In short: Too tough.... In full: I hadn't expected the course to be this tough. Nobody did. Everyone I spoke to found it harder than expected. I had to drop out after 14 miles and getting on for four hours. The start of the course was very hilly. After a pleasant ramble across country, the course begins a long steady climb which was quite demanding, but I expected that at the top we'd be on the downs, and - apart from some ups and downs - that would be it. But no, the course then goes back down, and then up, and then steeply down, and then a long, long climb up loads of steps. I have done the North Downs Run, Beachy Head Marathon and the Dunstable Challenge, so am quite OK with hills and cross country running. I enjoyed those three races - but the very steep and relentless nature of the start of this took too much out of me. I wanted to do a 20 mile run, but the first three miles consisted of fairly consistent steep hills that I couldn't run, so I was starting to get frustrated. When the course did eventually "level out" (read: hilly, but manageable), I started to enjoy myself, and was considering that if I did this next year I would skip the start. But then the mud and the stones started to make the going heavy, the temperature dropped and the wind got up, so I was getting more and more tired, and colder and colder. A series of very demanding styles then starting to take their toll, and when I worked out that I still had about six miles to go, and I had taken nearly 4 hours, and I was very weak, with an aching knee that was slowing me down, I spoke with a marshal about a short cut to the finish, and he advised me getting a lift back, so I agreed and gave up. This is the first race I have abandoned. The lift came quickly and they checked me out on the spot and again back at HQ.
There is much to commend in this race. And you can feel save that you are looked after - your number is taken by every marshal, so they know exactly where you will be if you go missing. But be aware that it will be tough if you go for the full distance, and that March can be very, very cold. Date of review: March 8, 2011
In short: Let registration open for 2012, I'm ready to sign up. In full: Longest road distance that I've ran before is a half-marathon. On a whim (half way round the course) I decided to do the 20-mile route, instead of the 14 that I'd entered.
Enthusiasm of other runners kept me going, as did support of the marshalls.
Excellent morning on the Downs. Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: A Challenge it certainly was !!! In full: I Love these sort of events, for the most parts it was very well sign posted and marshalled. A little short on the garmin at 19.5 miles but other than that a really nice morning out. I actually found the slog over the potatoe fields tougher than the hills and mud. A siucidal up hill in the first mile really sets you up for what is to come. Well done BHF Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Hills, mud, clay and stiles In full: I had planned a 20 mile training run this weekend, before I heard a few others were heading up for this. I’ve never run this kind of event before, and after the first few miles, I wondered what the heck I’d let myself in for! Hilly, muddy for the first third or so, more conventional for the next third, and then sticky clay fields with loads of stiles for the final third. Very glad to have finished, but kept on and would never had had this much fun on a local 20 mile LSR! Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Harder than I thought it would be In full: Really enjoy this race first 6-8 miles very hilly, very challenging, but very picturesque . Compared to a20 pathway race hands down winner loved it! Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Tough but brilliant! In full: Really enjoyed this, it was organised fantastically. Well signposted and the views were something else. For £10 entry you got a hat or tshirt, medal and bottled water on route. Will be adding a donation as I was so impressed. Date of review: March 6, 2011