In short: Consistently good but this one was just a bit too slippy! In full: 2008 Dorset Half - My third Endurance Life event and once again the course was breathtaking. Fantastic coastal views, hardcore hills (one slippery hill was more like climbing than running) and very friendly runners. The usual good organisation from a friendly bunch. However, severe rain preceding the event meant that >70% of the course was a clay mud ice rink. I mean really slippy, on the edge of cliffs and next to barbed wire fences. Even with fell runners on you didn't have a chance of staying vertical. I'd be surprised if someone didn't get badly injured. Worse for me though was the damage we did to the coastal path. We churned it up so badly I think it will take a long long time to recover. The food was pants (bring back the Portland lasagne) and dog tags seem to have been dropped for this new series. That being said, this is by far the best (and toughest) trail run series. See you in Cornwall in April! Date of review: November 9, 2008
In short: Fantastic off road run makes it worth ignoring hefty entry fee In full: Absolutely superb run! Lots of hills, plenty of mud, great views of the sea makes it easy enough to forget hefty entrance fee! Date of review: September 20, 2007
In short: Ninja!! In full: A very challenging event, not a race to be done in road trainers as i found out sliding down a huge hill. Some very tough hills but such an acheivment to finish. The chilli afterwards was fantastic and the fact you can dip your legs in the sea straight afterwards is cool. Definately do it agin, see you next year. Date of review: February 25, 2007
In short: Breathtaking! In full: I love Endurancelife events - organising races is obviously their passion and they do it so well. After getting injured I decided to swap to the half which I ran with my sister as it was her 1st one so had a chance to really enjoy it for a change! Will be back for the long one next year... Date of review: February 25, 2007
In short: Very, very well organised. In full: Excellent value, great long sleeve t-shirt, fabulous chilli and rice aferwards, uplifting crowd at the finish and half way round. Scenery fabulous, thankfully no rain, course incredibly dificult with thick mud, steep long climbs and slippery downhills made this a great event and my first of this nature. Will be back for more! Date of review: February 25, 2007
In short: Truly beautiful scenery, but there can be very few tougher than this one. In full: This marathon is small (200 runners) and felt very friendly and (in the nicest way) sort of family-run but well-organised by the Endurancelife team. The secenery is just astonishingly beautiful: running along cliff edges as breakers smash on the rocks below; flying down steep hills of green grass. Trouble is, what goes down must go up. My oh my there is some serious ascent in this one. Again and again and again. And then some. I've done the Snowdonia Marathon twice, and Snowdonia is an absolote doddle in comparison to this one (but just as beautiful). This one felt more like a fell-run really. A roller-coaster with no rails, designed by Mother Nature.
Before the pack spreads out, the single-file nature of the coastal path can be a bit tricky: makes it difficult to run your own race if you're stuck behind someone running slower than your pace, or if someone faster is stuck behind you and breathing down your neck. Comparatively little of this course is on road; there was an awful lot of slippy mud. Road shoes not advisable. It's really a 26.2mile cross-country/fell endurance trial.
45quid entry fee is a little bit pricey in comparison to other marathons, but small races like this don't anything much in the way of city-council funding or big-name sponsorship deals. You do get a nice t-shirt and medal and a free plate of chili&rice at the end. Well done to the Endurancelife team for putting this one on though: it's certainly very worth doing, at least once. :) Date of review: February 25, 2007