In short: Gorgeous scenery, Butser hill! In full: Bit of an issue with chip timing so start was delayed, this didn't bother me as I was expecting a PW for my first trail half and having heard about the hills. Butser Hill was amazing, spectacular views from the top and running down it afterwards was the best fun you could have with your clothes on! Water stations were very scarce so I ended up getting a stitch as I chugged all the bottles so I didn't have to litter the lovely countryside. Watch out for tree roots after 9 miles, I saw some falls and tripped over myself despite being careful. Beautiful and varied scenery, will do it again and practice going up Butser Hill ahead of time! Date of review: July 14, 2013
In short: Marking the Half, wow what a course! In full: Was going to go to the end of the SD Marathon to give out entry forms to our nearby trail race but saw the course of the half the day before. entries were still open. Thanks Ann! What a course, straight up and down one of the highest hills in these parts, up War Down, nice through Chalton before a hard climb up to Ditcham Park School and a run in to the finish. the last hill(rear of QE park)is not the longest but a killer where it is. Definatly page in for nice year. Be prepared for that hill at the start though! Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: Stunning and spectacular hilly half In full: Glorious sunny day greeted the 400+ hardy souls trekking up these hills through spectacular scenery. Marshals were friendly, helpful and great. I was disappointed so many runners dropped their bottled water along the downs though. Poor Marshals probably had to pick them up.
Race was a great, but rewarding challenge. Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: A well organised off road marathon In full: This was my first off road marathon, which I found challenging but the beautiful scenery helped to offset the slog up and down the never ending hills. The marshalling was excellent at the start and finish, as well as round the course. They were encouraging and helpful, ensuring nobody went the wrong way. Parking at the finish was no problem, and the coaches from the finish to the start were all lined up ready to go in good time. I will definitely run this one again, and as I now know what to expect, will hopefully run it quicker. Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: Great event - tough but manageable at all levels In full: Don't go expecting PB's, but you can expect a great day out with some challenging hills and superb views.
Just one suggestion though (and this goes to all race directors where you have different races running alongside each other). Can the relay runners not wear a number ON THEIR BACK to indicate which race they are in? I guess most won't care, but I was running in the top 10 on the fringe of the prizes and would have been really useful to know which of the long line of runners in front, during the final 10k particularly, were in the same race as me, and which were relay runners. Suppose you should just run as fast as you can, but it turns out that I missed a prize by less than a minute. Same applies in marathons with a half or relay alongside; can be annoying to race someone then they just peel away or stop mid-race.
Minor point on an otherwise great race I'll definitely do again. Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: Half marathon - tough and scenic but needs better organisation In full: Half-Marathon. Well at least 2 of us recorded the run at 12.8 miles, on different devices. Not a big problem but there was a theme of poor organisation. No generator meant no chip-timings. As this is clearly not a PB race I expected to be able to assess my performance by my position in the field. Not possible now! Starting the race up Butser hill seems to be risking serious injury for those that don't pace themselves. I guess that's why its there but needs consideration nonetheless. Overall - so hilly and challenging that I got a great sense of achievement merely finishing. But the views! Wow! Date of review: June 10, 2013