In short: Good ultra for beginners and surprisingly rural in places In full: I signed up for this as my first ultra because it was easy to get to and I thought it would minimise logistics hassles. After reading last year's reviews I did some reconnaissance first and actually ran the whole route in two sections beforehand. I'm glad I did, because on the day it minimised stopping to check the map. Also there was monsoon-type rain, which I think may have washed away some of the marking signs. I achieved all my objectives, which were to finish, not to get lost, and still e running at the end! Organisation was very good - it's a small race, so the organiser was able to respond personally to my 'daft lassie' questions. Atmosphere was very friendly, with a special mention for the marshalls at the first feed station, who must have been saturated but were still cheerful and encouraging. I'm not sure how fast a race it would be for really speedy types - as the roads aren't closed there are places where you have to stop for traffic. I was just glad of a rest, but if you were aiming for a time it might be awkward. The route itself is surprisingly rural, especially in the first half when you're out into the countryside quite quickly. Second half is on a cycle route - my only recommendation for improvement would be to extend this section further and cut out some of the complicated bits around Sandilands at the end of the first and second loops. Overall, would recommend. Date of review: August 13, 2012
In short: A real challenge in more ways than one! In full: Like all the reviews before me, the route description was rather vague and could have done with a little more care to make the route fool proof. On a hot day, nobody wants to waste energy doing extra miles having taken wrong turns. That said, that was the only real gripe. It was a small number who entered and that was a shame. I believe it will grow, as a lot of effort had been put in by the organiser. The feeding stations were well stocked and everyone was friendly and helpful. The course was picturesque in places and non-descript in Catford!! Thanks for an enjoyable day all things considered. Date of review: July 30, 2011
In short: Great day In full: a few minor route issues but we overcame them. Very pleased that there is a new London race so i felt I had to support it. Glad I did. Nice people organising, well stocked stations with food , gels etc. ran with Allison who i helped persuade to continue after 15 for her first marathon. Proud of her. Friendly other runners. A few were disappointed with the route mistakes which is understandable. I didnt care, all added to the experience. Despite second half being less scenic, i would rather keep same route than 2 laps of the first. Hopefully Ian will run this again next year. great first effort thanks. Date of review: July 16, 2011
In short: Inaugural year: This has potential of being a gem In full: If you are looking for a friendly, low key event, I think Ian has cracked it. I expect that every inaugural event will have a few problems as this one did but next year it will be brilliant. The first 15 miles was flawless, great views showing the greener, unseen side of Croydon however the second 15 was something to be desired as the instructions were unclear and I eventually added 3 miles to my route...at one point I was leading it! I know Ian is an experienced ultrarunner and with a few minor changes to the format will make this a great race, I enjoyed this run and know with a few more marshalls and signs will make this a welcome event to the South East. My blog comments are here: http://ultramagicforest.blogspot.com/2011/07/croydon-ultra-race-report.html Date of review: July 16, 2011
In short: Thoroughly enjoyable In full: I only signed up for the first half of the Ultra which was quite a challenge as no sooner had we left the start line we were met with the first of many hills! Saying that, the route was extremely pictoresque and showed us the leafy side of Croydon. The directions we had to follow did sometimes miss roads or signs out but that made it all part of the fun.
Having completed the first 15 miles (which was my goal) and enjoyed mars bars, cheese, fruit cake, mini chedders, gels and water at the 2 check points, I decided I wanted to try and do the 2nd half of the Ultra!
This second part was quite a contrast to the first. It was flat but the cycle route we followed took us through an industrial estate and without stopping many times we would not have found the 3rd checkpoint.
All in all I thought it was a great unpressured race as I completed my first ever marathon and Ultra in one! To really enjoy this race you have to run it with other people. Date of review: July 13, 2011
In short: A nice event with the potential to be a really good event In full: In its first year the Croydon Ultra was not without its problems, mainly concerning the second half of the route where many runners got lost, and for some of us added a good 3 or 4 miles on to the route and at least half an hour or so of standing around asking locals for directions- the low point being the hidden water station for the turn around at the 3/4 point.
This said there were many positives; nice atmosphere from both the organisors and the other runners, the first half of the route was really nice, good hills, nice scenery and was well sign posted and set out in the route description (an idea for next year- two laps of this section instead??). The three aid stations had a good variety of drinks and gels and supportive folk handing them out. Finally there were hot showers at the end which is not something you get an many races! Also the results were posted the same day.
With a slightly clearer route I could be tempted to come back next year and do the race in a time which would do its justice.
In short: A great day out In full: This was the first year. It was well organised with gels, fruit cake, chocolate, cheese and water at each of the aid stations which were 7.5miles apart. The first 15 miles is a loop to the south of croydon. This is quite hilly and is on footpaths with a little on roads so you have to be careful. The loop ends up at the start so you can leave drinks/food to pick up. The second half is out and back along a cycle track which is not as easy as it sounds as you keep going onto the road. I added an extra 4 miles to this section. You are provided with instructions and a map but the map is quite small so you can only really use it to work out roughly the direction you are going in. The instructions often missed bits making it quite tricky. Then on the way back it just said reverse the route which for me is v hard work as I cant reverse directions to save my life and because I had gone wrong I wasnt sure where I was meant to be going. A few of us spoke to the organiser about the instructions and he is going to improve them for next year so I think it will be a great event and was pleased to hear it will be on next year at a similar sort of time. Date of review: July 10, 2011