In short: A marathon for the purist. In full: Good running weather (mild/sunnny), a proper challenge (four pages of detailed instructions taking you through attractive rural Hertfordshire), generously stocked checkpoints (choice of drinks/sweets/cereal bars/bread pudding), great camaraderie amongst runners and walkers.
I had a great day. The event has so many plus points and Fairlands Valley Spartans put it all together flawlessly as usual. I'm not known for my navigation skills, but working together with two other runners, we negotiated the route without getting lost at all (a first for me) and it was a privilege to be out there enjoying the run with no pressures (of trying to get a pb or counting down the miles (no mile markers)).
Felt great to make it to the finish to sample free refreshments including a barbeque!
Thanks to all involved and see you next year. Date of review: July 22, 2007
In short: Bread pudding, map reading, oh, and some running In full: the food at the checkpoints and at the bbq at the finish was very much appreciated. Only got lost a couple of times. Not a run to do if you are obsessed about times, but if you enjoy great scenery, good company, and running through muddy lanes and across fields of wheat, with the added spice of not being quite sure you are running in the correct direction, this is for you! Date of review: July 22, 2007
In short: This is what running is all about In full: A truely scenic route combined with the challenge of piloting yourself round. Made even better by the chance to enjoy the company of other participants and, not least, the wonderful hospitality of the Fairlands Valley Spartans. Date of review: July 22, 2007
In short: Once again, a really great event - with good food at the end. In full: This is always a great event and I look forward to whatever distance I do each year. The weather was kinder this year - not as hot as it has been! Still hot enough. Thanks to Roger and all the others who worked so hard to make it the event it is. Date of review: August 16, 2006
In short: They don't call it a challenge for nothing... In full: 1st marathon for me and I didn't help myself by getting lost twice and losing my instructions so I had to go back and find them! To be honest it was a lot tougher than I thought it'd be (Hertfordshire is a bit hilly-er than I expected!)but the various folks you meet on the way round (cheers Joe for putting up with my sweary ramblings over the last 2 miles) make it so much easier and the people at the checkpoints are friendly and helpful and there's the bread pudding of course.
In short: Got lost but made lots of new friends in the process. In full: Beautiful scenery, great people. I got lost several times (it's hard to read a map and run at the same time ),I got stung by stinging nettles ( although thank you to the guy at the water station who found me some dock leaves ) and went through exhaustion but I really enjoyed this race. Everyone was so friendly and the water stops were like little cafes. Well done to the two guys I met who ran their first marathons ! It was great to see the look on their faces at the finish. This is not your usual marathon as you really need a GNVQ in orienteering in order not to get lost. So not the best one to choose if aiming for a PB. That said I will return to this one for the people, the scenery and yes the bread pudding is a bit special too ! Date of review: August 3, 2006
In short: A good mix of open countryside & tree-covered stretches, flat and undulating (OK hilly), combined with excellent feed stations, and food at the finish, made for a wonderful day. Thank you. Date of review: July 27, 2006