In short: Feed stations In full: With a income on average 30k from this race I think feed stations could have been better ,i was carrying water etc but the feed stations where rubbish.for company doing running events endurance life don't go the extra mile, Date of review: December 5, 2011
In short: The shingle, oh the shingle In full: Did the marathon and it was a fast route, however, the shingle is awful. That said and with the benifit of hindsight Portland wouldn't be Portland without it. I'll probably do it again but just need another month or so for the memory of the shingle to fade. If you haven't done it yet you should. Date of review: March 3, 2010
In short: The Chesil Beach section was even harder this year! In full: When you take out the difficulty and resultant pain, this is a really special marathon.
Rarely, do you find an event with such varied terrain - a flat paved section to start lulling you, a steep muddy drag which forces a walk early on which you accept without shame, that 'pyramid hill' which I crawled up on my hands and knees and then slid down on my backside (rather than risk setting off my vertigo). You then notice the transition to a more rocky terrain with steep descents and ascents - great care with your footing to avoid falling or ankle sprains etc. The scenery is wonderful and peaks as you approach the lighthouse. The second half of the circuit becomes more testing with that muddy slog back before the wreckless descent to Chesil Beach. I've been told that the Chesil Beach section was extended for the marathon last year (and retained this year) when an entrant from 2008 complained that it was too short! If I find that person, I will personally make him relive the nightmare of tranversing this stretch by dragging him across it for the combined 3.5 miles! - I sort of enjoyed it on lap one and ran the whole way at a slow comfortable pace, but by lap two I was a spent force and suffered with a walking pace of 20 mins per mile! It was wierd to get back on solid ground to fuel up at the final drinks station (24.9 miles) before the final flat trudge back to the sailing club.
The usual dog-tag and super techie t-shirt rewards you, and a milkshake which I consumed in seconds. The post-race hot-meal and tea/coffee which were free last year incurred a charge (albeit discounted)which was a little disappointed. Hot showers were welcome to revive!
I will be back but with some shingle beach training! Date of review: January 26, 2010
In short: Somewhere between heaven and hell In full: thought i was pretty fit following not too bad showings at hellrunner north and south last year...but this was hard! bring on cornwall... Date of review: January 26, 2010
In short: once round for the half beautiful but enough In full: Going out on the east side down to the lighthouse had its own beauty, though I had to keep my eyes down as the track was very stony. Different feel on the west side coming back, muddier and great views along Chesil Beach. I have done that descent down to the Beach several times and when it is windy it can be quite scary - but no problem last Sunday. Once was quite enough going along the shingle ridge. Fantastic finish coming into the yacht club building.
In short: A mix of running, walking, and scrambling. In full: I started, then stopped, but started up again along the half marathon route - just a single lap of Portland - and I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of the trails, notwithstanding that ski jump of a hill at the beginning and the smaller muddier one where the overwhelming majority walked up trying not to lose their footing. The pebble beach short of the end where we were all encouraged to scoop up some marine junk - including quite a bit of green and pink nylon cord - was painful and really frustrating, not least after seeing others across the road on the other proper trail heading for the finish. I'm sure it must have slowed me down by at least twenty or more minutes, but wasn't so painful as having my own feet twist this way and that. It definitely would have to be more sapping than the repeated flight of mud and stone steps littering the edge of the isle. I thought the safety advice beforehand was great flagging up any hazards, but that didn't stop me and several others dancing and swooning across muddy pools, some very close to the precipice at the top of cliffs. I ran in Salomon XT Wings and I was jigging all over the place; deeper lugs next time round, the secure landing of others in pairs of Inov-8's having much to recommend themselves. Date of review: January 26, 2010
In short: Much tougher than first thought! In full: I did the Gower race last month and thought this would be easier - I was so wrong. Even still I loved it - it is worth running it fairly relaxed to enjoy the views as it is difficult to race because of the changing terrain and single file tracks in parts. Amazing race (although I wasn't saying that after a couple of miles running on pebbles!) and would definitely do it again. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: I never want to see another pebble for as long as I live! In full: OK, this course has everything; road, trail, grass, scrambling, steep climbs, steep descents, nice scenery and an extremely tough slog along Chesil Beach. Throw any idea of pacing out of the window because the terrain is so varied that its a waste of time. The atmosphere wasn't bad but I found the Gower event to be friendlier - there were a lot more people wearing headphones for this one.
The organization and facilities were brilliant - hot showers that were still hot when I got to them! Bliss. Date of review: January 24, 2010
In short: Enjoyable step up In full: I ran what was billed as a 10km, my GPS (other other people too) registered this as 13.08km. A sizable error of margin! Never mind - the killer hill at the beginning and the grind along Chesil Beach were the most challenging aspects of this, though the descent was pretty hairy too - especially the one at about 4km. Enjoyed it, and thinking about making a special effort to do another one too. Date of review: January 24, 2010