In short: This aint no flat, road marathon... In full: If you want to enter your first marathon, where the organisers have it bang on, then this is the one for you but be warned, this is no flat, monotonous road race, but a grown-up trail run with magnificent scenery and wildlife on the North Downs between Farnham and Guilford. Epic!..
I found it tough going this year, but the crowd support, marshals and the trails just keeps you going so, in short, this is the toughest marathon you'll do in the area. If you are a trail runner, you'll love this for the variety of terrain and has enough hills and potentially mud if it were a wet day, to keep you interested. Thoroughly recommend this one. Maybe it will be a wet one next year to make it even more challenging. :-) Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: A well-run race in beautiful scenery In full: Relatively flat as far as trail marathons go. Lots of helpful marshals and water/food stations en route. A friendly crowd so some good conversations meant the miles just melted away.
The weather was near perfect & set a marathon PB so very happy! Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Excellent trail race, incredibly well organised and marshalled In full: Second time I've done this marathon and suspect won't be the last. Very well organised, the RD told me that there were 200 volunteers and they were all excellent, very friendly and encouraging. The course by trail running standards is very well marked and marshalled, a bag thank you to the "orange spray man" was barely a 100 yards without something being marked either for navigation or a warning. It's pretty lumpy in places, narrow in others, few roots and rocks and patches of sand to negotiate, but nothing too much to worry about. If you want flat road then there are plenty of alternatives! Would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for an off road marathon (or half!) my only suggestion to the RD would be to look at the marathon schedule - a couple of weeks later and would likely be the only marathon in the country, as it was it clashed with a couple of other trail marathons. It's no big deal for most people of course but for the 100 Marathon Club types, if its a blank weekend, they will come... Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Time flies as you enjoy the beautiful scenery of a superbly organised race. In full: From entering to getting your results this is a very well organised race. Volunteers and organisers are very friendly. Water stations are frequent and well stocked with treats like jelly babies, mars bar pieces and cookies. The scenery and terrain are varied. Easy in some places and challenging in others. Parking and facilities at the start/finish are well planned. Will definately do it again. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Extermely well-organised, as usual. What other event paints hazards like tree roots?! Only significant improvement would be mile markers as, without asking the marshals, I had little idea how far there was to go at any point. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Highly recommended In full: Did the inaugural race 2 years ago, missed last year. Nothing has changed - this remains one of the best organised races I've taken part in, and one of the most interesting, scenic routes.
You name it, it works - start/finish location (just of main A31), parking, number collection, bag drop, refreshments, course marshalling (magnificent), post-race refreshments, massage etc, brass band to welcome you back etc. Chip timing also included for the very modest entry fee whoch included a nice memento T shirt.
Very well marked and marshalled course (almost no mile markers but who cares) with a wide variety of terrain including roads, footpaths, fields, woodland paths, sand and a few stiles and gates. Course is generally dry and road shoes were fine. Quite hilly in parts - one big climb (St Marthas) and several longish drags, but lots of long downhill bits to recover. Not a PB course but a challenging day out on the North Downs. Course is very narrow in parts but as long as numbers don't increase too much this isn't a problem. I didn't come across anyone who was getting stressed about being held up.
Huge well done to Farnham and Weyside Rotary for putting on this top event. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Scenic, friendly, very well organised trail marathon In full: Possibly the most comprehensively marshalled and signed event I have run. Lovely undulating route featuring hills, rivers, buffalo,llamas and a ruined chapel. I can see why this was highly recommended. Date of review: September 16, 2012