In short: A tough event with a superb atmosphere In full: My first ultra and definitely not my last. The race organisers and volunteers were the friendliest I've ever encountered giving much needed encouragement at the start, the checkpoints and the finish. Camaraderie between competitors better than anything I've ever experienced.
The course is tough with plenty of mud (but no snow this year). It follows the North Downs Way and you are expected to follow this using the official NDW signs, a detailed route description and a few extra markers. Don't expect any marshals other than at the checkpoints. I took a couple of wrong turns but easily found my way back to the trail. Great selection of food on offer at the checkpoints and much needed encouragement.
I'd like to do this race again having made quite a few first-timer mistakes this time and will definitely be looking at XNRG's other ultra events for my next race. Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Fantastic Weekend. A cut above the rest In full: First ultra and so have little to compare it with. However, the organisation was fantastic, the checkpoints excellent, the entertainment for those who slept over for saturday night was well thought out. Great presentation given.
Really classy. You get the feeling Neil, the organiser, is a great guy and loves his work. And it feeds off into the weekend.
See you next year :) Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Great introduction to Ultras In full: Great event with amazing views. First Ultra and all I can say is that I'll be back for more. If you're looking to set a fast time, forget it but if you want to experience the ups and downs of an Ultra, knowing that taking part & completing the event really is the only thing that matters, go for it. The only issue was that it could have done with a couple of extra signs to assist in navigating the route, but I guess that's one of the skills for doing Ultras?! Date of review: February 16, 2012
In short: Incredible race In full: My first ultra so not got anything to compare it too but his was just brilliant - a sort of club race feel that is not intimidating and a refreshing down to earth approach to racing that keeps costs sensible. The route is tough but on gorgeous trails that vary enough to keep you interested. The trail is fairly well signposted and a direction sheet is handed out but even so there were a couple of points where we wandered off course but a quick call to the organisers got us back on track - this is not a road race with marshals on every corner! The lack of cut off times and the staggered start times convinced me to have a go - walkers get an hours' head start which really helps. I did not do the overnight stay so can't comment on how that went but everything else was really well organised. Day 2 brought heavy snow and the effort by the team to get out and review the route and check it was safe enough to run was great - had been worried it might be cancelled. The stayng power of the checkpoint teams was briliant and can't thank them enough. If you've never done an ultra before I'd highly recommend this one. Date of review: February 6, 2012