In short: Toughest muddiest steepest marathon im ever likely to do! In full: Im still in shock at how difficult this was!! Dont get me wrong i love a challenge but my goodness this was hard. The friendliness of everyone involved from the other competitors to the marshalls is amazing - lots of support. The terrain is incredibly harsh - mud thick mud and miles of it i dont think i could of trained for it but how some people manage to run up the first 'sting' when im clinging on to the fence pulling myself up ... well i guess i need to really work on my cross country. The mud really does kill your legs even the first mile left me wondering if i had the strength for any more but after mile 5 i managed to start putting some actual flowing running in. The stings i must admit i didnt really notice after the first one it was all hilly - the views are unbelievable though - what goes up must come down but what got me was the last mile - it was as muddy as the first there was no heroic finish in it for me as i dragged my sodden clods and cursed the endless mud then cried like a baby at the end that i had finally finished almost 6 hours later. This is me moaning at my own fitness level not the race - i thought i was ready for something like this but god no - i mean i done it but wished i did it more convincing . The medal is just lovely - well earnt and im not sure i will do it again next year right now but a little voice in my head says 'why not dawny was it too tough for you haha ' which is why i probably will return next year just to prove im not afraid of the 'stinger' Date of review: March 16, 2015
In short: Superbly Challenging In full: I started running only 8 years ago at the age of 50 due to a health scare that made me rethink my approach to fitness. Since then I've surprised myself at what I can do if I put my mind to it, but have never been that bothered to slog out a marathon. In the first few years I head about the Stinger from friends, and it sounded like only a superman would do this! Last year I entered the half, and it was like nothing I'd done before - after the Brighton Half 2 weeks before this was a different league, but a great event! This year I didn't tell anyone because the weather and circumstances on the day can be a big influence on this event, but I planned to 'turn right' at the route divider if I felt ok. The mud was epioc, again!" I think it was even muddier than last year as it lasted all the way up the first 'sting' this time, but one can never be sure. I felt good, duly turned right, and slogged around for my first ever marathon - my reasoning was, why do the easy thing and just have to keep building the challenge - go straight in and then you know what the most challenging is, and everything else will see within my capabilities (not 'easy' - just not entirely 'unknown'). I love this event - the mud, the humour (and the lady who starts us is a legend, 2 years in succession she's mafe me laugh while I tremble on the line, waiting to go!). Will I be back? Hell yeah! Date of review: March 2, 2015
In short: Mud, hills and wind, but the views are something else In full: And off-road half-marathon on the South Downs, very well marshalled and well organised, ample water stations, chocolate digestives and chunks of mars bars. Nice bling and a cooked breakfast included in the entry fee. And you can start when you want and don't have to wait for the mass start. What isn't to like...
The first few miles are muddy. And lots of standing water It fact it was hard to stay upright for the first few yards. Even in decent trail shoes. Some of the puddles are quite deep, mid-calf deep and I'm six two. Then come the "Stings" two of 'em, and they hurt; the first is steeper and very slippery and the second goes on forever. But when you get to the top the view will make your head spin - stunning. And this year, wow the wind was blowing hard and cold, a real face freezer.
Lovely people from beginning to end, and the runners are a friendly bunch too. I'll be back. Date of review: March 1, 2015
In short: Awesome views, brutal hills and a fryup brought to you by children at the end In full: This race is a favourite. With a small number of entrants, and guaranteed bad weather this was my second in a row, and a much muddier attempt. A really friendly atmosphere with just the right amount of water stations (sweets, biscuits and chopped up mars bars on offer). The scenery is lush with Chantonbury ring being the welcoming indicator that the downhill descent to the end isn't too far off. There's not exactly much in the way of 'flat' sections but the best part of the race by far is going back to the local school at the end and having a cooked breakfast served to you by school children (I'm pretty sure it's all legit), as you are unable to walk properly and serve yourself. Date of review: November 24, 2014
In short: Hard, gives you a sense of achievement In full: I would like to thank the marshals, organisers photographers and all the helpers on making a great day. An awful lot of people went into making this event a real success. The wind was horrendous at times, and some of the puddles could easily have swallowed me up. But, the help and encouragement got me through and I feel that any other marathon that I do this year will be a lot easier. See you next year, I need to improve on my time.
Thanks very much on a great day.... Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Wonderful course, challenging, scenic, brilliant organisation, amazing value In full: First-time runner, flew over from Amsterdam - what a great event, and worth every penny... Hard slog through the mud in the first few miles but wonderful when breaking out on to the downs. The organisation was phenomenal, from the flexible start through the great signing and marshalling and the best post-race breakfast ever :-). I'm already in a fight with my wife about who gets to do this next year... Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: A tough mudfest, but terrific In full: As a newbie to this I'd heard many people raving about it for years, and now I know why! Fantastic organisation, ranging from the signs into the car park through to loudspeaker announcements inside the school hall, aka Race Control, and all done in a friendly, humorous and efficient manner. Favourite comment - at the start when seeing my black outfit I was told "oh no, the helicopter will never find you dressed like that...." Love it! As an unprepared newbie (I did the Brighton Half as 'preparation' 2 weeks before!) I realised that this was tougher than I'd anticipated - I was only running the Half but virtually the whole of the lower trail was thick mud - thats about 6 miles of it before the first of 2 (4 for the marathon) 'stings'! The weather was fine, a little blowy but its all in the game. The marshals were tremendously encouraging, and all drinks points also had chocolates and sweets to grab - superb thank you! The views on the Down, especially as you go up to Chanctonbury Ring, were terrific as always (the the pain in my legs was making me think otherwise at that point!).
I can't compare previous events, and I know the course changed slightly. All I can say is that this is what running is all about, its friendly, tough but you're only against yourself so its eminently do-able, great (if not terrific!) value (the medal is superb!) - forget PB's, get out there, and have a blast! See you next year Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Friendly race, great marshals, superb scenery and great trail! In full: Really enjoyed this race. Yes, it was horrendous underfoot (the mud quadmyre was very interesting!) but it was a glorious race. The marshals were all friendly, the aid stations a good space apart.
Good spirit amongst competitors and supportive as well (i pulled a girl out of a bramble bush after she slid and fell over in the mud/bramble mashup).
Great value for money. Free race photos, great medal, free breakfast afterwards, free tea and coffee, excellent parking opportunities.
Only thing that i'd like to see changed is their stance on Dogs. I think that the route is ideal for it. All trail, plenty of other dog walkers around. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Mudfest don't wear a vest ! In full: Wonderful tough boggy slippy marathon, scenary amazing but this event is tough, why make things easy, life is always a challenge and looking back although I didn't smile for 25 miles , finishing felt brilliant and rewarding. Organisation was very very good. Date of review: March 3, 2014