In short: Very special race..Carlisle Castle, the Wall and then vibrant Newcastle..fantastic! In full: Amazing fun...lots of long flattish road sections mixed with gently undulating trail. A smattering of hills to keep it interesting ,,,and in myview, would be a great intro to ultra racing. The hot food at Vindolanda (overnight stop) was fantastic!Organisers were really encouraging to those towards the back and we had a really fab time overall. Even through the rain we were still smiling. Thanks guys! :) Date of review: August 7, 2013
In short: Clearly 69 miles isn't for everyone, but this has to be as beginner- friendly as Ultras get. In full: Having done nothing longer than a half marathon before, I thought I was being crazy to enter. My brother must therefore be utterly mental to agree to join me, since he wasn't a runner at all! Long story short, it was painful and tortuous, but it was also the most amazing thing I've ever done. The feeling of crossing that finish line has to be the best legal high you can get. You can see how much I loved it by looking at the photos: I was number 24. Not that it was all smooth. My brother and I signed up as a pair to get the discount. We didn't realise that it meant we would only get one timing chip between us and had to stay together for accurate results. I wouldn't bother doing that again. Also some of the pre-race info turned out to be wrong; basic things like the distances to the stage finish (it turned out the older online info was better) which was a little disconcerting. In the end we just ignored the leaflet we'd been given. I was also disappointed that the evening meal for the challengers was at extra cost. Massive plus side: the race was perfectly marked from start to end, the aid stops were well stocked with food and friendly comments, the finish was dramatic and exciting and there was a decent free meal on crossing the finish line. One other thing I have to emphasise:the support from crew and the public was exemplary. Nothing but support and kindness (and useful info!) all the way through. So to summarise, I will absolutely do this again, and now that I know the minor issues to avoid it will be an even better experience next time.
In short: Disappointing in parts, decent in others... In full: Some lovely scenery on the wall and along the river. Route was hard at points and very roady but you needed trail trainers for some segements.
Marshalling was poor in some places with them not aware of distances. Not enough signage at the end, which was hard for an expert finishing without support. Food at pitstops was very samey. Great camaraderie with other runners.
Staff at end and facilities were excellent. Date of review: June 30, 2013
In short: Outstanding from start to finish, well organised at check points and pit stops very friendly atmosphere and a very challenging race a definite do it again foe Me! Date of review: June 25, 2013
In short: Fabulous, tough but enchanting run. In full: Friendly, brilliantly organized run. Tough, but do-able (slowly!) for this Ultra virgin. Uplifting scenery, great marshalling and some really challenging sections. Not easy, but accessible, and with great support. I can't recommend it highly enough. Date of review: June 25, 2013
In short: Knackering but worth it. In full: My first race over 10 miles, had a great time. The checkpoints seemed frequent and well organised, the course was interesting and there was a nice atmosphere to the race. Date of review: June 25, 2013