In short: Great natural challenges, what cross-country should really be like! Hard work in a good way! In full: The course was the right kind of challenging: proper hills, streams, a waterfall to cross and plenty of mud! The best/worst part was the icy cold pond we went through the middle of. Getting cold water up to the waist made the quads a real challenge to get back into gear! Yes, some people went off the course. I think that the nature of the terrain mean that some people just missed some of the tapes in the trees. In thick leaf litter like that, once some-one's gone wrong they leave a wrong trail for others to follow! More marshalls would have helped at some key spots. I spoke to the organisers afterwards and they had had some of their marshalls pull out at the last minute, so that was unfortunate. To be fair to the organisers, the only problem I could point out was the people making mistakes/taking short-cuts. You can't line an entire 10km race with officials though... Great to be able to park next to the event centre, toilets that didn't run out of paper, proper goody bags and a slick registration team. I'll be heading to their next one. Date of review: December 7, 2012
In short: After a long, fast downhill start we soon came across the mud. Hills very steep and slippy, not too long though. Loads of deep puddles but the worse being the icy lake! In full: No chance of a 10k PB but you don't expect it on a course like this! Marking could have been abit better but that can be soon rectified. All in all a good day out. Date of review: December 4, 2012
In short: Very Cold, Very Muddy, Very Challenging, Organisation could be better, but I would do it again In full: I really enjoyed this "mudstacle" race yesterday. Comments about the markers were valid it could be a bit confusing in parts, although there was only really one bit at the end after the last deep pool that I got confused - I think it was having loads of other arrows for the 4x4 route that added to the confusion.
A few kinks that can be more than sorted out for next year. It might also be worth mentioning in the literature beforehand that a lot of climbing is involved, for me it was a nice challenging surprise, but I would imagine that not everyone would necessarily feel the same. It would also have been good to have photographers at the dips of despair and the horrible hills!
All the other runners were really friendly and helpful - I definitely needed help getting out of boggy bits and up slippery hills at parts.
Not a chance of getting a PB for your 10K though as I added a huge 45 minutes to my usual 10K time with all the climbing and running through ice!
Great race though - was more scared before than any marathon that I've ever done, but I survived and can't wait to do it again!
I've put a more detailed review on my blog with some of the pictures that the official photographers took. http://iwasa90steenager.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/breaking-through-pain-barrier.html Date of review: December 2, 2012
In short: Basil Fawlty would be proud In full: Superb race for the first 4 miles before descending into chaos. Insufficient marshals coupled with confusing/non-existent signage led to utter confusion. At one point there were arrows pointing in 3 directions. I ended up getting lost and running 9km by the end in a 10km race however lots of people ended up doing even less than this. From a top 20 finish I ended up losing 20/30 places by the end. I really dont understand how hard it can be to organise a 10km race properly.
On top of this the course description was misleading. The 'horrible hills' consisted of 2 hills you could run up! Nowhere near as hard as it made out.
In short: Awesome challenge, but needed a few more marshals In full: Very tough course in a really nice location. Made all the more difficult by numerous icy ponds and muddy bogs. A real challenge.
It's fair to say, though, that the course wasn't always obvious - I'm pretty sure I missed a section out towards the end, and several others did, from what I heard others saying afterwards. Needed a few more marshals I think. Date of review: December 1, 2012