In short: Fabulous challenge leaves you exhausted and euphoric! In full: Not for the faint hearted! But a really well organised magnificent challenge.
Self navigating, and its not always easy, so be prepared for more than 56 miles - you'll make a few mistakes. And recce what you can (I couldn't recce it and came a bit unstuck at Edenbridge golf course and in Jules wood near CP3 but managed the rest ok).
Plenty of water at the checkpoints even for one of the last finishers like me, as well as bananas, biscuits and salty baked potatoes. And muffins and squash from the family whose garden we were being allowed to cut through!
Its not a cheap event, but its quite a small event (200 runners entered I think), the coated map book was robust, and the organisation and check points perfect so I felt it was worth every penny.
Do I want to do it again? Definately. Can I persuade my legs to go through it again? Lets see...
In short: Many thanks to the organisers for putting on a great event. This is good ultra challenge through beautiful scenery. It was well organised and the support at the checkpoints was fantastic. In full: Anyone wanting a challenge and enjoys having to use their naviagational skills will love this race. The weather this year was excellent apart from the strong breezy conditions. The countryside between Blackheath and Brighton is stunning and a lot hillier than you would think. I would recommend this event as a must for anyone looking for a good ultra Date of review: September 14, 2011
In short: Great race will defianatley be back next year In full: Would recce the course first if you can some parts are quite tricky and you can easily take a wrong path in the wrong direction. There were quite few places where runners were coming from all directions including the finish. It was a brilliant day with great people and Liam if your on here I forgot to get your number after running with for over 12 hours thanks for sharing your water after my bladder burst :-)
In short: Fantastic event I want to do again the day after! In full: What an outstanding day! Everything about it was totally amazing and definitely the best day I have had for a long time made the entire better by top organisation and check point crew as well as the runners and their lovely supporters.
At 05:00 the rain was hammering the TA centre before the start only to stop respectfully for the brief and 2 minutes silence for the victims of 9/11. Rain didn’t return for the rest of the day which was a welcome stroke of luck!
The ice was shattered during the brief when, after a heads-up of what to look out for and do along various stages of the 90KM route, the pensive silence was then broken by a guy saying “ So this isn’t the Balckheath 5k Fun Run then?” Very funny! So off we go ahead of the sunrise through the London suburbs to the first checkpoint and into the countryside where your map reading needs to be on the ball from here on in! Mine is average but being local to the finish line I used the training to recce the last 26 miles as well as train that bit harder to make up for any ‘miss-calculations’. Old school map and compass is defiantly the way ahead here as a few of the guys with GPS were frequently been told they were off course when map, compass and knowledge of the route said otherwise. But the race must be known to the locals now as they gave us regular pointers from Biggin Hill right down to Chailey which was heart-warming!
Checkpoints along the way were fantastic – really supportive and helpful throughout so massive thanks for that! The tables were stocked with practical foods that would stay down once you took off again and I personally could feel the fatigue melt as the stuff went in.
I’m not a great advocate of walking every hill in a running race but some of the hills here demand just that and they can be quite long so you need to remind yourself at the top that you are in a race on not on a stroll. My head was happy as Larry but my legs were no longer on speaking terms with me so this I found a right battle!
Just before the last big hill the farmer had dutifully ploughed about 300 meters of the fieled which appealed to the sadist in me seeing the runners in front almost stationary in this soft energy sapping dirt before I got a load of it! With no time to recover we were at the foot of Black Cap hill, the second highest point of the race and an eternal climb for 50+ mile legs.
I could safely say I was officially spent by then but the view of the sea and predominately downhill run not to mention great company of other runners and their supporters was a real motivator and the finish was a welcome sight indeed.
Overall, a great day made all the better by everyone involved and met some wonderful people along the way! Until next year :o)