Highland Way, for people who know that route. I dithered for weeks before hand over should I use trail shoes or road shoes, in the end the weather was dry enough for road shoes, and i just about got away with it over the rough ground and boggy areas - but was glad of the extra support over the road sections (some fairly long uphill stretches of road near the start). In wet weather I would definitely wear trail shoes for this race.
I carried with me a 500ml water bottle, a 250ml bottle of coke, and a number of gels and nuun tablets. The heat was unbearable at times, totally unrelenting sun, finished frazzled to a crisp with sunburn in new places ;). The marshalls refilled my water bottle at 2nd, 3rd and 4th checkpoints, and I finished with almost a full bottle left, so for me personally, the water was sufficient......but I do think it would have been a good idea to have an extra water stop between 2nd and 3rd, as this felt like a hell of a long way in the heat, maybe take a few tubs of water out on a quad bike? I appreciate the area is quite inaccessible in places.
If I have any criticism I think it is only in the way the organisers website is presented - they are trying to make the races accessible to all, which is great - but I think in doing so they need to be a bit clearer over just how hard some of this terrain is. I agree with others that the cut-offs were very tight...I have done a couple of really quite tough ultra races with cut-offs (Highland Fling, Jurrasic Coast Challenge), but have never felt this kind of pressure to reach checkpoints before.....maybe that was the heat playing a part!!! I think the website needs to be a bit clearer over just what is involved. There was a 'challenge' option starting 2hrs earlier, maybe as a slow plodding type of runner I should have started in that group.....But, in the last 8 miles I over-took quite a few in the 'Challenge' who had started 2hrs before me, who would not have finished in time. I was there for the end of the race, and heard the organisers say there were 70 people still out on the course, with the sweeper runner also still out. So, thats my only gripe - and its a small one - But, TELL US HOW HARD IT IS....we dont mind ;)) we are runners, if we want to do a tough event we will :)) Oh and a cup of water at the end would have been good too, for the folks who had ran out.
Spectator-wise - my support said it was one of the best events they have been to, in terms of plenty of really good quality fresh food on offer, and a really lovely atmosphere with people sitting out on the grass waiting for runners to come in. Also plenty to do in the immediate area during the day whilst the family etc are waiting for you to finish running. I loved sitting (collapsing) in my supports deck chair watching the last runners coming in, while I ate a much longed for ice lolly, then we had the singer entertaing us at the end with 'Country Road', near brought a tear to my eye ;)- just a brilliant end to the day.
Overall, loved it, stunning place, fantastic run, friendly race.....be prepared for the terrain :))))) Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: 'Probably the most beautiful trail Marathon in the world' In full: This run was my first attempt at running off road and goodness me what a fantastic experience. Rocks, hills, grass, gravel, mud, marshland, bogs and a river all on the most gloriously sunny day in the lake district. I seriously doubt I will find a landscape as beautiful from hilltop to valley to run 26 miles anywhere else in the UK. Unfortunately I've now set my standards too high, I looked for the most scenic place to run for my birthday weekend and was not disappointed it was absolutely stunning. I brought my camera with me thinking I would take the odd shot here and there and by the end of the race I think I must have added a further 15 minutes to my time of 4:16 just from taking pictures. I agree that more could have been done to highlight all the wonderful challenges that lay ahead throughout the route because I did spot quite a few runners who seemed woefully unprepared for what we encountered. In defence of the organisers the website did very clearly state that there would only be 4 fuel stations and that every runner should take there own source of fuel and hydration. I followed these instructions to the letter and didn't need to stop at any stations provided, as such even though is was my first trail run and a marathon at that I had one of the the most trilling running experiences of my life, totally and utterly uplifting.
In terms of value for money I got much more from the race than I had bargained for plus a great t-shirt so no issues here.
Regarding the organisation throughout the course the marshals where excellent and very professional however next year more will need to be recruited for the last 5-10k through the woodland by the side of the lake. I lost my bearings slightly and while looking out for directional flags this slip in foot landing concentration sent me crashing to the floor after tripping over a tree root . Although I am still a little bruised today from the fall it taught me two important lessons in trail running which are to always stay focused and never forget to pick your feet up!!!
Armed with this new found knowledge the fall seemed to galvanize my remaining strength and spirit which then spurred me on to finish in style rather than a whimper.
I have to say that the support at the finish was also phenomenal, clapping, cheering, smiling faces the works it was brilliant, it took away all my pain and geared me up for a sprint finish.
I will definitely be back next year because I believe there is something very, very special about this run which will attract huge numbers in years to come.
At least I can say I was there first, hopefully without the scars to prove it.
Well done to the organisers, community and volunteers, you have created a fantastic running experience for all to enjoy, long may it rein!!!
In short: Fantastic location and scenery but very tough In full: Fabulous scenery and a beautiful day. My main comment is about the cut off time. I entered the Race and was only just counted. It shouldn't have been a problem for me as I have done a number of tough marathons previously and haven't ever taken as long. I think allowances should have been made in the searing temperatures and because it was a new race (average times would be unknown). I passed the marshalls picking up the signs so could easily have lost my way in the last few kms. Not to mention those who were timed out and were behind. How did they find their way back? I note the previous comment about finding your own way back if you dropped out. Those retiring at 20 miles were advised that it was a 5 mile walk back along the road - worrying considering how exhausted some people looked. If i entered again i would consider the Challenge instead - perhaps this could be an 'early start' rather than a separate race? Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: spectactular and hard In full: fantastic route and loved fording the river. great atmosphere and had no problems with only for drink stations. Very tough race and feel a great sense of achievment just to finish it in the heat. Hope they do it again next year Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Stunning race and very friendly In full: A fabulous route on a fabulous day. Can't imagine better scenery anywhere. Mostly on runnable trails, but a few short sections were closer to fell. Very friendly and supportive, and I loved the river crossing! I carried all my own snacks, but agree that kendal mint cake is a terrible running snack. I'd much rather see bananas or dried fruit at the snack stop. Date of review: July 4, 2011