In short: beautiful scenery, really friendly marshals In full: Beautiful route, quite hilly for the first half but the second half was almost completely flat and followed a lovely path along the river. The field thinned out after the half marathon was done but the route was well signed so I just enjoyed the peace and quiet. Prepare to walk a fair bit of the last 2 miles though, its one long hill. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Glorious Scenery In full: Great trail race in fantastic location, marshalls on course excellent and plenty of water stations. One gripe though! On arrival there was no marshal in car park for directions and it was a case of help yourself, which fortunately sort of worked! Date of review: September 9, 2012
In short: My First Marathon: Hardest I've done, Hardest I'm ever likely to do! In full: The location is fantastic. The hills are diabolical. This was the first year it was run so attendance was very small. Only 59 marathoners started. It wasn't too bad for the first 13 miles whilst sharing the course with the half marathoners, (not sure how many there were) but once we'd separated I was pretty much alone for the rest of the course. This adds its own mental challenges.
The few spectators there were offered good encouragement for which i was extremely grateful.
I do hope this event takes off, it'd be lovely to see more spectators along the route and a few more competitors to try and catch/stay in front of.
Nearly a week later and I've changed my mind from "never again" to "maybe". Date of review: September 9, 2011
In short: A low key trail marathon with some beautiful paths through the forest. A few hills add to the challenge but nothing unexpected with this kind of race. In full: Coming off the back of two ultra marathons earlier in the year and a trip to Everest, I was a little unsure as to the wisdom in taking up this challenge without training since May. A poor nights sleep before hand and a lack of water on the route (my own fault) provided 3.30 hours of pain. Those who run regular hilly, trail marathons will know this as a nice kind of pain though, the kind that you come to enjoy. The route was clearly marked throughout and despite a slight detour at the start everything went smoothly. The marshals were great, especially one chap on his bike who gave me some much need encouragement when my legs refused to move as I intended. Some great little downhill sections too which allowed some fast miles. Finishing the marathon was the highlight of my day...closely followed by the cup of tea and flapjacks afterwards. All in all, one to do again! Date of review: September 6, 2011
In short: Killer hills +steps In full: The marshal was missing at the beginning so we all went too far up the road. I'd checked out the route map so I knew there were a lot of loops but the steep hills finished me off. The promised flat bit along the river was disappointing - a very undulating muddy root lined path. I found the water stops good, and plentiful, and the tape marking the route was essential as there were miles and miles where I saw no-one. I hated it at the time, but a couple of days later and I may do it again one day - just for the challenge. I walked most of the hill at 24-26 and I'd like to think I could maybe run up it. Date of review: September 6, 2011
In short: Hills, hills, hills In full: Excellent race! Turning at the start was clearly shown, slow runners at the back had time to spot it... Thought water stations and marshalling was great and the laps were so scenic you hardly realised you were going round again! Sting in the tail at mile 24 Is what trail races are about the challenge! Really enjoyed it as my 40th marathon! Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Really tough course but beautifully scenic, great weather helped! In full: Having worn my road shoes I was surprised how much rocky offroad there was. At one point we crossed several fields, and spent several miles on a narrow root ridden muddy track. However I was glad I didn't have to do the 3+ miles on the road in trail shoes.
Luckily I didn't get lost like the others, but it was a very sparse field, and when the half marathoners stopped I didn't see another runner for a good few miles.
All in all this could be a really great race, with slightly better marshalling. The scenery was excellent, and if you aren't afraid of hills you'll love it. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: This marathon was absolutely nails but good route. Poorly marshalled, though. In full: This is an extremely hard marathon with some insanely steep parts. Cracking scenery, other runners very friendly and welcoming but the marshalling was awful; the whole race had to turn back near the start, adding 1/2 mile to the total distance (did 26.7ml over a rock hard course!). Let's face it, it was long enough anyway...