In short: I love this event! In full: A challenging run over the downs, beautiful scenery and a nice momento at the end. What more could you want?
It was one the the most well signposted events I've ever entered...I still managed to get lost though! No fault of the organisers....I was so busy looking at a cottage I missed one of the arrows so ended up doing nearly 29 miles! I'll definitely be back next year:) Date of review: September 17, 2011
In short: Wow - I would love to do this again In full: A tough challenging run and because the field was small, a friendly personal feel. The weather was too hot which meant quite a few of us stayed at the end chatting and recovering. The event was very well organised and the marshalls were encouraging and friendly, thank you. I understand that last year the route, either owing to bad weather or some of the markers being taken, that runners got lost. This year the route was very well marked and i felt confident by half way to run without my map. I know there were still mixed feelings about the route but i guess if runners want a fast (although the route the first half was quick)without a little navigation, this run is not for you. If you want fun, quirky, tough (and boy the hill at mile 16 was hard - i struggled to walk it ) !!! this is the run for you. I loved it and thank you to Eddie Kidd who started the run. Oh and a super little trophy.
In short: More an orientation challenge than a race In full: I used this race as a preparation for a marathon in September and was very disappointed. The race was hilly and very challenging, yet poorly marked which made it easily possible to get lost on the way miles away from any village or supply point. The track was uneven, putting a lot of stress on the ankles. Apart from the distance of the supply points, which where strangely located at 6, 14, 16 and 21 miles there were no distance markers and the marshals where not able to tell you how much was left to go. If you don't like to ruin your legs or spending a fair bit of the day running on rough country trails through nettles and cow poo, avoid this race. Date of review: September 12, 2011
In short: Very well run small trail marathon In full: After the torrential rain and mist of 2010 the organisers had obviously gone the "extra mile" to make sure nobody was going to go astray this year. At the start they handed out maps and route instructions (which I doubt anyone needed!) and the course was marked with arrows on posts etc and on the ground too, plus tape... plus marshalls at some critical places too. A big thank you to whoever marked out the course! I think must be the best I've seen so far... never thought for one minute "am I going the right way?"
6 aid stations, great volunteers, nice goody bag and for a good cause to boot...
The course is pretty hilly, basically two climbs up the downs and two downs, which makes light of an awful lot of undulations, although the hill at mile 15-16 is the only real killer.
Would recommend to anyone. Date of review: August 22, 2011
In short: Another year at Seaford - well done to everyone involved In full: Thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who made the marathon so pleasant and friendly - its fantastic when you have really well organised teams to look after you at the different checkpoints asking how you are and clapping you in support. Also - thanks to the crowd of runners to being supportive and making a really tough race quite informal. I challenge any runner who has not done the seaford before to look at K2 mountain/hill climb on mile 15 or so, and not be impressed !!! It was wonderful of the organisers to ask Eddie Kidd along to start the race and hopefully his appearance will help promote and raise more money for his own charity - very humbling to see him there and I could sense he would have loved to compete with everyone out there running today. See you all on my Olympic day off in 2012 !! Gareth - 100 marathon club Date of review: August 21, 2011
In short: Lots of scenery - and lots of hills... In full: Loved it - although I do not want to see another hill for the foreseeable future! One of these "little gems" of a race.Very small field with only 150 runners, which makes the atmosphere wonderfully personal. I don't think I was ever greeted by name at a checkpoint / drink station before. And everything extremely well organised: route well marked, pretty much impossible to get lost, despite a few little interesting tracks thrown in there. Good supply stations - water, squash, jelly babies, biscuits and always a word of encouragement. Many more marshals than originally stated, which all were wonderfully supportive. The course - well, what can I say.... I suppose by definition "scenic" and "great views" implies hilly. And hills there were - not a lot of "flat" in sight anywhere. Undulating pretty much all the time, and then two killers (mile 15-16 and, short but brutal, after mile 22). Still, the stunning views afterwards made up for it. Great reception at the finish, nice goodie bag and memento, very good post race supplies and a very welcome massage. Together with my day on the beach yesterday - a brilliant summer holiday weekend! Date of review: August 21, 2011
In short: Well organised - marshalls deserve medals in the weather. In full: South Downs are always a great challenge - more so this year due to the low misty rain laden clouds - just where were those masts ! Used the route instructions so unlike others I just did the marathon,though it was a challenge along the top of the downs with in the visibility - on the lower reaches it cleared and we could seee the views again ! Date of review: November 5, 2010
In short: A great marathon or should I say ultra In full: Back to the South Downs once more. I love this area and never get tired of the different ways it can challenge long distance running. I've never done this event before but found it to be well managed, very friendly and the course to be well thought out. I would have to say it was one of the easiest marathons I've done in the South Downs due to the fact that there was more tarmac involved than I would've liked but saying that the hills were just as brutal as ever. I was in the group of people that also detoured on the way to the 6 mile checkpoint so done, we reckon, an additional 3-4 miles as we did the route around the river, not like some, naughty. This was due to us missing an arrow marker in heavy mist up on the Downs (although my mate says he saw it) and continued to follow another group of people also going the wrong way, never mind. Getting the golden shoe at the end was a little different and the goodie bag was very good, the sort you may find at bigger events in fact. Overall this event was good value for money and when there is plenty of members of the 100 club present you know its worth turning up for. Date of review: August 23, 2010
In full: I have to say, this was so far the highlight of my year running wise. I was one of the 'breakaway' group who got lost around 4 miles...realising at 4.5 miles...I was suddently faced with a bunch of blokes map reading...always a very worrying sign ! We all carried on and ended up back at the golf course crossing. Really rather comical. Luckily there was a local bod who directed over a hill to join road into Alfriston to get to checkpoint 5. I had done 8.5 miles by then and did the river out and back. Was just before the other group who opted not to do that...wish I'd thought of that as the path was slippy and had cow like creatures on it !! I also fell over a style..but hey...what can you do. The weather was dire and reminded me of 3 Forts earlier in the year BUT the other runners were so friendly and chatty. The marshalls were great and knew some of us were doing a longer route and offered words of encouragement etc. I ended up doing 29.6 miles but I enjoyed it so much, I'll be back and will TRY to do the correct route next time (have since studied the map in the warmth of home and can see where we went wrong)! Great momento....lovely atmosphere...many thanks. Date of review: August 23, 2010
In short: It rained a bit on Sunday In full: I did a review of this race from 2008 so I was quite confident I would have no problems negotiating my way around once again the wonderful South Downs and all the challenges this course sets.
I bumped into on Dave at the over spill carpark and commented that weather conditions then (at 8.45am) were "perfect" for running , cool and a light breeze. Then at about 9.00am (the race start) rain started to fall , lightly at first and then gradually harder as the runners disappeared up the hills into the mist. I was quite confident these experienced trail runners were good to follow because I had rarely got lost in the past (except at all LDWA events with James Bond style instructions !). Still after 6 miles there was a surprise when the elite runners began to double back towards the first main hill ..we started to follow them again , but a group of us felt we had stuck on the right path - so we plodded on a long way until amazingly we found ourself back at the golf course on the way towards the finish. We were all set to break the world marathon record but then decided (collectively like bad collalition) to head of towards where I was pointing. Basically we knew were the sea was and Seaford town , we had to find lost Mecca of Alfriston which we found via numerous fields of sheep and quiet country lanes and few old people giving us some looks to suggest we were of the "mad variety". A small loop along a river I can only describe as "similar to the Amazon but with more hazzards and mud ". We were back on track and on the road to nowhere. All the slow runners - sorry the sensible map reading ones were chuckling with joy when the saw the misfortune of "faster joggers" go past - even Gil mentioned that I was getting more for my money. Now , if only I was a tourist guide.... After checkpoint three and wondering was there a) any life on mars b) any humans braving the elements on that terrible sunday c) getting called my name by one of the checkpoint checkers with a clipboard - it was option c) that put my faith back in the human race and it was time to jog on. It was at that point I had a deja-vu moment..wasn't there a big steep hill coming soon ? Not sure as the mist was pretty low , even the local bungalows had cloudy roofs. Then after a short jog up a road I met up with Steve from the 100 club and the hill I can only describe as K2 came into sight. I was probably impossible to drive up this hill let alone walk/jog - the mist covered most of the top edge of the hills now and it was a case of "lads, stick to the roads and stay off the moors" if you have ever seen American Werewolf in Sussex then this was that moment. We carried on running in appalling but refreshing rainfall that never ceased - I have never heard my trail shoes squelsh as much it sounded like an injured duck ! Then we came across what appeared to the checkpoint volunteer who had drawn out the "worst checkpoint on earth to man" - kitted out like a North Sea fisherman and armed with a deckchair - his role was to point us to get across the field and stay off the moors, those cows looked angry as it was. Checkpoint 6 was where I got my third taste of soggy chocolate digestives - certainly a key favourite on most marathon runners dietry plans but gratefully accepted. Checkpoint six was getting lonely as I was alone and again took my rations and headed off up the hill to knock the last 4 miles off this course. I eventually finished and was elated to not only complete what was about 30 miles or more I ran - but to show some spirit and not give up when you feel like throwing the towel in - not that any number of towels would of helped with that rainfall. Thanks to the organisers and the marshalls and all runners involved making this race the complete challenge and quite and adventure.
Now where's the "how to climb Mount Everest book ?" !!
Gareth - 100 Marathon Club Date of review: August 23, 2010