In short: A great trail half marathon...very hilly, very scenic In full: This was my first half trail marathon and was a great experience, much more fun than pounding the streets. Can't wait to return next year and will be looking for other trail runs I can enter in the meantime.
In short: Should have done some hill training! In full: (Half marathon review) Ridiculously hard start up Butser Hill before my legs has warmed up, most of us at the back were walking but I guess this helped thin out the field a bit. A few bottlenecks over stiles etc but to be honest a welcome rest for us slowbies :-) Feel a bit of a cheat that my medal/t shirt says marathon, would really like them to reflect the distance I actually did. Also GPS did measure quite a bit short, whilst I was glad to see the finish at the time now I do feel a bit cheated it wasn't a full half. Lovely location though and great first real trail run. Date of review: July 17, 2012
In short: KILLER START - NICE VIEW FROM THE TOP THOUGH! In full: For a first time half marathon, it went off pretty well. The organisers have already acknowledged the issues which came up and are amending for next year. That said, the 1:4 hill for about a Km or so right at the start is a bit of a killer and even the fittest of the fit gave up and started walking half way up. My own feeling is that this would be better at the 10 mile point after I've warmed up! The field would also be well spread out by then so it would cut out the 10minute wait to climb the stile! APart from that, loved it and will hopefully be back in 2013. Date of review: July 14, 2012
In short: Challenging course but so worth it. In full: Cracker of an event. Challenging course but upside is the superb scenery - we were lucky with the the weather. Plenty of support from other runners & marshalls. Nice goodie bag too. Organisation was spot on.
An excellent off-road event, maybe the best I`ve done. Well done to Mike & his team at 2.09. Date of review: June 15, 2012
In full: My third time doing this lovely marathon and it certainly is a special one. I needed to change my number at the beginning in order to change my 'wave' and am happy to report that was quick and easy to do. It was my 30th marathon to date and I couldn't have chosen a better one. Fastest time as well which was a big surprise to me especially as I'd just done one on the Monday prior. I put it down to the fantastic atmosphere, the gorgeous views and the support you get from the other runners and also the brilliant relay changeover points where there are fresh, eager, sweet smelling others ready to cheer you on. This run was a shocker first time I did it in 2009, but I now know what to expect and those last 6 miles are pretty tough and leg burningly hard. Fabulous run and at last, the Weather Gods shone on us that day. Oh, one gripe.....running is not very sexy but please, the T Short at the end was just pretty grim, shapeless and not suffient small sizes....other than that, brilliant. Date of review: June 14, 2012
In short: Second time running this and will be back next year again! In full: I ran the marathon last year and the half this year and have loved both races. The half is a tough race but with fantastic scenery and great marshalling and organisation. The only problem this year was a 10 minute wait to cross a style at approx 3 miles but I was glad of the breather really as had just gone up a very very steep hill! Well worth travelling from London for and a 'proper' goody bag at the end with Goodness Shakes milkshake and nice medal. Highly recommended! Date of review: June 13, 2012
In short: Challenging but so worthwhile! In full: At the time of writing this, the South Downs Half Marathon is only my third half marathon. The previous two being John Austin and the Portsmouth Coastal, the South Downs was my first introduction to hill running.... If you're thinking about running this one I would practice your hill starts!
The course was well laid out and with the exception of a style here and there flowed very well also. For those of us looking to catch our breath I think we milked the bottlenecks for all they were worth! The uphill sections were very challenging however there was an enormous sense of satisfaction once you had reached the summit, they views were spectacular as well. Conditions on the day were good despite a small bit of wind.
I would definitely recommend this one, perhaps not as your first running endeavour but definitely within your first few. I'll certainly be back next year. Date of review: June 13, 2012
In short: great scenic off road marathon In full: I really enjoy this race, however bad things get the views make up for it! The race runs really smoothly from parking your car at the start to finishing! A couple of niggles though, although the t-shirts were a vast improvement on last years why were there no smalls sizes? I finished in the top 50% and was awarded a dress at the end, I don't have alot of use for a technical dress!!! The other small thing was that it might have been better to keep the tops on the bottles for competitors otherwise you may as well just use cups. I fell over with a full bottle and lost the lot towards the end of the race and had to struggle 4 miles to QE park with no fluids, fortunately it wasn't a hot day! Date of review: June 12, 2012