In short: Fantastic scenery and organisation In full: Any ultra is rarely going to be anything other than at least a little daunting but the structure of the NU35 was very welcoming, reassuring, and inclusive.
I had taken time the night before the race to study the map in detail, so I wasn't worried about being able to navigate if I had to. However, I was lucky that I was always in sight of someone ahead who (I assumed!!) knew where they were going. Only a couple of times did a group of us cluster at a crossroads or footpath and put our heads together to decide on the right route.
There was a good mix of terrain, though the hot weather had made some of the fields quite uncomfortable to run on.
What looked from the course profile like the biggest and scariest hill came near the start (well, about 10k in!), but thankfully was not as steep as it appeared to be and it was perfectly possible to run up it if you chose to. Later on, though, even the slightest hill (and there were a few!) was a welcome reason to walk, whilst keeping an eye on the watch to make sure that average mile splits didn't slow down too much. The climb up most of the hills was rewarded by fantastic views of the Northamptonshire countryside - a great way to see it.
The only thing that could have improved this race would have been a finishing clock... after running for nearly 7 hours I was looking forward to seeing the time as I crossed the line! Instead I felt a bit bad about asking the lass who was timekeeping, though she was very obliging.
IMHO this is definitely a good race for any rookie or seasoned ultra-runner! Date of review: May 29, 2012
In short: A tough day out but pretty enough to take your mind off your feet - hot and hilly! In full: This was my first ultra and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well organised with great scenery and atmosphere and a fine start/finish location at Lamport Hall. Enough water stations for me to stay hydrated despite the non-stop heat. Fruit would have been nice at the checkpoints but I managed to carry sufficient gels. I was glad of my Garmin track for navigation as I'd have struggled with just the map with a line on. Date of review: May 29, 2012
In short: Lovely atmosphere, well organised but some navigation issues. In full: This was a great race - it was my first Ultra and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The people at the check points were very kind and encouraging. This could have been a great race for beginners but the navigation was tricky. The map was not well reproduced and the course had been outlined in red making it difficult to see the features underneath- needs looking at. Date of review: June 7, 2011
In short: Excellent scenery, good organisation, some tricky navigation. In full: Really nice course well thought out, but some close navigation required could catch a few out - maybe a few more arrows or signs needed? Seemed to be a high standard of runners entered into the race but my girlfriend and I (very near the back) felt very welcomed and really enjoyed the day, and def the fruit cake. Date of review: June 5, 2011
In short: Very challenging course with some tough hills In full: My first time to the Northants 35 and I only live a short'ish distance down the motorway so was surprised to find the Northamptonshire coutryside a lot more challenging than expected. The course was catagorised as undulating but this was seriously understated as it was very hilly indeed and comparable with some of the more sigificant hillier races that happen in other areas of the UK. Overall the organisation of the event and checkpoints were well stocked and people manning them were very happy and friendly. My only issue was with the poor map sent out. I would've prefered a better roadbook with better descriptions although for the most it was adequete and ok but I know a few people had problems when the offroad parts got a little more challenging. Overall I would come back to this ultra and recommend it to anyone else looking for a step up from marathon as it was very challenging and good value for money as ultras go. Date of review: June 5, 2011
In short: Map reading ultra! In full: My first ultra and even marathon run ,was good fun well until monday! Well organised and good setting , map reading isnt for the novice! Date of review: June 9, 2010
In short: Great day out in the Northamptonshire countryside!!!! In full: Fab day out!!!! What a well organised event brilliant support at the checkpoint and at the finish. The check points were well stocked with everything you could want - loved the cake very tasty!!! Met some really nice people who i ran the last half of the race with glad of their help with the map reading thanks, Dan, Ben, Les and Richard you helped me get the 3rd female trophy!!! Love the t-shirt and medal at the finish. Thanks again to everyone Jenxx Date of review: June 8, 2010