In short: Ugly Beast of a race! In full: Yep, this was a tough one. I wasn't in the best frame of mind for this race to be honest, as my mind has been on the Purbeck marathon in a fortnights time, but that said, this was a "training race" due to the hilly reputation. In fact, I found it tougher than Purbeck - because it's only a half (!), you try and up the pace and attack the hills a bit more - but that means it hurts more. The stunning scenery keeps you going, along with the fact the runners keep eachother going - because we're all in pain! And the steps... It's quite an awesome sight when you reach that first step - but then reality hits that if it is tough going downhill, it's going to be something else going up! Organisation was good, parking right next to the finish and no issues leaving after. My only moan was the 3 energy gel sachets found en-route from other runners - if you do use them, please keep hold of them until the next water stop or bin - the race is held in a beautiful part of the world - let's not ruin it! Date of review: September 3, 2014
In short: The clue is in the name! In full: Was quite worried about this one, the name giving the best clue that this wasn’t going to be easy. Its multi terrain, ups and downs, plenty of stiles that got more and more slippery to get over. On a fine day the views would have been stunning and even though it rained a bit you could still see along the coast line. The steps were the killer, they hurt and you can’t really stop as it’s more or less single file, so that kept you going knowing you would cause a step-jam! Was great to finish and first thoughts were “never again” but of course would do it again, it’s a great race! The t-shirt is really good too. Next year will make sure to have plenty of time to go for a cream tea after in the lovely village of Corfe. Date of review: September 7, 2012
In short: The awesome, painful, wonderful, gut wrenching Beast! In full: This is my third year of doing the Beast and I still love it! Tough race-particularly this year as it was very muddy and slippery. Before you do this race practice going up steps, because there are lots, and lots and lots of them! This race makes you hurt in places you didn't know you had but gives you bragging rights for finishing, for a long time to come! Great technical tee this year for the first time Date of review: September 6, 2012
In short: Toughest race I've ever done, but elated to have finished. In full: Not called The Beast for nothing, we were warned at the start, no kidding !! This is such a tough course, with hills to curse, and sets of cliff steps that can give you vertigo. I would say we were lucky that it rained, as the thought of doing this in blazing sunshine is unbearable. Downside of rain was the slippery stones on many of the paths, and the mud, especially at the end. The only respite you get are the stiles to climb, and you wouldn't believe there could be so many stiles. Despite all that, the sense of achievement you get at the end is second to none, only topped by a magnificent Beast T-shirt, which most people were proudly sporting as they left. Great race with a fantastic atmosphere. Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: Terrific off-roader with wonderful coastal views In full: I haven't run the Beast for 4 years but it remains truly excellent. Lots of different terrain: tarmac start, open fields, stony woodland paths and coastal footpaths. Some decent hills inland but when you get to the coastal path it really hits. St Aldhelm's Head is where we joined it. Straight down some very steep, very slippery stone and earth steps and then back up. Heavy step climbing. Then you get to go to another valley/chine before climbing an even higher one. It really takes it out of you. The final few miles involve a mostly-downhill trip back to Corfe with the castle in view, then a nice hill up near the end.
The rain and wind made it tougher this year and much more treacherous under foot.
One negative comment was regarding the women at the finish line taking down finisher details. She was incredibly rude to numerous spectators telling them to be quiet or move away from her so she could hear. At one point she shouted at one group to "shut up". A bit out of character for this race.
Aside from that, this event is excellent in a great location with spectacular scenery. The organisation continues to be excellent. This is one to try for sure. Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: it is extremely tough but OMG the views are to die for (quite literally if you're not careful) In full: the fact it is called "the beast" says it all but wow that was tough! the hills were not kind and so glad i put in the training hours, but i tell you what - the views are amazing! the marshalls were amazing, plenty of water stations, it was all well sign posted and the sweepers behind us were very friendly. i cannot fault this race and the cream tea afterwards was orgasmic :D Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: One of the best races in the calendar. In full: A great race - as ever. Hard as they come and with the added bonus of mud and slippery slopes this year but brilliantly well organised with friendly, helpful marshals. Even the mist and rain couldn't take away from the glorious coastal scenery. Date of review: September 2, 2012