In short: Excellent event!!! In full: Really really enjoyed this event. By far the most picturesque course (if you discount the landfill site...) and running over the Clifton Suspension Bridge a couple of miles from the end was awesome. It was really well organised with aid stations that were very very well stocked with a good variety of stuff and the volunteers were brilliant.
A huge plus were the detailed written instructions of the route provided on the URL website. I am rubbish at navigating and the instructions were clear and easy to use on the move so didn't get lost.
This event is obviously well known in and around Bristol as we met some lovely people en route who had done the event and their encouragement and good wishes were really well received.
This event is also great value for money. At the end you get the biggest medal ever, a mug and a T shirt as well as a lovely plate of chilli and rice. Just what you need after climbing the hills and slipping in the mud of the Community Forest Path.
In short: Fantastic views, friendly marshalls, well stocked check points In full: first time ultra for me and it didnt disapoint. marshalls were fantastic and supportive, competitors were friendly and talkative, views were great and even though i got lost towards the end, only made the race for me, a good adventure. Will be back next year. Date of review: May 6, 2012
In short: Corrections to my earlier report In full: I have had the time to think my earlier report through and believe I was being a little unfair. I have spoken to a number of runners and now accept that whilst this was quite expensive, it wasn't done with the aim of profit and profit alone. Race organisers have to break even or make a profit, as why else would they put them on? I still think there are areas that could be improved on, specifically the addition of an extra checkpoint and possibly starting an hour earlier to allow slower runners less finishing time in the dark. The organisers have to cover costs and the race was clearly advertised as self sufficient, albeit it close to the day the organisers did send out a list of stops and food etc that would be available. So, to be entirely fair, I should not have criticised it for that. In a constructive way, I do think an extra stop would help cut down on two stages that were too long without one. I also think the directions in sections need to be improved, but I accept that I got lost and that my personal feelings clearly effect that view, whilst others may not have had a problem. I also would have liked a race specific t-shirt which I know is a bit sad, but hey ho. Would ideally have liked a technical top and would even have paid more for that. Still was a nice medal. Have thought this through, it is a hard course in the second part in particular and not for the feint hearted, but I would consider doing it again. The marshals were very jolly even though the weather was bad, and there was a very nice meal available at the finish. As I think there are areas to work on, its not an outstanding race yet but it has clear potential, but with those hills its never going to be a PB course! Date of review: May 15, 2011
In short: Brilliant Fun! In full: What a fantastic race! The first half was pretty flat so it was good to get to the half way point and get stuck into some hills. The ladies manning the checkpoints were superb and really looked after us all. I think the comments about the lack of food/squash at checkpoints are unfair. It clearly states on the oranisers website that "The MHU is a totally self sufficient race with the exception of water supply. Water stations are located at all checkpoints at pre-determined points along the race" so in my opinion, anything extra was a bonus. An email had been sent out saying that cake would be provided at the CPs which they were (they were very tasty too!). Well organised, friendly and challenging...I'll be back!! Date of review: May 11, 2011
In short: Awsome scenery and challenging course - isn't that what you're after? In full: I thoroughly enjoyed this (my second) Ultra Trail race. It had everything in terms of trail (grass, mud, scree), including the punishing hills along the Malvern Hill range, and some road sections. We were 'lucky' enough to also have a range of weather too - rain for the first 2hrs along the Severn Way, followed by bright skies and a heavy heat over the hills.
In short: beatiful circular route In full: the best aspect is the stunning scenery. The fisrt half of the race is flat and temptingly fast, the second half has some hilly surprises. Some of the problems mentioned in 2010 about shortages at checkpoints had been resolved. Still the same number of checkpoints, but that was not a problem - runners are given all the details in advance so there can be no complaints. Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Very Expensive and not good value In full: I am not a moaner and will support running clubs to the hilt, but this left me with the feeling that this was a race designed to make money for the organiser and not with the runners as the first priority. There were not enough check points for a start. I am a very experienced ultra runner and to have two checkpoints with over 9 miles between them was not a good idea. There needed to be at least one more. When you got to the checkpoints, they were very poorly stocked. The food they was limited and at best, it was home made cakes but they were limited, water from tesco's cheap value range and at one stop, some loafs of white bread and jam/peanut butter. No sandwiches of any type, orange squash ran out at least two stops and then just water, no energy drinks. The route description in stages was poor, far too much of the race was on road, the t-shirt at the end was poor (mass produced that made no reference to the date , specific race or have anything to do with it such as the Malvern Hills in drawing) and on the whole, it left you feeling that there was very little in the way of overheads but why take £55 of each runner. The only answer I have is profit. Does not make for a good race. There are better organised and much cheaper events out there a fraction of the cost. Look at the LDWA website and go for the walks that allow runners to enter. If this organiser wants a good report then do the following;- 1. At last one more checkpoint 2. Dont make the checkpoints so far apart 3. Stock a lot better food and drinks at all of the stops 4. Make the route description a lot, lot better 5. Provide decent race specific t-shirts and not job lots that can be handed out at any race 6. Reduce the entry fee Date of review: May 8, 2011